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Ulka Chauhan
Ulka Chauhan
Ulka Chauhan

Ulka Chauhan

Country: India
Birth: 1976

Street and documentary photographer Ulka Chauhan grew up in Mumbai, finished high school in Switzerland, college in Boston and lived and worked in New York and South Africa before anchoring herself in Zurich and Mumbai. These varied geographies come together to inform her work and shape her visual language.

While the terrain of her photographic practice is vast, a large body of Ulka's images chronicles life across Switzerland and India. She moves with an ease between the two starkly different worlds, seeing them with 'fresh eyes' every time she visits. Ulka uses her own voice to tell stories inspired by the two diverse spaces she occupies.

Time and space are bystanders in her images as she moves literally and metaphorically between the linear structured world of Switzerland and the cyclical and chaotic world of India.

Her style morphs fluidly with her choice of subject. Using a minimalist narrative, there is an artistic reduction to her compositions as she focuses on just the essential elements to make us look at old things in new ways.

Ulka Chauhan is the sum of all her parts; being rooted on two grounds contouring her identity and compassionate world view.

Her camera is the lens through which she sees the world, and in the process, herself.

A Thousand Dreams
 

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More Great Photographers To Discover

Roger Fenton
United Kingdom
1819 | † 1869
Roger Fenton was a British photographer, noted as one of the first war photographers. He was born into a Lancashire merchant family. After graduating from London with an Arts degree, Fenton became interested in painting and later developed a keen interest in the new technology of photography after seeing early examples at The Great Exhibition in 1851. Within a year, he began exhibiting his own photographs. He became a leading British photographer and instrumental in founding the Photographic Society (later the Royal Photographic Society). It is likely that in autumn 1854, as the Crimean War grabbed the attention of the British public, that some powerful friends and patrons – among them Prince Albert and Duke of Newcastle, Secretary of State for War – urged Roger Fenton to go to the Crimea to record the happenings. The London print publisher Thomas Agnew & Sons became his commercial sponsor. The resulting photographs may have been intended to offset the general unpopularity of the war among the British people, and to counteract the occasionally critical reporting of correspondent William Howard Russell of The Times; the photographs were to be converted into woodblocks and published in the less critical Illustrated London News. He set off aboard HMS Hecla in February, landed at Balaklava on 8 March and remained there until 22 June. Fenton took Marcus Sparling as his photographic assistant, a servant known as William and a large horse-drawn van of equipment. Due to the size and cumbersome nature of his photographic equipment, Fenton was limited in his choice of motifs. Because the photographic material of his time needed long exposures, he was only able to produce pictures of stationary objects, mostly posed pictures; he avoided making pictures of dead, injured or mutilated soldiers. But he also photographed the landscape, including an area near to where the Charge of the Light Brigade – made famous in Tennyson's poem – took place. In letters home soldiers had called the original valley "The Valley of Death", and Tennyson's poem used the same phrase, so when in September 1855 Thomas Agnew put the picture on show, as one of a series of eleven collectively titled Panorama of the Plateau of Sebastopol in Eleven Parts in a London exhibition, he took the troops'—and Tennyson's—epithet, expanded it as The Valley of the Shadow of Death with its deliberate evocation of Psalm 23, and assigned it to the piece; it is not the location of the famous charge, which took place in a long, broad valley several miles to the south-east. Despite summer high temperatures, breaking several ribs in a fall, suffering from cholera and also becoming depressed at the carnage he witnessed at Sevastopol, in all Fenton managed to make over 350 usable large format negatives. An exhibition of 312 prints was soon on show in London and at various places across the nation in the months that followed. Fenton also showed them to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert and also to Emperor Napoleon III in Paris. Nevertheless, sales were not as good as expected. Despite the lack of commercial success for his Crimean photographs, Fenton later travelled widely over Britain to record landscapes and still life images. However, as time moved on, photography became more accessible to the general public. Many people sought to profit from selling quick portraits to common people. It is likely that Fenton, from a wealthy background, disdained 'trade' photographers, but nevertheless still wanted to profit from the art by taking exclusive images and selling them at good prices. He thus fell into conflict with many of his peers who genuinely needed to make money from photography and were willing to 'cheapen their art' (as Fenton saw it), and also with the Photographic Society, who believed that no photographer should soil himself with the 'sin' of exploiting his talent commercially in any manner. Amongst Fenton's photographs from this period are the City of Westminster, including The Palace of Westminster nearing completion in 1857 – almost certainly the earliest images of the building, and the only photographs showing the incomplete Clock Tower. In 1858 Fenton made studio genre studies based on romantically imaginative ideas of Muslim life, such as Seated Odalisque, using friends and models who were not always convincing in their roles. Although well known for his Crimean War photography, his photographic career lasted little more than a decade, and in 1862 he abandoned the profession entirely, selling his equipment and returned to the law as a barrister. Although becoming almost forgotten by the time of his death seven years later he was later formally recognized by art historians for his pioneering work and artistic endeavour. In 1862 the organizing committee for the International Exhibition in London announced its plans to place photography, not with the other fine arts as had been done in the Manchester Art Treasures Exhibition only five years earlier, but in the section reserved for machinery, tools and instruments – photography was considered a craft, for tradesmen. For Fenton and many of his colleagues, this was conclusive proof of photography's diminished status, and the pioneers drifted away. He died 8 August 1869 at his home in Potters Bar, Middlesex after a week-long illness – he was 50 years old. His wife died in 1886. Their graves were destroyed in 1969 when the Potters Bar church where they were buried was deconsecrated and demolished.Source: Wikipedia Roger Fenton is a towering figure in the history of photography, the most celebrated and influential photographer in England during the medium’s “golden age” of the 1850s. Before taking up the camera, he studied law in London and painting in Paris. He traveled to Russia in 1852 and photographed the landmarks of Kiev and Moscow; founded the Photographic Society (later designated the Royal Photographic Society) in 1853; was appointed the first official photographer of the British Museum in 1854; achieved widespread recognition for his photographs of the Crimean War in 1855; and excelled throughout the decade as a photographer in all the medium’s genres—architecture, landscape, portraiture, still life, reportage, and tableau vivant. Fenton’s most widespread acclaim came in 1855, with photographs of the Crimean War, a conflict in which British, French, Sardinian, and Turkish troops battled Russia’s attempt to expand its influence into European territory of the Ottoman empire. Fenton was commissioned by the Manchester publisher Thomas Agnew & Sons to travel to the Crimea and document the war, and his mission was encouraged by the government, which hoped that his photographs would reassure a worried public. Fenton’s extensive documentation of the war—the first such use of photography—included pictures of the port of Balaklava, the camps, the terrain of battle, and portraits of officers, soldiers, and support staff of the various allied armies. Perhaps inspired by the experience of traveling through Constantinople en route to Balaklava, or perhaps simply sharing the mid-nineteenth-century vogue for all things exotic, Fenton produced a theatrical suite of Orientalist compositions during the summer of 1858—costume pieces that strove for high art rather than documentation and that were, in a sense, an antidote to the harsh realities he had recorded in the Crimea. They owed as much to the paintings of Delacroix and Ingres as to Fenton’s own experience in the East. In 1862, after a final series of photographs—a remarkable group of lush still lifes—Fenton sold his equipment and negatives, resigned from the Royal Photographic Society, and returned to the bar. In the course of a single decade, Fenton had played a pivotal role—by advocacy and example—in demonstrating that photography could rival drawing and painting not only as a means of conveying information, but also as a medium of visual delight and powerful expression.Source: Metropolitan Museum of Art
Dasha Pears
Russia
1982
Dasha Pears is an award-winning Russian conceptual photographer, currently based in Helsinki, Finland. Dasha uses the instruments of surrealism, color, and photography to speak about deepest psychological matters, including emotions, states of mind and mind shifts. She started her photographic path in 2011, after reaching burnout in a marketing communications career. Having tried many types of photography, Dasha found herself in the conceptual and fine art sphere. Since then her images have been exhibited in Russia, France, Poland, Austria, Italy and Finland. Dasha's photographs can be found on covers of books published in Europe, the United States and South America. In 2016 Dasha started sharing her experience of organizing conceptual photography shoots and producing surrealist artworks in the form of creative photography workshops. Since then she has held over 15 events in Finland and abroad. Statement Photography turned out to be a way of discovering my true self and expressing it. My works are a reflection of this discovery process and I hope that they can help others who are on the same journey as me. In metaphorical ways I try to show and share processes that are going on in many people's minds: dealing with negative self-talk, being overwhelmed by all kinds of emotions, finding that activity that puts you in the state of flow, when time ceases to exist. My photography is influenced by classical fine art, surrealism, as well as fantasy and science fiction books. The instruments of surrealism help me show that the scene is only partially real and that most of it is going on in the character's mind. My works are carefully composed and many of them are leaning towards minimalism. This is my way of expressing that controlling your mind and creating space is crucial for discovering who you are and who you are not.
Leigh Ann Edmonds
United States
1980
Leigh Ann is a freelance photographer located in a small town just north of Birmingham, Alabama. Her freelance career spans over 20 years as a professional with portrait, commercial and documentary/editorial work for publications and the entertainment industry. Her work has been in ROLLING STONE, VINTAGE GUITAR and B&W MAGAZINE. She is also an award-winning photographer for her portrait titled 'RODEO'. She is an avid trail runner married to a full-time working musician and her work often reflects that of her lifestyle, showcasing her love of adventure, people and the great outdoors. She received a BA in Studio Art and minor in Journalism from the University of Alabama in 2004 and considers photography more about her visual journey than a professional destination. STATEMENT Over the years I have noticed a pattern with my personal works. I often seek out the road less traveled rather it be within my living environment and community or during my travels. The isolation feels comforting and safe for me, as it allows me to slow down, it is here in these moments, when photography becomes my therapy. I've always been intrigued by the unplanned photograph and my work never is pre-conceptualized. I typically don't know what I will end up photographing and often feed off the energy I am given within that moment when I decide to take the image. The act of shooting is more important to me than the image I capture because it is about the connection I have found with the individual or space I come across. I tend to shoot more on sporadic intuition than thinking the shot through. If I feel something, I don't hesitate and click the shutter only to discover the image later, which can add to the excitement of this experience with my camera. The days I find myself inspired to shoot are days that I long for a connection, rather it be connection with others or the space I am in. I have found that over the years, my photography has become more about a glimpse into who I am more than a means to make a living as a professional. The pattern of my work tends to primarily focus on portraits of locals and the environment of small towns documented in black and white. This approach is to give the sense of isolation and nostalgia of small-town living. I don't want my work to feel 'dated' as I hope those viewing my work will also connect them to that place or person without feeling dated or current. I want my work to gather a sense of timelessness to the viewer and to me. I consider my personal works a journal of my life, my adventures, and a sense of belonging somewhere as I hope others will stumble across and 'read' my photographs when I am gone.
Mauro De Bettio
Don Jacobson
United States
The world of photography and the world of the natural wonders of the Sierra Nevada opened to Don Jacobson simultaneously. The photographs he took with his little Kodak Brownie were woefully inadequate to express the grandeur of the Range of Light. Within a week of his first backpack trip into the high country, he bought his first SLR, a Pentax Spotmatic and began to take photography classes. His degree is in electrical engineering and he worked in that field for three years. Working for the defense industry became more of a contradiction with his political views initiating a search for a desperately needed a creative outlet. For the next twenty-eight years he worked as a glassblower. His work was shown in galleries across the United States, and the Corning Museum included a piece of his in their 1986 collection of 200 international glassblowers. Although glassblowing was his "day job*," he continued to practice the art of photography, studying photography with Edmund Teske at UCLA for a year. The two different mediums, are connected by light. The magic of glass is in its ability to transmit and reflect light while photography is the capturing of light. During the years he lived in the San Francisco Bay Area, 1973 through 1976, he amassed 135 images of owner decorated vehicles. He is currently a member of the Portland Photographers Forum and the Interim Group, a critique group originally formed by the influential photographer Minor White. Statement I see the world differently now. The camera, which narrows the field of vision, has actually expanded my vision. When I realized I was viewing reality as if it were a series of photographs, I initially questioned that perspective. Now, I know my perception is enhanced and enriched from my pursuit of photography. An already dynamic and interesting world has become more so. I am delighted by quality of light, vibrancy of color, unexpected and often unnoticed detail. The stunning structure of an orchid, the intricate ornamentation on an older building, or dishes stacked in a dish drainer are fascinating to me. Abstractions and patterns are richer and invite investigation. My subject matter is limitless. Anything that appeals to my eye is fair game for my camera.
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