All about photo: photo contests, photography exhibitions, galleries, schools, books and venues.
John Thomson
John Thomson
John Thomson

John Thomson

Country: Scotland
Birth: 1837 | Death: 1921

John Thomson, one of the great figures of nineteenth century photography, is known for the unusual and exotic nature of his chosen subject matter. Born in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1837, Thomson took up photography as a profession in his early twenties. For ten years, from 1862, he traveled and explored the Far East, visiting Hong Kong, Singapore, Penang and the Malay Peninsula, Siam, Cambodia, Vietnam, Formosa and especially China.

Utilizing a large wooden box-type camera capable of accommodating a glass plate of up to 12 x 16 inches, John Thomson photographed commoners and kings, attempting to capture the individual behind the veneer of social status. His photographic record of the Far East documented a complete panorama of the cultures and people of the Far East at a time when Westerners were a few and curious lot. John Thomson not only created a photographic history, but also wrote numerous articles and books on his travels and views of life in the Far East.

There is no doubt that it was Thomson’s sympathetic approach to his subjects, and the dignity with which he embued them, as much as his great technical expertise, which enabled him to produce such an outstanding photographic documentary. It is this marriage between sensitivity, technical expertise and sheer professionalism, not to mention his voluminous literary output and descriptions of the scenes and people, which he photographed, that has earned Thomson the title of the ‘first of the great photo-journalists’. His work, which has only recently gained full recognition, represents one of the great photo-historical records in the history of documentary photography.
Source Westwood Gallery
 

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

Paul Strand
United States
1890 | † 1976
Paul Strand was born in New York City. As a teenager, he was a student of renowned documentary photographer Lewis Hine at the Ethical Culture Fieldston School. A visit to Gallery 291 (owned by Alfred Stieglitz) proved to be a strong influence on Strand, who began to take photographs of his own. He experimented with abstraction but also used his camera as a means to promote social reform. Alfred Stieglitz praised these early efforts and featured Strand's work in his gallery and in his magazine Camera Work. In the early 1920s, Strand began to work in motion pictures as well as still photography. In June 1949, Strand left the United States to present a film in Czechoslovakia, an event which marked the beginning of his self-imposed exile overseas due to the prevailing climate of McCarthyism in America. He settled in Orgeval, France and in the ensuing years photographed extensively, and also produced six book "portraits" of places: Time in New England (1950), La France de Profil (1952), Un Paese (1955), Tir a'Mhurain / Outer Hebrides (1962), Living Egypt (1969) and Ghana: An African Portrait (1976).Source: Robert Mann Gallery Strand married the painter Rebecca Salsbury on January 21, 1922. He photographed her frequently, sometimes in unusually intimate, closely cropped compositions. After divorcing Salsbury, Strand married Virginia Stevens in 1935. They divorced in 1949; he then married Hazel Kingsbury in 1951 and they remained married until his death in 1976. The timing of Strand's departure to France is coincident with the first libel trial of his friend Alger Hiss, with whom he maintained a correspondence until his death. Although he was never officially a member of the Communist Party, many of Strand's collaborators were either Party members (James Aldridge; Cesare Zavattini) or prominent socialist writers and activists (Basil Davidson). Many of his friends were also Communists or suspected of being so (Member of Parliament D. N. Pritt; film director Joseph Losey; Scottish poet Hugh MacDiarmid; actor Alex McCrindle). Strand was also closely involved with Frontier Films, one of more than 20 organizations that were identified as "subversive" and "un-American" by the US Attorney General. When he was asked by an interviewer why he decided to go to France, Strand began by noting that in America, at the time of his departure, "McCarthyism was becoming rife and poisoning the minds of an awful lot of people." During the 1950s, and owing to a printing process that was reportedly only available in that country at the time, Strand insisted that his books be printed in Leipzig, East Germany, even if it meant they were initially banned in the American market on account of their Communist provenance. Following Strand's move to Europe, it was later revealed in de-classified intelligence files, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act and now preserved at the Center for Creative Photography at the University of Arizona, that he was closely monitored by security services.Source: Wikipedia
Thomas Hoepker
Germany
1936
Thomas Hoepker is a German photographer and member of Magnum Photos. He is known for stylish color photo features. He also documented the 9/11 World Trade Center destruction. Hoepker originally made a name for himself in the 1960s as a photojournalist with a desire to photograph human conditions. Hoepker was born in Munich, Germany. He first began taking pictures when he was 16 and received an old 9x12 glass plate camera from his grandfather. He developed his prints in his family's kitchen and bathroom, and began to earn a little money by selling pictures to friends and classmates. Hoepker studied art history and archaeology from 1956 to 1959 at Göttingen, in Munich, Germany, where he was taught about understanding images and composition. While in school he continued to photograph and sell images to help finance his education. From 1960 to 1963 he worked as a photographer for Münchner Illustrierte and Kristall, reporting from around the world. Then in 1964 he began working as a photojournalist for Stern. In the 1970s he also worked as a cameraman for German TV, making documentary films. In 1976 he and his wife, journalist Eva Windmoeller, relocated to New York City as correspondents for Stern. From 1978 to 1981 he was director of photography for American Geo. From 1987 to 1989 Hoepker was based in Hamburg, working as art director for Stern. Magnum Photos first began distributing Hoepker's photographs in 1964. He became a full member in 1989. He served as Magnum President from 2003 to 2006. For much of his career Hoepker used Leica cameras. In the 1970s he began to also use single-lens reflex cameras alongside his Leica, using Leicas for wide angle shots and Nikon or Canon cameras with zoom lenses. In 2002 he began using digital SLRs. Today, Hoepker lives in New York City with his second wife Christine Kruchen, with whom he produces TV documentaries.Source: Wikipedia
Matthew Pillsbury
United States / France
1973
Matthew Pillsbury is a French-born American photographer, living in New York City. The Screen Lives series, inspired by Sugimoto's movie theater photos, features black and white, long-exposure photographs of family and friends sitting in their apartments interacting with their computer and television screens. In 2004 The New York Times Magazine commissioned him to do a portfolio of photos of New York museums after hours. One such photo was taken at the Guggenheim Museum: An installation in progress in the Ronald O. Perelman Rotunda (Oct. 1, 2004.) In addition to New York, he continued to shoot within museums in both London and Paris, including the Musée du Louvre. At the Louvre he photographed the Mona Lisa. The New York Times and the Aperture Foundation published New York Times Photographs in the fall of 2011, featuring one of his photos of the American Museum of Natural History's Rose Center For Earth and Space. In the Dec 11, 2011 issue of New York Magazine, Pillsbury's works were published as part of their "Reasons to Love New York 2011" feature. The photos included four shots from City Stages, which included Occupy Wall Street protesters in Zuccotti Park, as well as Jing Fong dim sum, Fausto in Washington Square Park and High Line. His series, City Stages initially ran from February 23, 2012 to April 28, 2012 at the Bonni Bunrubi Gallery in New York City. The exhibition opened in Atlanta, GA on September 13, 2012 and ran until November 17, 2012 at The Jackson Fine Art gallery. In September 2013, the Aperture Foundation published a monograph that includes a retrospective of his works, titled, City Stages. The New York Times Magazine published one of Pillsbury's City Stages photos as part of their Manhattanhenge feature in July 2013. Art Relish conducted an interview in October 2012 with him discussing his City Stages works. In the Oct 1, 2012 edition of Time Magazine, High Line photo, featuring a park in Manhattan constructed of abandoned train tracks, was highlighted as part of his exhibit at the Jackson Fine Art gallery. The Screen Lives series, inspired by Sugimoto's movie theater photos, features black and white, long-exposure photographs of family and friends sitting in their apartments interacting with their computer and television screens. On the CNN Photos Blog, Pillsbury's Screen Lives series was featured in a post about the School of Visual Arts "Myths & Realities" show, which took at the Visual Arts Gallery in New York, Aug 29-Sept 29, 2012. On November 27, 2011, New York Times Magazine featured two of Pillsbury's photos of Jane's Carousel from "City Stages." In April 2014, Pillsbury was one of 11 photographers awarded with the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship. Approximately 200 Fellowships are awarded each year through two annual competitions that receive between 3,500 and 4,000 applications. Guggenheim Fellowships are grants awarded to "advanced professionals in mid-career" who have demonstrated exceptional ability by publishing a significant body of work within the fields of natural sciences, social sciences, humanities and the creative arts, excluding the performing arts. In 2014, Pillsbury photographed various cities in Japan, with the focus being in and around Tokyo. Recent photographs from his work in Tokyo were revealed in a photo essay published on July 18, 2014 in The New York Times Magazine and include images from Tokyo Disneyland, Robot Restaurant and the CupNoodles Museum in Yokohama. In April 2014, The New York Times Magazine first ran a photo essay of Pillsbury's work that centered around the hanami parties that occur during the week when the cherry blossoms are at peak bloom. An exhibition of His new Tokyo work opened Sept 10, 2014 and closed November 15, 2014 in New York City at Benrubi Gallery. A portfolio of Pillsbury's new images was featured in The New Yorker in September 2015, and showcased locations that include the High Line, the American Museum of Natural History, Astoria Park Pool and the Coney Island Boardwalk. He has also widened the project's focus to include locations outside of Manhattan, after a move to Brooklyn in January 2015 that inspired him to shoot urban life in the outer boroughs. In a redesign and relaunch in the February 22, 2015 issue, The New York Times Magazine published a photograph Of his on its cover. The long exposure image featured an illuminated spinning globe, which he took in his basement. He is represented exclusively by Edwynn Houk Gallery in New York.Source: Wikipedia
Mary Anne Mitchell
United States
Mary Anne Mitchell is a fine art photographer working primarily with analog processes. Her most recent series Meet me In my Dreams is shot using wet plate collodion. The images depict situations, often mysterious, which evoke her southern roots. She recently was a finalist in the 8th Edition of the Julia Margaret Cameron Awards and has been invited to exhibit some of this series in the 4th Biennial of Photography to be held in Berlin. Her work has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions across the country and can be found in private and corporate collections across the US, Dubai, Taiwan, and Canada. She lives in Atlanta, GA. Source: www.maryannemitchellphotography.com About Meet Me in My Dreams, 2018 "This series is inspired by my poem Meet Me in My Dreams. The setting for many of the images is a fairytale landscape. My use of the young people celebrates the universal feeling of limitless potential that most people experience in their youth. The ghostlike figures are reflections of the later years when beauty and youth begin to fade. They suggest the feeling that one is becoming invisible and yet still present and powerful. The work speaks to family, memory, and the ethereal passage of time. The images are created using wet plate collodion. I scan and enlarge them to enhance the organic qualities of the medium. These are the elements of my dreams." -- Mary Anne Mitchell Meet Me in My Dreams Walking through the forest of my dreams I see a varied cast of characters. Some are known And some are strangers. Some are real, Some imagined. I catch a glimpse of something yet I look again and nothing is there, perhaps scattered by the wind. My eyes are tricked by the play of light on each and every tree. I sometimes sense I am not alone and someone watches me. The stories told are mine alone. Imagination fuels my memories and my vision is revealed. I invite you to come and meet me in my dreams. Interview with Mary Anne Mitchell All About Photo:I am a Georgia native and have exhibited my work in solo and group exhibitions throughout the United States. My photographs have been featured in online publications such as Burn and Plates to Pixels and can be found in private and corporate collections around the country. AAP: When did you realize you wanted to be a photographer?As a freshman in college, I bought a 35mm camera and took a class to learn how to use it and fell in love! AAP: Where did you study photography?Received a BFA from UGA in Athens, GA AAP: What or who inspires you?I always loved Edward Weston and Cartier Bresson as far as the masters of photography. My kids are currently my muses. AAP: How could you describe your style?Much of my work captures authentic moments in atmospheric b/w. AAP: What kind of gear do you use?I shoot film and use mostly 35mm Nikon cameras or Holga or Blackbird Fly plastic cameras. AAP: Do you spend a lot of time editing your images?In darkroom some dodging and burning. AAP: Favorite(s) photographer(s)?I always loved Edward Weston and Cartier Bresson as far as the masters of photography. There are so many contemporary photographers doing amazing work...hard to pick... really love Vivian Maier and her whole backstory is so fascinating. AAP: What advice would you give a young photographer?Shoot constantly but selectively. AAP: Your best memory has a photographer?Strolling anywhere in Europe, camera in hand! AAP: Your worst souvenir has a photographer?A soaking wet Nikon and lens after being knocked over in a canoe while trying to get an incredible shot!
Advertisement
AAP Magazine #27: Colors
POTW
AAP Magazine #27: Colors

Latest Interviews

Exclusive Interview with Julia Dean, Founder of the L.A. Project
Julia Dean, Founder of the Los Angeles Center of Photography, and its executive director for twenty-two years, began The L.A. Project in 2021. A native Nebraskan, Julia has long sought to create a special project where love for her adopted L.A., and her passion for documentary photography can be shared on a grander scale.
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.
Call for Entries
AAP Magazine #27: Colors
Publish your work in AAP Magazine and win $1,000 Cash Prizes