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Seydou Keta
Seydou Keta
Seydou Keta

Seydou Keta

Country: Mali
Birth: 1921 | Death: 2001

The great African portraitist Seydou Keta lived in Bamako, Mali from 1921 to 2001. A self-taught photographer, he opened a studio in 1948 and specialized in portraiture. Seydou Keta soon photographed all of Bamako and his portraits gained a reputation for excellence throughout West Africa. His numerous clients were drawn by the quality of his photos and his great sense of aesthetics. Many were young men, dressed in European style clothing. Some customers brought in items they wanted to be photographed with but Keta also had a choice of European clothing and accessories - watches, pens, radios, scooter, etc. - which he put at their disposal in his studio. The women came in flowing robes often covering their legs and their throats, only beginning to wear Western outfits in the late 60s. Seydou Keta worked primarily with daylight and for economic reasons took only a single shot for each picture. Seydou Keta was discovered in the West in the 1990s. His first solo exhibition took place in 1994 in Paris at the Fondation Cartier. This was followed by many others in various museums, galleries and foundations worldwide. He is now universally recognized as the father of African photography and considered one of the greatest photographers of the 20th century. "Its easy to take a photo, but what really made a difference was that I always knew how to find the right position, and I never was wrong. Their head slightly turned, a serious face, the position of the hands... I was capable of making someone look really good. The "photos were always very good. Thats why I always say that its a real art." Seydou Keta, Bamako, 1995/1996 Andr Magnin

From en.wikipedia.org
Seydou Keta was born in 1921 in Bamako, although the exact date is unknown. He was the oldest in a family of five children. His father B Tikr and his uncle Timk were furniture makers. Keta developed an interest in photography when his uncle gave him a Kodak Brownie with a film with eight shots in 1935, after returning from a trip to Senegal. In the beginning Keta worked as both a carpenter and photographer, taking first portraits of his family and friends, later of people in the neighborhood. He learned photography and how to develop from Pierre Garnier, a French photographic supply store owner, and from Mountaga Traor, his mentor. In 1948 he set up his first studio in the family house in Bamako-Koura behind the main prison.

From www.gallery51.com
Considered to be one the important precursors of African photography, Seydou Keta was born in Bamako (Mali) in 1920. Like many of his contemporaries, nothing particularly predestined him to become a photographer. His uncles bring back a camera from a trip to Senegal, and the young Seydou is fascinated. He starts photographing his relatives and discovers a deep passion for this art. Although he makes furniture for a living, he spends much time with Pierre Garnier who has his own studio. There, Seydou Keta learns the secrets of the trade and soon realises that there was an enormous demand for individual pictures. This drives him to open his own studio in 1948. Up until then, whites had had a lot of trouble convincing local population to have their pictures taken, because they were so afraid to lose their identity. With Keta it's different: he is one of them and permits them to choose their own picture that will be left for the close family. From then on, we see the opposite effect: people queue up to have their pictures taken. This is to become the great specialty of the malinese artist. Slowly he develops his own style, in which one finds accents of Mountaga Kouyat's work, an intellectual that fought a bitter personal battle for the independence of Soedan. To look their best, that is the sole desire of people in front of Keta's lens. Keta even gives them costumes, accessories and furniture to further enhance their appearance.Men, women and children, all look perfectly elegant. If we look beyond the aesthetics of the black-and-white pictures, Seydou shows us a portrait of Malinese society in full transition. Finally Seydou is to become the country's official photographer, and will stop working in 1977. Nevertheless, it will be many years before his work is noted at the famous "Festival of African Photography".

Source: www.seydoukeitaphotographer.com

 

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Dianne Yudelson
United States
Dianne Yudelson is an award winning photographic artist and master of the New Eclecticism Photography. Her work has been exhibited in Malaysia, France, Thailand, and throughout the USA. Dianne is a 2013 Critical Mass Finalist and a Julia Margaret Cameron Award winner in documentary, as well as street photography. Recent 2013 exhibitions include the Natural History Museum in San Diego California, National Geographic Museum as part of FOTODC, The FENCE 2013 and 2014 in Boston as part of the Magenta Flash Forward Festival, The FENCE 2013 and 2014 in Brooklyn as part of Photoville, the 2014 FENCE in Atlanta as part the ACP festival, and The Center for Fine Art Photography as part of 2013 and 2014 Center Forward. Dianne graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of California, Berkeley.My fascination with photography began upon the realization that, in addition to being a wonderful means of documentation, photography can also be used as a fine art medium. My style is eclectic. In the fine tradition of eclectic artists of our past, from DaVinci to Duchamp to Calder, I embrace the challenge of exploring varied subjects and forms of expression. By that I mean, neither subject matter nor genre solely defines my images; they are defined by my artistic esthetic.Diannes 2013-2014 top honors include "Photographer of the Year" titles from three acclaimed international competitions; Black and White Spider Awards, Photography Masters Cup, and World Photography Gala Awards. In 2013 Dianne received: First Place in the International Photography Awards (IPA) in Fine Art and Collage, GOLD overall category PX3, Grand Prize Winner in the New York Center for Photographic Arts, Gold medalist in San Francisco International Exhibition, , First Place Professional Women Photographers, First Place WPGA Black & White Awards, First Place Texas Photographic Society, and advertising honors in the LICC for a third consecutive year.Throughout my life art has been the one true common thread, the stitches that bind my chapters together. As a photographic artist, I embrace the ability to spotlight my point of view and give a voice to my imagination." All about Dianne Yudelson:AAP: When did you realize you wanted to be a photographer?I realized I wanted to be a photographer when I discovered that, in addition to being a wonderful means of documentation, photography can be used as a fine art medium.AAP: Where did you study photography?I am a self-taught photographer.AAP: How long have you been a photographer?In the summer of 2009 I came across an article in the Rangefinder magazine regarding the Black and White Spider Awards. This article reported that the competition was for amateurs as well as professional photographers. I researched online and discovered that the deadline for entries was in 2 days. During the next two days I photographed and created my composite image entitled Vessels, and entered it in the competition. The following February, Vessels won a nomination in the Abstract category at the 5th Spider Awards. Since 2010 I have considered myself a photographer and I have dedicated myself to photography from that point on, initially creating single images and then moving forward to create whole portfolios of work. Within two years, at the 7th Black and White Spider Awards, I was named Photographer of the Year, Honor of Distinction.AAP: Do you remember your first shot? What was it?I was about 10 years old when I took my first snapshot. Although I have always enjoyed taking pictures, I remember people commenting, Why are you wasting film taking a photo of a lollipop discarded in the street or a chair off in the corner? I do remember the first photograph that elicited the response Whoa you could sell this shot! The comment came from a friend of mine, who was a commercial photographer. I had taken an adventurous trip to England, receiving a camera as a going away gift. Because I was traveling alone, my photos captured my personal vision of the landscape: rowboats near a rivers edge at dawn, silhouettes of statuary at sunset and the delicate curvature of wildflowers as they blew in the autumn breeze. Capturing these photographs sparked my artistic curiosity; consequently, taking the photos became one of the most exciting aspects of my journey abroad.AAP: Do you have a mentor?My mentors are all the eclectic artists who have preceded me. I have honored some of these artists in my series Fusions and Monarchs in Art. In these two series I have utilized stylistic elements of the artists who were important contributors to their artistic movements, monarchs of their medium, while interpreting the subject matter and creating an image truly representative of my own modern artistic style.AAP: What inspires you?I am generally inspired by all things visual, from grand vistas to the reflection of light on a teardrop. Sometimes I am immediately compelled to take a photo and at other times the visual moment triggers a thought process that leads to the creation of a photo or photo series. Every now and then, as an avid reader, I will come across a pairing of words that peak my interest. For example, I created an image to symbolize a concept I had studied in graduate school, Synaptic Euphoria.AAP: How could you describe your style?My style is eclectic. By that I mean I embrace the challenge of exploring varied subjects and forms of artistic expression. As part of this philosophy, I created a new art movement that I call the New Eclecticism. Neither subject matter nor genre solely defines my images; they are defined by my artistic esthetic.As a teen, I performed in musicals. I remember saying, I wish I could sing like Barbara Streisand. My mother pointed out that the world already has a Barbara Streisand. We love Barbara because she is unique. To be unique you must be yourself as the world only has one of you. From that day forward, I have understood that to be original, you must remain true to yourself and your vision.AAP: What kind of gear do you use?I am a Nikon girl -- camera, lenses and speedlights.AAP: Do you spend a lot of time editing your images?Sometimes yes and other times no. I will say that, when I am in the process of editing or creating images, time seems to disappear; I am in my own world. When I am not shooting or creating, I am thinking about what needs to be taken care of, so that I can get back to my art.AAP: What advice would you give a young photographer?I teach a photography group and I always advise them to keep the elements of composition in mind, photograph what inspires them and, if an idea hits you out of the blue, take a second to notate it for use later. Above all else, allow your images to serve as self-expression.AAP: Do you have an idea or project you would like to share?Recently, I have focused on my nature and wildlife photography. I have always loved birds and will sit in a field, by a stream or in a ditch along the side of a road for an hour or more to capture an elusive species or to wait for that moment of interaction. As a very young girl my fondest memory was sitting on my grandmothers porch while she showed me tintypes of my great grandmother and other loved ones. Holding these tintypes in my hand and gazing into the eyes of my ancestors while hearing stories of my grandmothers childhood was an experience I hold dear to my heart. Those tintypes were my first exposure to the art of photography. My series "Antique Aviary" is a melding of my lifelong passion for birds, my wildlife photography and my deep appreciation of the tintype image.AAP: What was your worst memory as a photographer?In April of this year I drove 400 miles to hand deliver my framed image Great Horned Owl from my Antique Aviary to the SMASHBOX exhibition during MOPLA (Month of Photography Los Angeles). Upon exiting my rental car, I took two steps and tripped into a 12inch pothole in the parking lot across the street from the Smashbox Studios in Hollywood and broke my foot.AAP: What is your best memory as a photographer?One day I was taking a drive with my 9 year old son. We were driving down a country road appreciating the tall mustard grass. Suddenly I spotted a 6 foot fence pole that was literally covered with bees. I pulled over, jumped out of the car and grabbed my camera from the trunk as well as a jacket to throw over my head. I told my son to stay in the car and take some photos with his little camera, but not to roll down the window. Bees were flying over my head and around my body to get to the pole. As I attempted to focus on the bees I realized that all these bees were vibrating up and down the pole. In order to get the shot, I was going to have to move in very close. At a couple of feet away I took the photos in my series A Gathering of Bees. When I returned to the car my son was a bit distraught. I said "Im sorry if I took too long" and he said, But Mommy, youre allergic to bees. What if they swarmed you? What would I do? I shall always remember the look on his face when I told him that if they swarmed me, Take the Shot!
Gilles Nicolet
France
1960
I am a self-taught photographer who spent 35 years living and working in Africa, with long stays in Somalia, West Africa and Tanzania. I started out as an agricultural engineer but soon switched to photography in order to follow an old passion. I have since shot numerous stories for all sorts of magazines, including the Sunday Times Magazine, National Geographic Magazine, Geo, the Smithsonian and Paris-Match. I have a special interest in anthropology and ethnography, something that - I hope - has helped me capture the essence of my subjects. In the past most of my stories where about rare traditions that somehow linked man and wildlife, but Africa has changed a lot in the last few decades and unfortunately most of these traditions have now disappeared. My recent work has therefore been more personal and contemplative and less focused on narrative picture stories meant for magazines. In fact, today my interest lies in the convergence between art and documentary photography. I have also moved away from color photography and now only shoot in black and white. My work has received several major awards, including a World Press Photo Award and a Fuji Award. My latest project on the Swahili Coast also obtained the following recognitions: 2017 HIPA Hamdan International Photography Awards - 2nd Prize, Portfolio Category 2017 Elliott Erwitt Havana Fellowship - Nominee 2017 Seventh Annual Exposure Photography Awards - Winner 2017 IPA International Photography Awards - 2nd Prize, People/Culture Category 2017 Meitar Award - Nominee 2017 Monochrome Photography Awards - Photojournalism/Professional - Two Honorable Mentions 2017 Monochrome Photography Awards - People/Professional - Honorable Mention 2018 CAP Contemporary African Photography Prize - Finalist 2018 SIPA Contest - Honorable Mention 2019 SOPHOT Award - Winner This work on the Swahili Coast is featured in "Swahili", a book released by Contrejour Publishers in May 2019 (available on amazon.fr and amazon.co.uk). Six degrees south The Zanzibar archipelago, an highly evocative name even for those who are quite unable to locate it on a map, lies six degrees south of the Equator. It is also the exact geographical center of the Swahili Coast, a unique physical, historical and cultural entity running from Southern Somalia to Mozambique, which first grew in the 10th century through trade with the Arab world, India and China. Gold, coconut, ebony, mangrove wood, sisal, myrrh and the infamous slave trade helped make the wealth of this region, slowly shaping it and giving it its unique present character. For a thousand years now, wooden dhows have sailed these lonely shores, with their characteristic white cotton sails, using the monsoon winds to help traders move goods between Africa and Arabia. And for a thousand years too, fishermen have ploughed these rich seas for their bounty of fish, contributing with the traders to the emergence of rich city-ports like Stone Town or Mombasa. But all of this is changing now. A combination of overfishing by both local and foreign ships, population increase, changes in weather patterns as well as the recent discovery of huge gas fields in the region, is threatening this fragile equilibrium. The fishing communities that occupy these shores are particularly at risk, and it could be that we are now witnessing the last of fishing and sailing traditions that had remained largely unchanged since Ibn Battuta, the famous 12th Century Arab explorer, first described them in his travel memoirs. With this recent work I have tried to testify to the unique beauty and timelessness of the Swahili Coast, and to record it for generations to come. It is a personal, melancholic, sometimes dreamy vision of a place and a culture that are very dear to my heart but which, I now realise, may soon disappear.
Laura Heyman
United States
Laura Heyman was born in Essex County, New Jersey. She received a B.F.A in photography from University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA, and an M.F.A. from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, MI. Heymans work has been exhibited at Luggage Store Gallery, San Francisco, CA, Deutsches Polen Institute, Darmstadt, DE, Ampersand International Arts, San Francisco, CA, Senko Studio, Viborg, DK, Silver Eye Gallery, Pittsburgh, PA, The Palitz Gallery, New York, NY, Light Work Gallery, Syracuse, NY, The Ghetto Biennale, Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Philadelphia Photographic Arts Center, Philadelphia, PA, The Laguna Art Museum, Laguna, CA, The United Nations, New York, NY and The National Portrait Gallery, London, UK.In 2010, she was nominated for a John Guttman Photography Fellowship, and was awarded a Light Work Mid-Career Artist Grant. She has received the Silver Eye Fellowship, a Ragdale Fellowship and multiple NYFA Strategic Opportunity Stipends. Heyman has curated exhibitions and panel discussions at Vox Pouli, Philadelphia, PA, Wonderland Art Space, Copenhagen DK and the Clocktower Gallery, New York, NY, and her work has been reviewed and profiled in The New Yorker, Contact Sheet, Frontiers, and ARTnews.Pa Bouje Ank: Dont Move Again uses the studio portrait to explore embedded hierarchies between photographers, subjects and viewers. The work is driven in part by longstanding questions around photographic representation, specifically those involving the voyeurism and objectification of so-called third world subjects by first world artists. Seeking to examine these questions in depth, I established an outdoor portrait studio in the Grand Rue neighborhood of Port-au-Prince, Haiti in late November 2009. Advertisements circulated news about a photography studio in the area, where members of the local community could schedule appointments to have their portraits made for free. Working in black and white with an 8x10 camera, I photographed one hundred and twenty people over a period of two weeks.Three weeks later, the meaning of those images shifted with the earthquake. They became both records and memorials. That event also changed the focus of the project, which evolved to include various expanding populations in Port-au-Prince tied to future development and reconstruction.Issues of representation, visual sovereignty and cultural protocol, central to the project from the beginning, became more complicated after the earthquake. When I first arrived in Port-au-Prince, I imagined that positioning myself as a studio photographer would allow me to escape or subvert the complex tangle of hierarchies at play in Haiti, as well as in the exchange between photographer and subject. Neither has been the case. Instead, layers of meaning and intention continue to reveal themselves, expanding the project's framework and engaging the myriad contradictions and impossibilities present in the works original question.All about Laura Heyman:AAP: When did you realize you wanted to be a photographer?I began making photographs in high school, and knew I wanted to be a photographer before going to college.AAP: Where did you study photography?At University of the Arts in Philadelphia, I studied with Jack Carnell and Alida Fish. At Cranbrook Academy of Art, where I got my MFA, I studied with Carl Toth, and also Grant Kester, who taught Critical Theory at the school during my first year there.AAP:Do you have a mentor or role model?I dont know that Id say I have a mentor there are peers I look to regularly for advice and feedback on my work.AAP: Do you remember your first shot? What was it?One of my first shots was the stream in my grandparents backyard in Phonecia, New York. 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Lately that has meant using Ilford HP5 black and white film with a Deardorff 8X10 camera and a 300 mm lens.AAP: Do you spend a lot of time editing your images?For me, editing (by which I mean deciding what images are included in a series, not post-production) is at least fifty percent of the job. I spend as much, if not more time editing a series as I do producing it.AAP: Favorite(s) photographer(s)?Collier Schorr, Robert Adams, Rineke Djikstra, Zoe Strauss, Luc DelahayeAAP: What advice would you give a young photographer?Know what you want. Shoot twice as much as you think you should. Be prepared to shoot and re-shoot until you get what you want.AAP: Your best memory as a photographer?A number of photographs I made of some friends while we waited in a car for the ferry. It was cold out, and we were all inside, smoking. The images captured the moment and the subjects very precisely although this was over twenty years ago, they still have an immediacy that thrills me.AAP: Your worst souvenir as a photographer?A little while ago I was shooting some portraits on a very sunny day, and forgot to flag the lens. The negatives l ended up with were completely fogged and unusable.AAP: If you could have taken the photographs of someone else who would it be?Either Robert Adams What We Bought, or Collier Schorrs Jens F. Both books have a real hold on me Im completely consumed every time I open one up. And after years of looking at them, they still surprise and fascinate me.
Cara Weston
United States
Cara Weston is a fine art photographer living and working in the Big Sur area of California. She is the daughter of renowned photographer Cole Weston and actress Helen Prosser-Weston, niece of Brett Weston and granddaughter of Edward Weston - recognized as the leading visionary in modern photography. Having worked with her father Cole and Uncle Brett, as well as Rod Dresser, photographer and assistant to Ansel Adams, Cara has followed the path of her heritage. The body of work she has created over the past two decades respects the craftsmanship tradition of the medium and reflects a unique voice within her family. It now stands alongside her famous descendants as a prime example of fine art image making in the twenty-first century.In addition to her work as a photographer, Cara is the former director of the internationally renowned Weston Gallery in Carmel. As director she curated shows that included exhibitions for luminaries such as Yousuf Karsh, Ansel Adams, Michael Kenna and of course Edward, Cole and Brett Weston. In addition to the gallery exhibitions she has produced, Cara has also curated several art shows in Los Angeles and New York that have featured the best works of todays art photographers.Cara is also the proud mother of two wonderful daughters and has just published her first book of photographs, Head in the Clouds; a compilation of her best works from various portfolios and one that studies the strength and ephemeral beauty existing above our horizon. Her work can be viewed on her website www.carawestonphotography.com and is in several international exhibits and collections.
Michael Philip Manheim
United States
1940
Michael Philip Manheim, born in the U.S. in 1940, is widely recognized both for his documentary and for his innovative multiple exposure photographs. Both categories encompass images that promote feelings. Most celebrate human emotion as a primal link that unifies all of humankind. Michael Philip Manheim's photography has been exhibited throughout the United States and internationally, in over 20 solo exhibitions and 30 group shows. His work has been featured extensively online, as well as in hundreds of books and magazines such as Zoom (U.S. and Italy), Photographers International (Taiwan), La Fotografia (Spain), and Black and White Magazine (U.S.). Manheim's photographs are held in private as well as public collections including the Library of Congress, the International Photography Hall of Fame, the National Archives, the Danforth Museum of Art, and the Bates College Museum of Art. Artist Statement: How Once We Looked The world I experienced, as the 1940s slid into the 1950s and beyond I'm delighted to share this sampling of my photography. When I created the snapshot of Little Sister, my four year old sister, I had no idea that I would be pursuing photography as an avocation, let alone a profession. Our mother did her best to expose my sister and me to the arts, even enrolling me in classes with adults at a local art center. As a youngster, I knew I wasn't good enough at painting. But I did have a sense of a composition. And I did have a science teacher at State Street Junior High School, Miss Ayers, who had set up a small darkroom and invited me to use it. Bingo! Shazam! Whatever you say, when the light literally turns on. I became enamored of photography. I was living in a Rust Belt town in Ohio where I didn't belong, in the 1950s. And what to do when you don't fit local norms? Entering my teen years, I hid behind a camera. My swords and shields as I moved on to high school began with the Speed Graphics assigned in photography class. It was unusual to have a high school photography course in that era, and I blossomed in that narrow sphere. I became a local treasure, winning in contests but with a whole lot to learn and a vital need to grow myself up. It took grit, I now realize, to escape the confines of a family business and the confines of the values of my community. But I didn't know that then. All I knew was that I had a passion that I must explore. Working strenuously to catch up, after college, I created a profession for myself. Today I look back with perspective and wonder. I see that I had a fascination with movement, as well as with light. I see that I developed reflexively and intuitively, in capturing the essence of a moment. I see that the innate compositional sense expanded into a style. And so on, all insights offering me a chance to pause and reflect as I go forward. My circuitous route through a long career in professional photography has swung back to my roots. Curators and collectors now appreciate photojournalism as fine art. So do the bloggers who are displaying my images. There's a message there! Hence into the archives I've plunged to see now what I saw long ago. I'm digitizing a series of nostalgic images that are going into my own blog and into a series of monographs. I'm creating a book series called How Once We Were, starting with an update of this earlier presentation of my nostalgic photography: www.MichaelPhilipManheim.com
Minor White
United States
1908 | † 1976
Minor Martin White was an American photographer, theoretician, critic and educator. He combined an intense interest in how people viewed and understood photographs with a personal vision that was guided by a variety of spiritual and intellectual philosophies. Starting in Oregon in 1937 and continuing until he died in 1976, White made thousands of black-and-white and color photographs of landscapes, people and abstract subject matter, created with both technical mastery and a strong visual sense of light and shadow. He taught many classes, workshops and retreats on photography at the California School of Fine Arts, Rochester Institute of Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, other schools, and in his own home. He lived much of his life as a closeted gay man, afraid to express himself publicly for fear of loss of his teaching jobs, and some of his most compelling images are figure studies of men whom he taught or with whom he had relationships. He helped start and for many years was editor of the photography magazine Aperture. After his death in 1976, White was hailed as one of America's greatest photographers. White was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the only child of Charles Henry White, a bookkeeper, and Florence May White, a dressmaker. His first name came from his great, great grandfather from the White family side, and his middle name was his mother's maiden name. During his early years he spent much of his time with his grandparents. His grandfather, George Martin, was an amateur photographer and gave White his first camera in 1915. As a child White enjoyed playing in the large garden at his grandparents' home, and this influenced his decision later on to study botany in college. White's parents went through a series of separations starting in 1916, and during those periods White lived with his mother and her parents. His parents reconciled for a while in 1922 and remained together until they divorced in 1929. By the time White graduated from high school he was already aware of his latent homosexuality. In 1927 he wrote about his feelings for men in his diary, and to his dismay his parents read his diary without his permission. After what he called a brief crisis period, during which he left home for the summer, he returned to live with his family while he started college. His parents never spoke of his homosexuality again. White entered the University of Minnesota in 1927 and majored in botany. By the time he should have graduated in 1931 he had not met the requirements for a science degree, and he left the university for a while. During this period he became very interested in writing, and he started a personal journal that he called "Memorable Fancies." In it he wrote poems, intimate thoughts about his life and his struggles with his sexuality, excerpts from letters that he wrote to others, occasional diary-like entries about his daily life, and, later on, extensive notes about his photography. He continued to fill the pages of his journal until he directed most of his energy into teaching around 1970. In 1932 White re-entered the university and studied both writing and botany. With his previous credits, he was able to graduate in 1934. The next year he took some graduate classes in botany, but after six months he decided that he lacked real interest in becoming a scientist. He spent the next two years doing odd jobs and exploring his writing skills. During this period he began creating a set of 100 sonnets on the theme of sexual love, his first attempt at grouping his creative output. In late 1937 White decided to move to Seattle. He purchased a 35mm Argus camera and took a bus trip across country toward his destination. He stopped in Portland, Oregon, on his way and decided to stay there. For the next 2-1/2 years he lived at the YMCA in Portland while he explored photography in depth for the first time. It was at the YMCA that he taught his first class in photography, to a small group of young adults. He also joined the Oregon Camera Club in order to learn about how photographers talk about their own images and what photography means to them. White was offered a job in 1938 as photographer for the Oregon Art Project, which was funded by the Works Progress Administration. One of his tasks was to photograph historic buildings in downtown Portland before they were demolished for a new riverfront development. At this same time he made publicity photos for the Portland Civic Theater, documenting their plays and taking portraits of the actors and actresses. In 1940 White was hired to teach photography at the La Grande Art Center in eastern Oregon. He quickly became immersed in his work and taught classes three days a week, lectured on art of local students, reviewed exhibitions for the local newspaper and delivered a weekly radio broadcast about activities at the Art Center. In his spare time he traveled throughout the region, taking photographs of the landscape, farms and small town buildings. He also wrote his first article on photography, "When is Photography Creative?," which was published in American Photography magazine two years later. White resigned from the Art Center in late 1941 and returned to Portland where he intended to start a commercial photography business. That year three of his photographs were accepted by the Museum of Modern Art in New York for inclusion in their "Image of Freedom" exhibition. At the close of the exhibition the museum purchased all three prints, the first time his images entered a public collection. The following year the Portland Art Museum gave White his first one-man show, exhibiting four series of photos he made while in eastern Oregon. He wrote in his journal that with that show "a period came to a close." In April 1942 White was drafted into the United States Army and hid his homosexuality from the recruiters. Before leaving Portland he left most of his negatives of historic Portland buildings with the Oregon Historical Society. White spent the first two years of World War II in Hawaii and in Australia, and later he became Chief of the Divisional Intelligence Branch in the southern Philippines. During this period he rarely photographed, choosing instead to write poetry and extended verse. Three of his longer poems, "Elegies," "Free Verse for the Freedom of Speech," and "Minor Testament," spoke to his experiences during the war and to the bonds of men under extreme conditions. Later he would use some of the text from "Minor Testament" in his photographic sequence Amputations. After the war White traveled to New York City and enrolled in Columbia University. While in New York he met and became close friends with Beaumont and Nancy Newhall, who were working in the newly formed photography department at the Museum of Modern Art. White was offered a job as photographer for the museum and spent many hours talking with and learning from Nancy Newhall, who he said strongly influenced his thinking about and his direction in photography. In February 1946 White had the first of several meetings with photographer Alfred Stieglitz in New York. White knew of Stieglitz's deep understanding of photography from his various writings, and through their conversations White adopted much of Stieglitz's theory of equivalence, where the image stands for something other than the subject matter, and his use of sequencing pictorial imagery. At one of their meetings White wrote in his journal that he expressed his doubt that he was ready to become a serious photographer. He wrote that Stieglitz asked him "Have you ever been in love?" White answered "yes," and Stieglitz replied "Then you can photograph." During this time, White met and became friends with some of the major photographers of the time, including Berenice Abbott, Edward Steichen, Paul Strand, Edward Weston, and Harry Callahan. Steichen, who was director of the photography department at the Museum of Modern Art, offered White a curatorial position at the museum, but instead White accepted an offer from Ansel Adams to assist him at the newly created photography department at the California School of Fine Arts (CSFA) in San Francisco. White moved to San Francisco in July and lived in the same house as Adams for several years. While there Adams taught White about his Zone System method of exposing and developing negatives, which White used extensively in his own work. He wrote extensively about it, published a book and taught the exposure and development method as well as the practice of (pre)-visualization to his students. While in San Francisco White became close friends with Edward Weston in Carmel, and for the remainder of his life Weston had a profound influence on White's photography and philosophy. Later he said "...Stieglitz, Weston and Ansel all gave me exactly what I needed at that time. I took one thing from each: technique from Ansel, the love of nature from Weston, and from Stieglitz the affirmation that I was alive and I could photograph." Over the next several years White spent a great deal of time photographing at Point Lobos, the site of some of Weston's most famous images, approaching many of the same subjects with entirely different viewpoints and creative purposes. By mid-1947 White was the primary teacher at CSFA and had developed a three-year course that emphasized personal expressive photography. Over the next six years he brought in as teachers some of the best photographers of the time, including Imogen Cunningham, Lisette Model, and Dorothea Lange. During this time White created his first grouping of photos and text in a non-narrative form, a sequence he called Amputations. Although it was scheduled to be shown at the California Palace of the Legion of Honor, the exhibition was canceled because White refused to allow the photographs to be shown without text, which included some wording that expressed his ambiguity about America's post-war patriotism. From The Temptation of St. Anthony Is Mirrors (1948) The next three years were some of White's most prolific in terms of creative output. In addition to taking dozens of land- and waterscapes, he made dozens of photographs that evolved into some of his most compelling sequences. Three in particular showed his continuing struggles with his sexuality. Song Without Words, The Temptation of St. Anthony Is Mirrors, and Fifth Sequence/Portrait of a Young Man as Actor all depict "the emotional turmoil he feels over his love and desire for men." In 1949 White purchased a small Zeiss Ikonta camera and began a series of urban street photographs. Over the next four years he took nearly 6,000 images, all inspired by his newfound interest in the poetry of Walt Whitman. The project, which he called City of Surf, included photographs of San Francisco's Chinatown, the docks, people on the streets and various parades and fairs around town. The period of 1951-52 is one of the formative times in White's career. He participated in a Conference on Photography at the Aspen Institute, where the idea of creating a new journal of photography was discussed by Ansel Adams, Dorothea Lange, Beaumont and Nancy Newhall, Frederick Sommer and others. Soon after Aperture magazine was founded by many of these same individuals. White volunteered for and was approved as editor, and the first issue appeared in April 1952. Aperture quickly became one of the most influential magazines about photography, and White remained as editor until 1975. Near the end of 1952 White's father, from whom he had been estranged for many years, died in Long Beach, California. In 1953 Walter Chappell introduced White to the I Ching, an ancient Chinese book of philosophy and divination, and White continued to be influenced by and refer to this text throughout the rest of his life. He was especially intrigued by the concepts of yin and yang, in which apparently opposite or contrary forces may be conceived as complementary. Later that same year a reorganization at CSFS resulted in White's teaching role being cut back, and as a result he began to think about a change in his employment. Concurrently, Beaumont Newhall had recently become the curator at the George Eastman House in Rochester, New York, and Newhall invited White to work with him there as a curatorial assistant. He exhibited September 28 - November 3 1954 at Limelight Gallery in New York and was included in that gallery's Great Photographs at the end of that year.[16] Over the next three years White organized three themed exhibitions[where?] that demonstrated his particular interests: Camera Consciousness, The Pictorial Image and Lyrical and Accurate. In 1955 he joined the faculty at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), where he taught one day a week. White's photographic output declined during this time due to his teaching and editorial work, but he continued to produce enough images that by the end of 1955 he had created a new sequence, Sequence 10/Rural Cathedrals, which included landscape images from upstate New York that were shot on regular and infrared film. By 1955 White was fully engaged in teaching, having been appointed as instructor at the new four-year photography program at RIT as well as conducting classes and workshops at Ohio University and Indiana University. Walter Chappell moved to Rochester later in the year to work at the George Eastman House. Chappell engaged White in long discussions about various Eastern religions and philosophies. White began practicing Zen meditation and adopted a Japanese style of decoration in his house. Over the next two years the discussions between White and Chappell metamorphosed into lengthy discourses about the writing and philosophy of George Gurdjieff. White gradually became an adherent of Gurdjieff's teachings and started to incorporate Gurdjieff's thinking into the design and implementation of his workshops. Gurdjieff's concepts, for White, were not just intellectual exercises but guides to experience, and they greatly influenced much of his approach to teaching and photography throughout the rest of his life. During this same period White began making his first color images. Although he is better known for his black-and-white photography, he produced many color photographs. His archive contains nearly 9,000 35mm transparencies taken between 1955 and 1975. In 1959 White mounted a large exhibition of 115 photos of his Sequence 13/Return to the Bud at the George Eastman House. It was his largest exhibition to date. It later traveled to the Portland Art Museum in Oregon. White was invited to teach a 10-days', all-expense paid workshop in Portland to accompany the exhibition. He took advantage of the funding to photograph landscapes and did nature studies across the country. From his experience in Portland he developed the idea for a full-time residential workshop in Rochester in which students would learn through both formal sessions and, following a combination of thinking from Gurdjieff and from Zen, through an understanding gained by the discipline of such tasks as household chores and early morning workouts. He would continue this style of residential teaching until he died. In the early 1960s White also studied hypnosis and incorporated the practice into some of his teachings as a way of helping students experience photographs. White continued to teach extensively both privately and at RIT for the next several years. During this time he traveled across the U.S. in the summers taking photographs along the way. In his journal he referred to himself during this period as "The Wanderer," which had both literal and metaphorical meanings due to his search for understanding life. In 1962 he met Michael Hoffman, who became a friend, colleague and, later, assumed the editorship of Aperture magazine. White later named Hoffman to be the executor of his will. In 1965 White was invited to help design a newly formed program in visual arts at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, Massachusetts, near Boston. After being appointed as a Visiting Professor, White moved to the Boston area and purchased a 12-room house in suburban Arlington so he could increase the size of his residential workshops for selected students. Soon after moving to the Boston area, he completed a different kind of sequence called Slow Dance, which he would later integrate into his teachings. He continued to explore how people understand and interpret photography and began to incorporate techniques of Gestalt psychology into his teachings. In order to help his students experience the meaning of "equivalence," he started requiring them to draw certain subjects as well as photograph them. White began to experience periodic discomfort in his chest in 1966, and his doctor diagnosed his ailment as angina. His symptoms continued throughout the rest of his life, leading him to intensify his study of spiritual matters and meditation. He turned to astrology in an attempt to increase his understanding about life, and his interest in it became so significant that he required all of his current and prospective students to have their horoscopes completed. By this point in his life White's unorthodox teaching methods were well established, and students who went through his workshops were both mystified and enlightened by the experience. One student who later became a Zen monk said "I really wanted to learn to see the way he did, to capture my subjects in a way that didn't render them lifeless and two-dimensional. I didn't realize that Minor was teaching us exactly that: not only to see images, but to feel them, smell them, taste them. He was teaching us how to be photography." White began writing the text for Mirrors, Messages, Manifestations, which was the first monograph of his photographs, in late 1966, and three years later the book was published by Aperture. It included 243 of his photographs and text, including poems, notes from his journal and other writings. Peter Bunnell, who was one of White's early students and then Curator of Photography at the Museum of Modern Art, wrote a lengthy biography of White for the book. During this same time White completed Sequence 1968, a series of landscape images from his recent travels. During the next several years White conceived of and directed four major themed photography exhibitions at MIT, starting with "Light7" in 1968 and followed by "Be-ing without Clothes" in 1970, "Octave of Prayer" in 1972 and "Celebrations" in 1974. Anyone could submit images for the shows, and White spent a great deal of time personally reviewing all of the submissions and selecting the final images. White continued to teach extensively and make his own photographs even though his health was declining. He devoted more and more time to his writing and began a long text he called "Consciousness in Photography and the Creative Audience," in which he referred to his 1965 sequence Slow Dance and advanced the idea that certain states of heightened awareness were necessary to truly read a photograph and understand its meaning. In order to complete this work he applied for and received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1970, and Consciousness in Photography and the Creative Audience became required reading for a new course he taught at MIT called "Creative Audience." in 1971 he traveled to Puerto Rico to explore more of his color photography, and in 1974 and 1975 he journeyed to Peru to teach and to further his own Gurdjieff studies. In 1975 White traveled to England to lecture at the Victoria and Albert Museum and to teach classes at various colleges. He continued on a hectic travel schedule for several weeks, then flew directly to the University of Arizona in Tucson to take part in a symposium there. When he returned to Boston after nearly six weeks of travel, he suffered a heart attack and was hospitalized for several weeks. After this White's focus turned even more inward, and he photographed very little. He spent much of his time with his student Abe Frajndlich, who made a series of situational portraits of White around his home and in his garden. A few months before his death White published a short article in Parabola magazine called "The Diamond Lens of Fable" in which he associated himself with Gilgamesh, Jason and King Arthur, all heroes of old tales about lifelong quests. On June 24, 1976, White died of a second heart attack while working at his home. He bequeathed all of his personal archives and papers, along with a large collection of his photographs, to Princeton University. He left his house to Aperture so they could continue the work he started there. Source: Wikipedia
Vladimir Nosalskiy (Lenin)
Russia Federation
1973
I was born in USSR on June 10-th 1973. My pseudonyms in arts is Lenin. Back there our country was far from being open towards new ways of self-expression such as modern art, creative photography or so. For a long time everything people could percept from art and culture has been gray and monotonous. My childhood passed in criminal district. However, both of my parents are self-educated artists. I am sure that my ability to see beauty in ordinary, routine things originates from my family. Photography itself appeared in my life when I was 10.With my father's camera Zenith; I discovered all the nearby corners of my district, all the parks and squares. When I was teenager, the only way to make surrounding world more beautiful was to go studying as a tailor, which was the only creative profession in our town back there. During Perestroika Russia moved from cultural aspects of governmental policy into market economy, which made a life of an artist hard. I built into the system by creating decorations and shows for governmental and business events. However, I always missed the camera, it was my companion everywhere. I took pictures of the art plans, events, nature, city and travel. However, my comeback to real inspirational photoshoots happened several years ago. "Contemplate, create, enjoy" - has become my moto since I was young. I had several personal exhibitions art & photo: 1999, "26 steps", Moscow, Russia, 2000, "Cocoon-2000", Moscow, Russia. And several group exhibitions 1999, "Kazantip", "Kazantip-2" The exhibition of young artists "Lenin i Deti", Moscow, Russia, 2016, "Planet Moscow 2016" , Moscow, Russia. My inspiration in photography and arts are: Alexander Rodchenko, Auguste Rodin, Billy Monk, Claude Monet, Francisco Josè de Goya, Hieronymus Bosch, Ivan Bilibin, Jackson Pollock, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Leonardo da Vinci, René Magritte, Vladimir Tatlin, Wassily Kandinsky.
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