All about photo: photo contests, photography exhibitions, galleries, schools, books and venues.
Barbara Crane
Barbara Crane

Barbara Crane

Country: United States
Birth: 1928 | Death: 2019

Barbara Crane (March 19, 1928 – August 7, 2019) was an American artist photographer born in Chicago, IL. Crane worked with a variety of materials including Polaroid, gelatin silver, and platinum prints among others. She was known for her experimental and innovative work that challenges the straight photograph by incorporating sequencing, layered negatives, and repeated frames. Naomi Rosenblum notes that Crane "pioneered the use of repetition to convey the mechanical character of much of contemporary life, even in its recreational aspects."

Crane began her studies in art history at Mills College in Oakland, California in 1945. She transferred to New York University in 1948. In 1950, she received her BA in art history from New York University. After recommencing her career in photography, Barbara Crane showed a portfolio of her work to Aaron Siskind in 1964 and was admitted to the Graduate Program in Photography at the Institute of Design at the Illinois Institute of Technology. Crane then studied under Siskind at the Institute of Design, Illinois Institute of Technology, and received her MS from the Institute in 1966.

Crane’s master’s degree thesis focused on “sculptural patterns through abstractions of the human body.” The images for this series depict bodies against white or black backgrounds – the overexposed, overdeveloped nature of the film turns these bodies into abstract outlines. John Rohrbach states, “each body almost dissolves, becoming a sinuous river flowing across a snowy landscape. This unnerving disconnect between what is seen and what is known would become a central theme of her career.”

In 1971, Crane visited Ansel Adams at his home to show him a selection of her work. Adams told an assistant “See I told you photographers could still do something different” upon viewing her Repeats series. After this encounter, Adams hired Crane to teach workshops at Yosemite between 1977-1980. During Crane’s Guggenheim Fellowship (1979), she collaborated with the Center for Creative Photography in Tucson, Arizona to create a career retrospective of her work. During her time in Boston, she formed a relationship with the Polaroid Corporation and through the Polaroid Artist Support Program she experimented with Polaroid black & white and color photographic materials in numerous series.

In 1995, Crane became Professor Emeritus at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Barbara Crane's work is represented in numerous public collections including the International Center of Photography, New York City; the George Eastman Museum, Rochester, NY; the Art Institute of Chicago; The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; the National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; and the WestLicht Museum of Photography, Vienna, Austria.

Crane's archive resides at the Center for Creative Photography at the University of Arizona in Tucson, AZ.

Source: Wikipedia


 

Selected Books

Inspiring Portfolios

Call for Entries
AAP Magazine #27: Colors
Publish your work in AAP Magazine and win $1,000 Cash Prizes
 
Stay up-to-date  with call for entries, deadlines and other news about exhibitions, galleries, publications, & special events.

More Great Photographers To Discover

Brian Ulrich
United States
1971
Brian Ulrich is an American photographer known for his exploration of consumer culture. Ulrich's work is held many collections including the Art Institute of Chicago and the Cleveland Museum of Art. Photo District News named Ulrich as one of 30 Emerging Photographers (2007). He was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship (2009). His work has been featured in the New York Times Magazine; Time Magazine; Mother Jones; Artforum; and Harper’s. Aperture and the Cleveland Museum of Art published his first major monograph, Is This Place Great or What (2011). The Anderson Gallery published the catalog Closeout: Retail, Relics and Ephemera (2013).Source: Rhode Island School of Design Ulrich was born in Northport, New York, and lives in Providence, Rhode Island. He received a BFA in photography from University of Akron in Akron, Ohio (1996) and an MFA in photography from Columbia College Chicago (2004). He has taught photography at Columbia College Chicago and Gallery 37, both in Chicago; and at the University of Akron. He is an Associate Professor of Photography at the Rhode Island School of Design. In 2001 in response to a national call for citizens to bolster the American economy through shopping, Ulrich began a project to document consumer culture. This project, Copia, is a series of large-scale photographs of shoppers, retail spaces, and displays of goods. Initially focused on big-box retail establishments and shoppers, the series expanded to include thrift stores, back rooms of retail businesses, art fairs, and most recently empty retail stores and dead malls. Ulrich works with a combination of 4×5 large format and medium format cameras, and also incorporates found objects as sculpture, juxtaposed with his photographs on gallery walls.Source: Wikipedia
Bastiaan Woudt
The Netherland
1987
Bastiaan Woudt (1987, NL) is a sought-after photographer that started a mere ten years ago without formal training. Besides his raw talent, he owes his rise in the art world to a strong work ethic and an entrepreneurial edge. From emotive portraits to mystic landscape photography, he is known to capture monochrome minimalism at its finest. Bastiaan Woudt began his journey into photography both by diving into photography books and experimenting with modern techniques. He learnt from the masters such as Irving Penn and Richard Avedon while exploring his own artistic instinct. Soon enough, Woudt was winning International awards and saw his work hung up in high-end galleries. With charcoal tones and elegant compositions, his photography feels like stepping into a modern painting. Light and shadow dance elegantly. You'll find a hint of surrealism as the sober shades ask you to see only the essence and awakens every detail. His work is minimalistic yet moves, playing with the beauty of imperfection — again, inspired by 50s, 60s and 70s photography. He honours this photography while exploring how modern in-camera methods and post-production can elevate the style of today. Woudt uses his gut feeling to guide the process. You’ll rarely find mood boards in his studio or detailed shooting lists. He stumbles on his subjects by letting people and places catch his eye. He distinguishes himself with a signature style and the high-end, artistic quality of his imagery. Besides intricate portraits and minimalistic nudes, he uses his talent to capture places like Nepal and Morocco. Woudt’s work has been exhibited widely at international fairs and museums such as Paris Photo, AIPAD New York, Photo London, Photo Shanghai and Fotografiska. His portfolio includes work for clients such as Harper's Bazaar, British Vogue, New York Magazine and Numéro Paris — to name a few. Besides being a renowned photographer, Bastiaan Woudt has an entrepreneurial side too. A love for photography books and elevated aesthetics inspired him to start his own business. 1605 Publishers is a platform for emerging and established artists and a publishing house for his own photography books as well as those of others. He also offers products like book stands and continues to explore the many possibilities of his business edge. Source: www.bastiaanwoudt.com Bastiaan Woudt has seen a meteoric rise within the world of contemporary photography. After starting his own photography practice from scratch a mere five years ago, with no experience or formal training, Bastiaan Woudt has developed into a photographer with his own distinct signature style - abstract yet sharp, with a strong focus on detail. As a student of the history of photography through devouring photobooks and visiting museums and fairs, Bastiaan Woudt has a strong preference for classic subjects, such as portraits and nudes, and we see references to illustrious periods from photography throughout his work, such as Surrealism and the documentary photography of the 1960s and 70s. But through a sophisticated use of both camera and post-production techniques, which he has taught himself by heavily experimenting with both, Bastiaan Woudt gives his own graphic and wholly contemporary twist to the classical. Bastiaan Woudt has a longstanding fascination with the African continent and photographing the Ugandan countryside, where the Marie-Stella-Maris Foundation supports local drinking water projects, thus was a dream coming true. Bastiaan Woudt went to visit Mukono (Uganda) in October 2017. There, in addition to a commission for the Marie-Stella-Maris Foundation, Bastiaan Woudt was given the opportunity to make his own work. In the short time of this journey, he admirably succeeded to connect with the people of Mukono. This resulted in a wide range of impressive monochrome (b/w) portraits, and surreal impressions of the local landscapes. Altogether, these autonomously produced images very much highlight Bastiaan Woudt's typical, sober and yet very dynamic, aesthetic 'signature' which, despite the early stage of his career, already has brought him wide and international recognition.Source: Jackson Fine Art
Bissera Videnova
Bulgaria
1966
Bissera Videnova is a contemporary photographer, poet, writer, and editor in her native tongue. She became interested in photography at a very young age when she had already participated in movie and television productions and wanted to be in front of and behind the camera at the same time. Mrs. Videnova has published both poetry and prose for academic and online articles in her country. In 2012, she won the Mediterranean Women Forum with a short story. She had a collection of poems published in her native tongue (2017) She is the editor of the first book released in Bulgarian about the artist Christo and Jeanne-Claude. She translated the upcoming issue, again in Bulgarian, of Cyril Christo's poems about Christo and Jeanne-Claude's projects. Her poems and prose were translated and published in English, Korean, Italian, Romani, and French. She participated several times in poetry readings of the Yale Poetry Club in Manhattan. As a photographer, she participated in group exhibitions in Sofia/Bulgaria, Venice/ Italy, and Tampa/ Florida. She is a member of FMoPA (Florida Museum of Photographic Arts), finalist of Siena International 2020,2021; BECA Photo Awards 2021; July 2020 Bissera published her first photo book "The Speed of My Life" inspired by her poem on early emotional loss. Statement Globalization, which overtook after the collapse of communism, the nations enclose in capsules because of the language, are the most common parts of my themes. My quests are in the dissolving of the human ego into the ego of the rest around and into the demands of society. I am interested in both theories of time - one is that time flows linearly in our physical world and the other is metaphysical, that everything happens at the same time. Photography as an art is also relevant to the time. For me, it is not an immediate record of reality, a testimony, but a process that I go through myself first while shooting, then while editing and finally, if necessary, to manipulate the images. I seek the real personal story and not the person as a role model. As a poet, I need wordless images that contain apparent emotionality. I try to find the detail or the anchor remaining in the unconscious after disappearing from the picture; where are the limits of individuality versus the society at large. I am interested in my role as a bridge between the generations. Has what I have learned and what I pass on broken down somewhere on the "wire" and when communication is disrupted in the modern world, even more so now, in a time of the pandemic, are only technologies to blame? Is there a conflict between people and machines - a question I often think about and is the subject of an unfinished play? More and more people are reaching out to photography as a means of expression. Just like poetry and prose, they are beginning to heal their emotional body by separating their personality and life from themselves and starting to look away. The narration of yourself also contains the topics you work on and how you approach the technique. "Regarding the Pain of the Others" on Sontag is also a choice. The books are a testament to the time and culture in which the author lives. Besides, the photographs have one more advantage - the light that can immediately unveil the secret of the photo.
Janne Korkko
Photography means more to me than just doing it: it is as important as breathing and living. I switched in documentary shooting 10 years ago. Image has always been an important form of narrative but I wanted it to show the touch of life and humanity that define my ideas. Socially important and difficult topics that are approachable make me work. I feel I have a mission. I am proud and humbled as well as grateful. Things that have touched me, touched them, too. That is the stories, the interaction with people that developed to the eye to see. Night River We need to understand where we are and how we got here. Once we are clear on these issues we can move forward... (Thomas Berry) Rivers have river rights as well as humans have human rights. People, communities, environments, and nature have deep interrelated connection. A connection that is more complex than an ownership of land, a fishing permit, a cottage on the riverside, or a beautiful sundown on the opposite shore of the river. The name of the river in these photos is Iijoki. The name comes from an ancient word of Sami ('iddja', 'ijje'), which means 'night'. So, the name of this river is Night. Night-River flows through Yli-Ii, the riverside village, which belongs now to bigger city of Oulu. It means that there are no public services any more. The village is disappearing. Night-River is full of songs of memories, and its riverbanks are full of people with these memories. Some of them are sacred, silenced, or even untold. Usually it seems that nobody wants to remember the song of the unforgotten village - and the blocked river. But some of the songs are still alive, or they are waking up through the people, who are starting to re-member the song of the wild, free-flowing river. The landscape of the village, and the diversity and ecology of native nature, changed totally during the 1960s, when the river was dammed - and there were built many hydroelectric power-plants in it. The damming of the river was one of the biggest eco catastrophes in the area of North Finland. But it was also catastrophic for the whole society of the village and its families in many - maybe still unidentified and unconscious - ways. Nowadays the eco catastrophes is still going strong - in clearcutting and swamp ditching. But the second longest river in Finland - with its 150 rapids - is still alive under all the constructions, destructions of riverbeds, and hydroelectric dams. It lives also in peoples' minds and bodies, in their eyes and destinies, and maybe in their most hidden memories. It is singing its unique song. "Virpi Alise Koskela"
André Kertész
Hungary
1894 | † 1985
André Kertész, born Kertész Andor, was a Hungarian-born photographer known for his groundbreaking contributions to photographic composition and the photo essay. In the early years of his career, his then-unorthodox camera angles and style prevented his work from gaining wider recognition. Kertész never felt that he had gained the worldwide recognition he deserved. Today he is considered one of the seminal figures of photojournalism. Expected by his family to work as a stockbroker, Kertész pursued photography independently as an autodidact, and his early work was published primarily in magazines, a major market in those years. This continued until much later in his life, when Kertész stopped accepting commissions. He served briefly in World War I and moved to Paris in 1925, then the artistic capital of the world, against the wishes of his family. In Paris he worked for France's first illustrated magazine called VU. Involved with many young immigrant artists and the Dada movement, he achieved critical and commercial success. Due to German persecution of the Jews and the threat of World War II, Kertész decided to emigrate to the United States in 1936, where he had to rebuild his reputation through commissioned work. In the 1940s and 1950s, he stopped working for magazines and began to achieve greater international success. His career is generally divided into four periods, based on where he was working and his work was most prominently known. They are called the Hungarian period, the French period, the American period and, toward the end of his life, the International period. Source: Wikipedia André Kertész (1894–1985) has been hailed as one of the most important photographers of the twentieth century. Working intuitively, he captured the poetry of modern urban life with its quiet, often overlooked incidents and odd, occasionally comic, or even bizarre juxtapositions. He endeavored "to give meaning to everything" about him with his camera, "to make photographs as by reflection in a mirror, unmanipulated and direct as in life." Combining this seemingly artless spontaneity with a sophisticated understanding of composition, Kertész created a purely photographic idiom that celebrates direct observation of the everyday. Neither a surrealist, nor a strict photojournalist, he nevertheless infused his best images with strong tenets of both. "You don't see" the things you photograph, he explained, "you feel them." Born Kertész Andor in Budapest, he received his first camera in 1912 and immediately began to make intimate portraits of family and friends, studies of the Hungarian countryside, and scenes of daily life behind the battle lines of World War I. Seeking to make a living through photography, he moved in 1925 to Paris, where he established a successful career as a photojournalist. Buoyed by this accomplishment and inspired by the vibrant artistic community of the French capital, he created some of the most intriguing and celebrated images of the period. In 1936 Kertész relocated to New York in order to further his career. Captivated by the rich visual spectacle of the city and awed by its scale, he used the camera to record both his fascination with, and sense of alienation from, his new surroundings. The images attest to a complicated personal history borne through the political upheavals of two wars and life in three countries. He died at age ninety-one. This exhibition offers a comprehensive overview of Kertész's rich and varied career. Source: The International Center of Photography
 JR
France
1983
JR has the largest art gallery in the world. Thanks to his photographic collage technique, he exhibits his work free of charge on the walls of the whole world - attracting the attention of those who do not usually go to museums. Originator of the 28 Millimeters Project which he started in and around Clichy-Montfermeil in 2004, continued in the Middle East with Face 2 Face (2007), in Brazil and Kenya for Women Are Heroes (2008-2011), the documentary for which was presented at the Cannes Film Festival in 2010 (Critics' Week). JR has created "Infiltrating art". During his collage activities, the local communities take part in the act of artistic creation, with no stage separating actors from spectators. The anonymity of JR and the absence of any explanation accompanying his huge portraits leave him with a free space in which issues and actors, performers and passers-by meet, forming the essence of his work. In 2011 he received the Ted Prize, giving him the opportunity to make a vow to change the world. He created Inside Out, an international participatory art project that allows people from around the world to receive a print of their portrait and then billboard it as support for an idea, a project, an action and share that experience. In 2014, working with the New York City Ballet, he used the language of dance to tell his version of the riots in the Clichy-Montfermeil district. He created The Groves, a ballet and short film, the music for which was composed by Woodkid, Hans Zimmer and Pharrell Williams, and which was presented at the Tribeca Film Festival. At the same time, JR worked in the abandoned hospital of Ellis Island, an important place in the history of immigration - and made the short film ELLIS, with Robert De Niro. In 2016, JR was invited by the Louvre, whose pyramid he made disappear the with the help of an astonishing anamorphosis. The same year, during the Olympic Games in Rio, he created gigantic new sculptural installations throughout the city, to underline the beauty of the sporting gesture. JR & Agnès Varda - Faces, Places. In 2017, he co-directed with Agnès Varda "Faces, Place"s, screened the same year in the official selection out of competition for the Cannes Film Festival. The film won the Golden Eye (for best documentary) and was nominated for a Caesar and an Oscar in the same category in 2018. He has received other awards around the world. In 2013, the first retrospectives of JR's work took place in Tokyo (at the Watari-Um Museum) and the Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center, followed by exhibitions at the Frieder Burda Museum in Baden Baden in 2014, and at the HOCA Foundation in Hong Kong in 2015. He exhibited in 2018 at the Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris, and in 2019 at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) and the Brooklyn Museum. Source: jr-art.net
Miles Aldridge
United KIngdom
1964
Miles Aldridge rose to prominence in the mid-nineties with his arresting, highly stylised photographs with references to film noir, art history and pop culture. An acclaimed colourist, he renders elaborate mise-en-scènes in a palette of vibrant acidic hues. These glamorous, frequently eroticised images probe society's idealised notions of domestic bliss where sinister undercurrents swirl beneath a flawless surface. Aldridge has worked prolifically for more than twenty-five years, and today he remains one of the few photographers still shooting predominately on film. His creative output encompasses large-scale c-type prints, Polaroids, screenprints, photogravures and drawings. Born in London in 1964, the son of famed art director and illustrator Alan Aldridge, his interest in photography began at an early age when he was given a Nikon F camera by his father. He went on to study graphic design at Central Saint Martins, graduating with a BA in 1987. Aldridge initially worked as an illustrator and music video director, before turning his attention to photography. In 1996 he began working with Franca Sozzani, the legendary editor-in-chief of Vogue Italia, and their boundary-pushing collaboration would continue for twenty years. In addition to the many international editions of Vogue, Aldridge's images have featured regularly in prestigious titles including Harper's Bazaar, Numéro, W, The New York Times Magazine and The New Yorker. Aldridge develops each new photographic narrative by rendering his initial thoughts in ink or pencil sketches with washes of watercolour and pastel. These drawings and storyboards are an essential early stage in his creative process. He believes that 'fiction and theatricality can be more truthful than documenting reality' and translates his sketches into meticulously arranged compositions to create images reminiscent of film stills: frames snatched from a broader story. Aldridge notes that many of his favourite moments in cinema are, as he describes, "closeups of a woman's face thinking", and he shares Hitchcock's ability to create powerful moments of suspense, turning viewers into voyeurs. In Aldridge's Chromo Thriller (2012) there is a palpable resonance with David Lynch's neo-noir mystery Blue Velvet, where immaculate façades hide darkly strange stories. As one author has noted: "Aldridge's female protagonists recall the glamour and splendour of Isabella Rossellini's character whilst at the same time remaining suggestive of something more sinister." Only rarely does he allow the real world to encroach upon the imagined realm. Through his lens, even reality appears artificial. In the series Capital Gains (2007) and Open Tour (2008) the cities of Washington DC and Paris look cleaner and sleeker than ever before. In The Last Range of Colours (2007), a lone figure in a children's playground evokes both the Technicolor splendour of The Wizard of Oz and the haunting dreamscape of a Giorgio de Chirico painting. A recurring theme throughout Aldridge's oeuvre is the false promise of luxury. Psychedelic interiors are furnished with the trappings of mid-century suburban comfort: gleaming kitchen appliances, candy-coloured telephones and well-groomed pets denote success. The work conflates historic and modern motifs and makes subtle reference to the art historical canon. The project Immaculée (2007) points to Catholic depictions of female saints in ecstasy, whilst his portraits of Lily Cole (2005) and Maisie Williams (2017) draw inspiration from Northern Renaissance masters such as Albrecht Dürer and Hans Holbein. Pop Art tropes feature predominantly: Coca-Cola logos (3D, 2010; A Family Portrait #14, 2011), soup cans and tomato ketchup bottles (A Drop of Red #2, 2001; First Impressions, 2006) all form a striking part of his visual lexicon. His fascination with art history led Aldridge to undertake projects with several significant contemporary artists including Maurizio Cattelan, Gilbert & George and Harland Miller. For the project (after Cattelan) (2016), he was invited by Cattelan to respond to the Italian artist's exhibition, Not Afraid of Love, in the grand neoclassical rooms of the Monnaie de Paris. The resulting series of c-type photographs depicts statuesque nudes dominating Cattelan's hyperreal sculptures in a series of absurdist tableaux. A second series, titled Love Always and Love All Ways after Gilbert & George (2016), was made with the British duo at their London townhouse. Drawing on the conventions of Victorian melodrama, Aldridge devised a series centred around the story of an enigmatic young visitor staying at the house for the weekend. In a further nod to Victoriana, the images were printed using the nineteenth-century photogravure process, whereby an etched copper plate produces highly detailed intaglio prints. The monotone prints were augmented with blocks of bold colour and hand-painted details to create a contemporary aesthetic. His most recent collaboration was with Harland Miller, known for his paintings of imaginary book covers that were partly inspired by Alan Aldridge's 1960s designs for Penguin paperbacks. In a satisfying symmetry, Aldridge transformed Miller's paintings into real books, used as props in his photoshoot. The resulting screenprints evoke the grainy colour supplements of Aldridge's youth and were published by Poligrafa, Barcelona's renowned fine art publisher, who launched them at the 2017 edition of Art Basel Miami Beach. Poligrafa went on to publish the subsequent screenprint series New Utopias, which they exhibited at the 2018 edition of Art Basel. Most recently, Tan Lines, one of Aldridge's largest screenprints to date, was unveiled by Poligrafa at the 2019 edition of The Armory Show, New York. Aldridge's major museum exhibitions include his upcoming retrospective Virgin Mary. Supermarkets. Popcorn. Photographs 1999 - 2020 at Fotografiska, New York, which opened 7th May 2021 having first appeared at Fotografiska Museum, Stockholm (2020-2021), solo shows at The Lumiere Brothers Photography Centre, Moscow (2019) and OCA, São Paulo (2015) and I Only Want You to Love Me at Somerset House, London (2013). In 2014, he was commissioned by Tate Britain to create a photographic installation in response to Mark Gertler's 1916 painting Merry-Go-Round. London's National Portrait Gallery houses a large collection of Aldridge's portraits and his work is held in prestigious museums and institutions around the world including the Victoria and Albert Museum and British Museum in London, the Fondation Carmignac and the Palais Galliera in Paris, the Davis Museum at Wellesley College, Massachusetts and the International Center of Photography in New York. -- Susanna Brown Curator of Photography Victoria and Albert MuseumSource: milesaldridge.com
Sean Perry
United States
1968
Sean Perry is a fine-art photographer living and working in New York City and Austin, Texas. His photographs and books center on architecture, space and light - expressing the ambiance felt within built environments. He is currently completing three series/books on New York City entitled Monolith, Gotham and Fotopolis, as well as exhibiting a recently completed body of work on the dreamscape of temporary environments, Fairgrounds. Perry attended Berklee College of Music and was a working musician before turning to photography in 1996. His photographs and books have been acquired by notable private collectors including Manfred Heiting and Alan Siegel in addition to being held in the permanent collections of the Museum Fine Arts Houston, the Amon Carter Museum, Wittliff Gallery of Southwestern & Mexican Photography, and the Harry Ransom Center. Cloverleaf Press published Perry's first limited edition book, Transitory in 2006, and followed with a second title, Fairgrounds in the Fall of 2008. In 2009 he was selected as a finalist for the Hasselblad Masters award for his work and book Fairgrounds. His photographs have been published widely including the New York Times Sunday Magazine, Graphis, Camera Arts, New York Magazine, Billboard and American Photography. He has served as an adjunct Professor of Photography in Austin since 2001 as well as an adjunct Professor for the School of Visual Arts in New York City since 2006. Perry frequently contributes his photographs to auctions that benefit photographic and social concerns. His work is represented by the Stephen L. Clark Gallery, Austin. Interview with Sean Perry All About Photo: When did you realize you wanted to be a photographer? Sean Perry: When I was younger I didn't know or have access to any professional photographers, but I really loved movies and looked at a lot of books. At that time I got into music and everything else was just secondary. As a musician I always thought about pictures and the visual atmosphere great songs provoke and in my thirties I started photographing and haven’t stopped. AAP: Where did you study photography? With whom? SP: I don’t have a formal background studying photography but it’s not quite right to say I'm self taught either. One of my old bandmates, Jeff Miller is a brother to me, a great photographer and my first teacher - I learned about cameras, making good pictures and printing in the darkroom. That experience was also my first big introduction to contemporary artists like Joel-Peter Witkin and The Starns. I later had important mentors in a photographer I assisted for, Frank Curry and a sculptor who has had a tremendous influence on me as an artist and photographer, John Christensen. AAP:Do you have a mentor? SP: I have a few friends and colleagues who I admire and trust that I ask for insight and guidance with various things... Elizabeth Avedon, Jace Graf, Stephen Clark - there are others. I ask different people, different questions for different reasons if that makes sense. I think it's important to deeply consider who you ask and why. I've been a client of Mary Virginia Swanson for many years and her savvy is always invaluable, I truly owe her a great deal. I'm always learning and seeking out the chance to improve and grow. AAP: How long have you been a photographer? SP: I have been making pictures consistently since 1996 and started working professionally in 1998. AAP: Do you remember your first shot? What was it? SP: What I remember most are the pictures that when I saw the film, they made me feel that the image was somehow better, or more than my capability at the time. It would lead to months of chasing and trying to catch up to the image. The first time that happened was of a barren tree in the wintertime, backlit. I remember making the other pictures from that time, but the experience of seeing something unexpected back on the contact sheets always sticks with me as meaningful. AAP: What or who inspires you? SP: Music always. Also the discovery and study of people that give themselves to their pursuits with the discipline and heart to be excellent. New York City. Late fall leading to snow and cold weather makes me happy. AAP: How could you describe your style? SP: A little romantic but not sentimental - sci-fi but not overtly conceptual. I always work to make beautiful images and objects that don’t apologize for their consideration of aesthetic and design. My experience has taught me there is a strange, small line between beautiful and pretty, arbitrary and yet often substantial. I think my favorite word or aim for my work is earnest, and hopefully elegant. I try to be consistent and to quote someone I deeply respect, Paul Rand – "Don’t try to be original, just try to be good." AAP: What kind of gear do you use? Camera, lens, digital, film? SP: I’m fluent in digital tools and use them to manage images online etcetera, but I have used the same camera gear for over twelve years. Hasselblad 501CM with a 120mm lens and 25A Red filter. Tri-X film in A12 backs. Processed in D76, 1 to 1. Silver gelatin prints bleached and then toned in combinations of sepia and selenium or platinum–palladium prints from enlarged negatives. AAP: Do you spend a lot of time editing your images? SP: I tend to run film and then not look at it for a while.... I then go through the contact sheets and make work prints of the things that seem to have promise. As the series and work evolves the process of editing, sequencing and design kicks in. After the edges of a project are more or less in place, I’ll go back again and see what I may have missed on the contact sheets. AAP: Favorite(s) photographer(s)? SP: If I am only allowed one, Irving Penn – hands down, no one else. I love books and too many favorites to list, but in no particular order others would be Saul Leiter, Ted Croner, Robert & Shana Parke-Harrison, Tom Baril, Louis Faurer, Edward Burtynsky, Albert Watson, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Berenice Abbott and Matt Mahurin. AAP: What advice would you give a young photographer? SP: Fearlessly make all the bad pictures you need to in order to get to the good ones. Not thoughtlessly in the number of images, but without hesitation in the intent to chase your ideas. When you are disappointed, try to understand why specifically – was it a technical mistake your effort and experience will resolve over time or was it about vision in what you could or could not see at that moment. The technical things are usually easier to improve upon, I have found the other takes additional perseverance and courage. For myself there is always the confrontation of closing the distance between the potency I’m after and the many challenges at hand while guiding it there. I think the biggest secret is simply not to quit. AAP: What mistake should a young photographer avoid? SP: Everyone is different, so very hard to say. I believe one truth for myself has been it’s more valuable to invest time in what your pictures, your life, your point of view are all about and less energy worrying about the urgency sometimes encouraged in technology and shorter term concerns. Play long ball. AAP: An idea, a sentence, a project you would like to share? SP: I am currently administrating an ambitious project that connects college students with high school students, creating mentorship and the development of visual language. For the college students it is to illustrate the value of mentorship from both sides, as well as create meaningful dialogue about photography and image making. It provides a mechanism for high school students to share and express their photographic work with a new audience and has direct, tangible advantages for everyone involved – accenting the importance of communication and emphasizing the photography community's tradition of portfolio review. Visit The Picture Review. AAP: Your best memory has a photographer? SP: All of my favorite memories are darkroom related. My first darkroom was in John Christensen's studio, I deeply miss those days and that place. I would often print all day and all night - it's where I learned about photo-chemistry and the subtleties of split-toning and other irresistible alchemy. AAP: Your worst souvenir as a photographer? SP: My checking account. AAP: If you could have taken the photographs of someone else who would it be? SP: It's an interesting question but it reminds me of a rock & roll story, urban legend I remember as a kid and recently retold in Esquire Magazine. When Van Halen was touring in the late 70’s they were opening for Ted Nugent who admired Eddie Van Halen's guitar tone. Among other things, Eddie would hide one of his effect pedals (a tape echo) in an old bomb casing, adding to the mystery of his great tone and why he sounded the way he did. Everyone believed he had a "magic" black box. During sound check, Ted Nugent got the chance to play through Eddie’s rig and was disappointed to discover his guitar tone was unchanged – he sounded like he always did and whatever he loved about Eddie's tone was in his hands and not in the gear. I think photographs are like that, there are many pictures I would be thrilled if I had produced but in the end I can only make what is in my hands and heart. The images I love that others have made don't represent my life and could never belong to me. I remain a fan and audience to my heroes, happily so.
Advertisement
AAP Magazine #27: Colors
POTW
AAP Magazine #27: Colors

Latest Interviews

Exclusive Interview with Emmanuel Cole
Emmanuel Cole, London-based photographer, celebrates his 5th year of capturing the Notting Hill Carnival, which returns this year after a 2-year hiatus. Emmanuel’s photography encapsulates the very essence of the carnival and immortalises the raw emotions of over 2 million people gathered together to celebrate on the streets of West London.
Exclusive Interview with Brett Foraker
Brett Foraker began his career as a painter before turning to photography and filmmaking. All of his projects are imbued with a lyrical and at times surreal point of view. As well as being an in-demand director and screenwriter, Foraker has been working on several portfolios of abstract and experimental photography. These are presented here for the first time.
Exclusive Interview with Tatiana Wills
Over the course of her multifaceted career, Wills ran the photo department at a notable entertainment agency in Los Angeles. While spearheading guerrilla marketing campaigns, her longing to be a part of a burgeoning art community was reignited, and she embarked on a personal project about the outsider art scene of the early aughts. She has photographed the likes of Shepard Fairey, Mister Cartoon, Gabrielle Bell, David Choe, Saber One, and Molly Crabapple. Other series in her vast repertoire include notable dancers and choreographers Kyle Abraham, Lucinda Childs, Jacob Jonas, and Michaela Taylor, along with a multitude of dance artists, all of which is inspired through a lifetime of documenting her daughter, Lily, and witnessing her journey to become a professional ballerina.
Exclusive Interview with  Charles Lovell
Charles Muir Lovell has long been passionate about photographing people within their cultures. Upon moving to New Orleans in 2008, he began documenting the city's second line parades, social aid and pleasure clubs, jazz funerals, and brass bands, capturing and preserving for posterity a unique and vibrant part of Louisiana's rich cultural heritage.
Discover ART.co, a New Tool for Art Collectors
Eric Bonjour has been investing as a business angel in the Silicon Valley while building his personal art collection of contemporary art. After obtaining the Art, Law and Business master’s degree at Christie’s Education in 2020, he founded ART.co to fill the secondary market gap. We asked him a few questions about his new powerful tool for Art Collectors.
Exclusive Interview with  Charlie Lieberman
Charlie Lieberman is a photographer and cinematographer based in Southern California. Best known for his work on the TV show, Heroes, Lieberman has also been developing a body of photographic work since the 1960s. His current practice seeks out humble landscapes, avoiding the iconic in an effort to impart a sense of memory, contemplation, and awe. Lieberman is currently an Active Member of The American Society of Cinematographers.
Exclusive Interview with  Diana Cheren Nygren
Diana Cheren Nygren is a fine art photographer from Boston, Massachusetts. Her work explores the relationship of people to their physical environment and landscape as a setting for human activity. Her photographs address serious social questions through a blend of documentary practice, invention, and humor.
Exclusive Interview with  Castro Frank
Castro Frank is a Los Angeles based visual artist who has translated his personal experiences of growing up in the San Fernando Valley into a signature journalistic and candid approach to photography.
Exclusive Interview with Emerald Arguelles
Emerald Arguelles is a photographer and editor based in Savannah, GA. As a young visual artist, Emerald has become an internationally recognized photographer through her explorations and capturing of Black America.
Call for Entries
AAP Magazine #27: Colors
Publish your work in AAP Magazine and win $1,000 Cash Prizes