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Laura Jean Zito
Laura Jean Zito
Laura Jean Zito

Laura Jean Zito

Country: Ireland

"I began photographing in order to understand what elements of a scene would render that scene worth painting, given the time and materials commitment painting demands. The voyage led to a desire to document that which will no longer be, like trying to remember a dream. I wanted to document the world as I actually viewed it, in all its irony, and to marvel at the actuality of it rather than to distort that reality. The veracity of film itself was a tool to me to reveal with integrity the extent of what is possible in the universe. With digital manipulation, who knows what is real anymore?

With film, I was proud of honing skills of recognizing an event before it happened, being quick and ready to snap it, and being astute enough to compose it in a way to tell the whole story in a single image. I had practiced these skills as a stills photographer on feature films, including my brother's classic hip hop film, "Breakin'," where the photographer is the only one on set not actually working on the movie but has to wrangle their way right next to the director at peak moments without disturbing anyone on crew, to convey the plot all in one image.

Other people skills came from years of shooting for NBC News Graphics, where I had to approach strangers on the street on a daily basis to shoot stock photos for their files. I compose with a Caravaggio sense of action and emotion in mind, and look for color schemes or black and white contrasts that symbolically represent the emotions manifested. Street photography has changed so much with the digital age and a camera in everyone's phone. While the documentation of fact may be lost, the fields of imagination may be found, opening new ground for discovery."


About Moment
"Moment is a project of photographs taken over the last 40 years, in towns surrounding the birthplace of my grandparents, Ballintober and Strokestown, in County Roscommon, Ireland, as well as in cities and countryside. Moments represented are so casual and usual, that while they might go as unremarkable in their own time frame, when viewed through the lens of another era, their very everydayness shows how times have morphed into a more generic way of doing things.

The photographs bestow an ambience that would likely not be missed until it was no longer available: pubs and public places full of character and characters, from farmers in faraway hills of Connemara to foreign ministers in Dublin Castle, their body language and gestures bringing past into present focus. These, and landscapes taken before developments displaced haystacks, mesh an aesthetic appeal with an historical one to highlight how, though visuals might have changed, issues never have and might never. The photographs are about a moment in time, a thought that comes to mind, that blows through the consciousness like a dandelion wisp in a summer breeze. And in that simplicity and ephemeral delicacy lies the potency and deepness and timelessness. The frame and filter we view through brings new insight and reflection, giving nuance to what we view as truth and reality."
- "Moment" © 2021 Laura Jean Zito All Rights Reserved
 

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More Great Photographers To Discover

Marsel van Oosten
The Netherland
1967
Dutch-born Marsel van Oosten began his career in advertising. Photography started as a means of escaping fast-paced advertising life, but it was during a trip to Tanzania and close encounters with the animals of the Serengeti, where Marsel developed a passion for wildlife photography. Five years later, Marsel left advertising to become a full-time photographer and hasn’t looked back. Marsel’s images, which feature in galleries and museums across the globe, are famed for their composition, lighting, color and perspective. In his work, he tries to keep his images clean and uncluttered, enabling the viewer to focus on the image’s inherent graphic qualities. As a result, he has been decorated with many prestigious awards, including winning the overall titles for: Wildlife Photographer of the Year (Natural History Museum), Travel Photographer of the Year (TPOTY), and International Nature Photographer of the Year (2x in the International Photography Awards).Source: Nikon UK After graduating from the Academy of Arts with a BA in Art Direction and Graphic Design, Dutch-born Marsel van Oosten started a career in advertising. As an Art Director at various renowned agencies, he won numerous awards for his work, amongst which are one silver and two gold Lions at the prestigious International Advertising Festival in Cannes. The acclaimed TV commercial he made for a Dutch nature conservation organization is representative of both his creative and emotional approach to communication, as well as for his love for the natural world and his concern for the environment. Taking photographs began as a way for Marsel to escape from life in the fast lane. After a trip to Tanzania, however, things started getting more serious. Close encounters with the animals of the Serengeti fueled his passion for wildlife photography, which soon became his specialty. Five years later, Van Oosten took the plunge and swapped his established advertising career for the precarious life of a nature photographer, a move that demands unyielding devotion and commitment. His images are featured in galleries and museums, are used worldwide in advertising and design, and he is a regular contributor to National Geographic. When Marsel is not traveling, he lives in South Africa, with producer and videographer Daniella Sibbing. Together they run specialized nature photography tours for all experience levels to exciting destinations worldwide.Source: Squiver
Melissa Stewart
Australia
1963
Born in Melbourne, Australian Photographer Melissa Stewart currently resides between the Victorian country regions of the Macedon Ranges and the Mornington Peninsula. She has an affinity with the Australian landscape, nature and its wilderness. It is through her raw, true Australian aesthetic, she draws awareness towards the environment and the landscape we inhibit to protect it. Living in the country with horses has helped shape her awareness and interest in connecting and belonging. After graduating in 1980, she studied Art and Design and then Interior design in 2006 which has only enhanced her focus for detail, shape, line and form, this reflects in her Photography. Melissa returned to study Professional Photography in 2016 at Photography Studies College in Melbourne, studying part time, she has her final year to complete after deferment in 2019. She has been awarded finalist in Click 17, SE Centre for Contemporary Photography, Brunswick Street Gallery and exhibited in several group shows. A Finalist in the Australian Photography Awards awarded top 5, Student category and third place student category in the Australian Photography Awards exhibition, 2019. Statement Being in nature has always allayed my anxiety; it's my form of meditation. We can so easily forget about those simple needs and pleasure in life. Isolation has enabled me to reconnect, being at home creates a security a protection and comfort, and it brings me to a peaceful and happier state of mind. More so now it's imperative to connect with parts of yourself that you haven't before and reconnect with the things that you love. Given this time to slow down; I have been able to be inspired by books and music, long walks and observing the natural world in a different perspective. I have had wonderful moments where I have really be in awe and wonder with nature, the sea, the trees, and the silence. It is exactly in these moments that we can assess what matters, and what we want our life to mean. My interest in drawing awareness towards our environment and the landscape motivates my belief that it is essential to our quality and balance of life.
Todd Webb
United States
1905 | † 2000
Todd Webb (September 5, 1905 – April 15, 2000) was an American photographer notable for documenting everyday life and architecture in cities such as New York City, Paris as well as from the American west. His photography has been compared with Harry Callahan, Berenice Abbott, Walker Evans, and the French photographer Eugène Atget. He traveled extensively during his long life and had important friendships with artists such as Georgia O'Keeffe, Ansel Adams and Harry Callahan. He photographed famous people including Dorothea Lange. His life was like his photos in the sense of being seemingly simple, straightforward, but revealing complexity and depth upon a closer examination. Capturing history, his pictures often transcend the boundary between photography and artistic expression. Webb was born in Detroit in 1905 and grew up there and in a Quaker community in Ontario. From 1924 to 1929 he worked as a bank teller and clerk at a brokerage firm in Detroit; in another account, he was a successful stockbroker during the 1920s but lost his earnings during the Crash before the Depression. During the Depression beginning in 1929, he moved to California and worked as a prospector and earned a meager living. During these years he also worked as a fire ranger for the United States Forestry Service. Webb reportedly wrote short stories which were unpublished. After 1934, Webb returned to Detroit and worked for the automobile manufacturer Chrysler in their export division. In 1937, he visited a friend in Panama in search of gold, but had little success. But in Panama, he brought along a camera donated by his former employer, Chrysler. Webb returned to Detroit and studied at the Detroit Camera Club. He met photographer Harry Callahan. In 1940, he completed a ten‑day workshop with Ansel Adams as his teacher. In 1941, he visited Rocky Mountain State Park with Harry Callahan, and realized during this trip that he was drawn more to the urban cityscape, and although he found Adams to be an inspiration, he would not make photographs like his teacher. During World War II, Webb was a photographer for the United States Navy and was deployed to the South Pacific theater of operations. After World War II, in 1945, Webb moved to New York City and began his career as a professional photographer. He made key friendships with Alfred Stieglitz and Georgia O'Keeffe as well as Beaumont Newhall, Berenice Abbott, Helen Levitt, and Minor White. Webb began a remarkable project of walking the streets of New York City with his heavy camera and tripod and photographing people and buildings he encountered. What set these photos apart was their "straightforward, descriptive clarity" even though they were often of familiar views. One large 10-foot–long panorama photograph which was critically acclaimed showed a section of Sixth Avenue from 43rd–44th streets which, in 1991, was seen as a "visual time capsule of the city" and was described as a "stunner." Webb's photos reflected the photographer's sense of discovery and captured the times, such as photos of hand-painted banners over apartment house doors saying "Welcome Home, G.I.s". In one photograph, Webb went to the top of the RCA Building and shot south using a backlit technique, which captured the Empire State Building at night. The best photographs, according to New York Times art critic Charles Hagen, contained the "simple geometries of urban architecture" in a "simple elegance"; Hagen thought Webb's New York City photographs were his best. In 1946, he had the first solo exhibition of his photographs at the Museum of the City of New York. In 1947, Webb was hired by Fortune magazine and he worked with professional photographers funded by the Standard Oil Company led by Roy Stryker and the group included notable photographers such as Sol Libsohn. According to the New York Times, the team of professional photographers was "given amazingly free rein by its corporate sponsor" to produce a documentary about oil. One of these photographs, Webb's Pittsburgh Panorama (ca. 1950) shows a grim industrial view towards Pittsburgh from a hill near Westinghouse Bridge that takes in a bare river valley across which snake highways and railways and a row of tall smokestacks in the distance. Curator Edward Steichen selected it for the 1955 Museum of Modern Art exhibition The Family of Man, seen by 9 million visitors on its world tour. However, in his memoir, Webb records his disappointment with the way images were "over-enlarged to billboard size" losing "all the qualities that make photographs unique." Webb traveled to Paris in 1949 and married fellow American Lucille Minqueau. In Paris, Webb produced a "vivid record" of the city which earned him recognition. Then, Webbs moved back to New York City to live in Greenwich Village in 1952. In 1955, he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship to photographically record pioneer trails of early settlers of the western United States. He was hired in 1957 by the United Nations to photograph its General Assembly. He won a contract to photograph Sub–Saharan Africa in 1958. The Webbs moved to Santa Fe in New Mexico around 1961. Webb's photos of his friend Georgia O'Keeffe suggested not only a "loner, severe figure and self-made person" but that there was an "intense connection" between Webb and O'Keeffe. While O'Keeffe was known to have a "prickly personality", Webb's photographs portray her with a kind of "quietness and calm" suggesting a relaxed friendship, and revealing new contours of O'Keeffe's character. Webb's landscape photographs as well as photos of the artist walking among the sagebrush bring O'Keeffe to life "even in pictures where she doesn't appear", according to Chicago Tribune art critic Abigail Foerstner. His photos suggest an "ageless spirit" which was "weathered and indomitable" like desert rock formations. These photos were done using matte finish paper and appear in a book entitled Georgia O'Keeffe: The Artist's Landscape. The Webbs lived in the Provence region of France, around 1970, and he continued to photograph regularly, and later lived, for a period, in Bath, England. The Webbs finally settled in the state of Maine, living in the city of Portland, based on the suggestion of a friend. In 1978, Webb won a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, and continued to live and work in Maine. Source: Wikipedia Up until the 1980's, Todd Webb photographed and produced a unique body of work, which has attained an important place in the annals of American photographic history. Frequently referred to as "an historian with a camera," Webb's rich images document life all over the world. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, and is included in numerous museum collections including the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Minneapolis Art Institute, and the Chicago Art Institute. Todd Webb died in May, 2000 at the age of 94 in Central Maine. His life was like his photographs; at first they seem very simple, without obvious tricks or manipulation, but upon closer examination, they are increasingly complex and marvellously subtle.Source: Todd Webb Archive Todd Webb used documentary photography to convey a sense of intimacy and curiosity in the relationship between history, place, and people. Although Webb initially pursued photography to augment his writing, by 1940 he saw it as his central passion. In his hometown of Detroit, Webb attended camera club meetings where he took up with fellow novice Harry Callahan, and the more experienced Arthur Siegel. In 1941, Ansel Adams led a workshop for the camera club that profoundly influenced the ambitions of both Webb and Callahan. Todd Webb’s humanistic approach to documentation allowed him to create a compelling narrative whether he was working in the great cities of the world or within the vast American landscape. The Todd Webb Archive contains personal papers and photographic materials related to his long career as a photographer, including correspondence, biographical files, exhibition documentation, manuscripts, journals, extensive files of negatives, contact sheets, and over 1,400 fine prints.Source: Center for Creative Photography
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