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Nanda Hagenaars
Nanda Hagenaars
Nanda Hagenaars

Nanda Hagenaars

Country: Netherlands

''El Duende'' is a word used by the Spanish people to describe it is what moves you, what drives you. It comes from inside you. El duende is a bodily reaction to art or artistic perfomance such as Flamenco. It comes from the soles of the feet and flows free throughout the body till the top of your head. El duende is the spirit of evocation. An emotional and physical reaction. It can make you smile or cry or both. This mysterious power which everyone can sense and no philosopher can explain is in sum the spirith of the earth. It touches you in such a magical way that you are moved instantly.

Nanda Hagenaars was born in the Netherlands in 1988 and is currently living in Amsterdam. She studied International Business and Languages in Sevilla. This is where she felt the spirit of el Duende in such a strong way that this place instantly became like a harbour for her.

Back in the Netherlands, Nanda started working in the advertising industry and after nearly 4 years left her office job and crashed fully into photography and art. After studying languages, she discovered a new kind of language; through photography.

Between 2007 and 2017, Nanda traveled frequently back to south Spain where she somehow always felt touched by culture and the simple vibe of the magnificent gypsy city. In 2016, Nanda made her first documentary photography project in Sevilla, where she won a price for New Dutch Photo talent 2017.

Nanda’s captivating black and white style blends poetry and intuition, delving into the eternal essence of life. Through her lens, Nanda captures stories and forges a profound connection with the portrayed. At times, she surrenders to the unknown, creating intuïtively and spontaneously. Through her art she aims to touch others, offering solace and unity through shared emotions.

So.. to Nanda, photography is a way to translate, meditate, and communicate.

A universal language.
 

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Robert Frank
Switzerland/United States
1924 | † 2019
Robert Frank was a Swiss photographer and documentary filmmaker, who became an American binational. His most notable work, the 1958 book titled The Americans, earned Frank comparisons to a modern-day de Tocqueville for his fresh and nuanced outsider's view of American society. Critic Sean O'Hagan, writing in The Guardian in 2014, said The Americans "changed the nature of photography, what it could say and how it could say it. it remains perhaps the most influential photography book of the 20th century." Frank later expanded into film and video and experimented with manipulating photographs and photomontage. I’m always looking outside, trying to look inside. Trying to say something that is true. But maybe nothing is really true. Except what’s out there. And what’s out there is always changing. -- Robert Frank Frank was born in Zürich, Switzerland, the son of Rosa (Zucker) and Hermann Frank. His family was Jewish. Robert states in Gerald Fox's 2004 documentary Leaving Home, Coming Home that his mother, Rosa (other sources state her name as Regina), had a Swiss passport, while his father, Hermann originating from Frankfurt, Germany had become stateless after losing his German citizenship as a Jew. They had to apply for Swiss citizenship for Robert and his older brother, Manfred. Though Frank and his family remained safe in Switzerland during World War II, the threat of Nazism nonetheless affected his understanding of oppression. He turned to photography, in part as a means to escape the confines of his business-oriented family and home, and trained under a few photographers and graphic designers before he created his first hand-made book of photographs, 40 Fotos, in 1946. Frank emigrated to the United States in 1947 and secured a job in New York City as a fashion photographer for Harper's Bazaar. In 1949, the new editor of Camera magazine, Walter Laubli (1902-1991), published a substantial portfolio of Jakob Tuggener pictures made at upper-class entertainments and in factories, alongside the work of the 25-year-old Frank who had just returned to his native Switzerland after two years abroad, with pages including some of his first pictures from New York. The magazine promoted the two as representatives of the 'new photography' of Switzerland. Tuggener was a role model for the younger artist, first mentioned to him by Frank's boss and mentor, Zurich commercial photographer Michael Wolgensinger (1913-1990) who understood that Frank was unsuited to the more mercenary application of the medium. Tuggener, as a serious artist who had left the commercial world behind, was the "one Frank really did love, from among all Swiss photographers," according to Guido Magnaguagno and Fabrik, as a photo book, was a model for Frank's Les Américains ('The Americans') published ten years later in Paris by Delpire, in 1958. He soon left to travel in South America and Europe. He created another hand-made book of photographs that he shot in Peru, and returned to the U.S. in 1950. That year was momentous for Frank, who, after meeting Edward Steichen, participated in the group show 51 American Photographers at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA); he also married fellow artist Mary Frank née Mary Lockspeiser, with whom he had two children, Andrea and Pablo. Though he was initially optimistic about the United States' society and culture, Frank's perspective quickly changed as he confronted the fast pace of American life and what he saw as an overemphasis on money. He now saw America as an often bleak and lonely place, a perspective that became evident in his later photography. Frank's own dissatisfaction with the control that editors exercised over his work also undoubtedly colored his experience. He continued to travel, moving his family briefly to Paris. In 1953, he returned to New York and continued to work as a freelance photojournalist for magazines including McCall's, Vogue, and Fortune. Associating with other contemporary photographers such as Saul Leiter and Diane Arbus, he helped form what Jane Livingston has termed The New York School of photographers (not to be confused with the New York School of art) during the 1940s and 1950s. In 1955, Frank achieved further recognition with the inclusion by Edward Steichen of seven of his photographs (many more than most other contributors) in the world-touring Museum of Modern Art exhibition The Family of Man that was to be seen by 9 million visitors and with a popular catalog that is still in print. Frank's contributions had been taken in Spain (of a woman kissing her swaddled babe-in-arms); of a bowed old woman in Peru; a rheumy-eyed miner in Wales; and the others in England and the US, including two (one atypically soft-focus) of his wife in pregnancy; and one (later to be included in The Americans) of six laughing women in the window of the White Tower Hamburger Stand on Fourteenth Street, New York City. The truth is somewhere between the documentary and the fictional, and that is what I try to show. What is real one moment has become imaginary the next. You believe what you see now, and the next second you don’t anymore. -- Robert Frank Inspired by fellow Swiss Jakob Tuggener's 1943 book Fabrik, Bill Brandt's The English at Home (1936), and Walker Evans's American Photographs (1938), and on the recommendation of Evans (a previous recipient), Alexey Brodovitch, Alexander Leiberman, Edward Steichen, and Meyer Schapiro, Frank secured a Guggenheim Fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation in 1955 to travel across the United States and photograph all strata of its society. Cities he visited included Detroit and Dearborn, Michigan; Savannah, Georgia; Miami Beach and St. Petersburg, Florida; New Orleans, Louisiana; Houston, Texas; Los Angeles, California; Reno, Nevada; Salt Lake City, Utah; Butte, Montana; and Chicago, Illinois. He took his family along with him for part of his series of road trips over the next two years, during which time he took 28,000 shots. 83 of these were selected by him for publication in The Americans. Frank's journey was not without incident. He later recalled the anti-Semitism to which he was subject in a small Arkansas town. "I remember the guy [policeman] took me into the police station, and he sat there and put his feet on the table. It came out that I was Jewish because I had a letter from the Guggenheim Foundation. They really were primitive." He was told by the sheriff, "Well, we have to get somebody who speaks Yiddish." ... "They wanted to make a thing out of it. It was the only time it happened on the trip. They put me in jail. It was scary. Nobody knew where I was." Elsewhere in the South, he was told by a sheriff that he had "an hour to leave town." Those incidents may have contributed to the dark view of America found in the work. Shortly after returning to New York in 1957, Frank met Beat writer Jack Kerouac "at a New York party where poets and Beatniks were," and showed him the photographs from his travels. However, according to Joyce Johnson, Kerouac's lover at the time, she met Frank while waiting for Kerouac to emerge from a conference with his editors, at Viking Press, looked at Frank's portfolio, and introduced them to each other. Kerouac immediately told Frank, "Sure I can write something about these pictures." He eventually contributed the introduction to the U.S. edition of The Americans. Frank also became lifelong friends with Allen Ginsberg, and was one of the main visual artists to document the Beat subculture, which felt an affinity with Frank's interest in documenting the tensions between the optimism of the 1950s and the realities of class and racial differences. The irony that Frank found in the gloss of American culture and wealth over this tension gave his photographs a clear contrast to those of most contemporary American photojournalists, as did his use of unusual focus, low lighting, and cropping that deviated from accepted photographic techniques. This divergence from contemporary photographic standards gave Frank difficulty at first in securing an American publisher. Les Américains was first published in 1958 by Robert Delpire in Paris, as part of its Encyclopédie Essentielle series, with texts by Simone de Beauvoir, Erskine Caldwell, William Faulkner, Henry Miller and John Steinbeck that Delpire positioned opposite Frank's photographs. It was finally published in 1959 in the United States, without the texts, by Grove Press, where it initially received substantial criticism. Popular Photography, for one, derided his images as "meaningless blur, grain, muddy exposures, drunken horizons and general sloppiness." Though sales were also poor at first, the fact that the introduction was by the popular Kerouac helped it reach a larger audience. Over time and through the inspiration of later artists, The Americans became a seminal work in American photography and art history, and is the work with which Frank is most clearly identified. In 1961, Frank received his first individual show, entitled Robert Frank: Photographer, at the Art Institute of Chicago. He also showed at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1962. By the time The Americans was published in the United States in 1959, Frank had moved away from photography to concentrate on filmmaking. Among his films was the 1959 Pull My Daisy, which was written and narrated by Kerouac and starred Ginsberg, Gregory Corso and others from the Beat circle. The Beats emphasized spontaneity, and the film conveyed the quality of having been thrown together or even improvised. Pull My Daisy was accordingly praised for years as an improvisational masterpiece, until Frank's co-director, Alfred Leslie, revealed in a November 28, 1968 article in the Village Voice that the film was actually carefully planned, rehearsed, and directed by him and Frank, who shot the film with professional lighting. Though Frank continued to be interested in film and video, he returned to still images in the 1970s, publishing his second photographic book, The Lines of My Hand, in 1972. This work has been described as a "visual autobiography", and consists largely of personal photographs. However, he largely gave up "straight" photography to instead create narratives out of constructed images and collages, incorporating words and multiple frames of images that were directly scratched and distorted on the negatives. None of this later work has achieved an impact comparable to that of The Americans. As some critics have pointed out, this is perhaps because Frank began playing with constructed images more than a decade after Robert Rauschenberg introduced his silkscreen composites—in contrast to The Americans, Frank's later images simply were not beyond the pale of accepted technique and practice by that time. Frank and Mary separated in 1969. He remarried, to sculptor June Leaf, and in 1971, moved to the community of Mabou, Nova Scotia in Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia in Canada. In 1974, his daughter, Andrea, was killed in a plane crash in Tikal, Guatemala. Also around this time, his son, Pablo, was first hospitalized and diagnosed with schizophrenia. Much of Frank's subsequent work dealt with the impact of the loss of both his daughter and subsequently his son, who died in an Allentown, Pennsylvania hospital in 1994. In 1995, in memory of his daughter, he founded the Andrea Frank Foundation, which provides grants to artists. After his move to Nova Scotia, Canada, Frank divided his time between his home there, in a former fisherman's shack on the coast, and his Bleecker Street loft in New York. He acquired a reputation for being a recluse (particularly since the death of Andrea), declining most interviews and public appearances. He continued to accept eclectic assignments, however, such as photographing the 1984 Democratic National Convention and directing music videos for artists such as New Order ("Run"), and Patti Smith ("Summer Cannibals"). Frank produced both films and still images, and helped organize several retrospectives of his art. His work has been represented by Pace/MacGill Gallery in New York since 1984. In 1994, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. presented the most comprehensive retrospective of Frank's work to date, entitled Moving Out. Frank died on September 9, 2019, at his home in Nova Scotia.Source: Wikipedia I have been frequently accused of deliberately twisting subject matter to my point of view. Above all, I know that life for a photographer cannot be a matter of indifference. Opinion often consists of a kind of criticism. But criticism can come out of love. It is important to see what is invisible to others—perhaps the look of hope or the look of sadness. Also it is always the instantaneous reaction to oneself that produces a photograph. -- Robert Frank
Nick Brandt
United Kingdom
1964
Nick Brandt is an English photographer whose themes always relate to the disappearing natural world, before much of it is destroyed by mankind. From 2001 to 2018, he has photographed in Africa. In his trilogy, On This Earth, A Shadow Falls Across The Ravaged Land (2001-2012), he established a style of portrait photography of animals in the wild similar to that of the photography of humans in studio setting, shot on medium format film, attempting to portray animals as sentient creatures not so different from us. In Inherit the Dust (2016), in a series of panoramas, Brandt recorded the impact of man in places where animals used to roam, but no longer do. In each location, Brandt erected a life-size panel of one of his unreleased animal portrait photographs, placing the displaced animals on sites of explosive urban development, new factories, wastelands and quarries. This Empty World (2019) addresses the escalating destruction of the natural world at the hands of humans, showing a world where, overwhelmed by runaway development, there is no longer space for animals to survive. The people in the photos also often helplessly swept along by the relentless tide of 'progress'. Each image is a combination of two moments in time, captured weeks apart, almost all from the exact same locked-off camera position: A partial set is built and lit. Weeks follow whilst the wild animals in the area become comfortable enough to enter the frame. Once the animals are captured on camera, the full sets are built. A second sequence is then photographed with a cast of people drawn from local communities and beyond. Brandt has had solo gallery and museum shows around the world, including New York, London, Berlin, Stockholm, Paris and Los Angeles. Born and raised in England, he now lives in the southern Californian mountains. He is co-founder of Big Life Foundation, fighting to protect the animals and ecosystem of a large area of Kenya and Tanzania. On this Earth: The first book in the trilogy, On This Earth (Chronicle Books, 2005) constitutes 66 photos taken 2000-2004, with introductions by the conservationist and primatologist Jane Goodall and the author Alice Sebold. The photographs in this book are a unadulterated vision of an African paradise, deliberately contrasting with what is to follow in the subsequent books. Elephant with Exploding Dust, Amboseli 2004, the photo on the book's cover, has since become one of Brandt's best-known images. Critical response to the book, heralded Brandt's photographic achievement. Black and White magazine called his photos "heartbreakingly beautiful". A Shadow Falls: The second book in the trilogy, A Shadow Falls, (Abrams, 2009) features 58 photographs taken 2005-2008. It is generally regarded to be superior to "On This Earth". In additional introductions, philosopher Peter Singer, author of the groundbreaking Animal Liberation, explains why Brandt's photographs speak to an increasing human moral conscience about our treatment of animals. The photography critic Vicki Goldberg places Brandt's work in the history of the medium. As the title of the book implies, this book, although replete with images of ethereal beauty and poetry, is a more melancholic interpretation of the world he photographs. Indeed, critic Vicki Goldberg writes: " A Shadow Falls, taken in its entirely, is a love story without a happily ever after." The photos in the book are deliberately sequenced: the opening images are of an unspoiled lush green world, filled with animals and water ("Wildebeest Arc, Masai Mara 2006" ). As the book progresses, the photos become gradually more stark, until towards the end, the trees are dead, the water gone, the animals are vastly reduced in numbers, until the book closes with the final ambiguous image, of a lone, abandoned ostrich egg on a parched lake bed. "Abandoned Ostrich Egg, Amboseli 2007". In addition the Artist's Edition book, entitled, On this Earth, a Shadow Falls, (Abrams Books/Big Life Editions) was published in 2010, combining the best 90 photos from the first two books, in a larger volume with much superior printing to the first two books. Across The Ravaged Land: The completion of Nick Brandt’s trilogy: “On This Earth, A Shadow Falls, Across The Ravaged Land.” Release date, September 3, 2013 (Abrams Books, 2013), documents the disappearing natural world and animals of East Africa. This is the third and final volume of Nick Brandt's work which reveals the darker side of his vision of East Africa’s animal kingdom and the juxtaposition of mankind. The trilogy marks the last decade of a stunning world of the beauty of East Africa’s Serengeti, Marsai Mara, Amboseli, and ends with a dark and well-known unhappy ending. “Across The Ravaged Land” introduces humans in his photography for the first time exhibiting the cost of poachers, killing for profit. One such example is Ranger with Tusks of Killed Elephant, Amboseli 2011. This photograph features one of the rangers employed by Big Life Foundation, the Foundation that Nick Brandt started in 2010. The ranger holds the tusks of an elephant killed by poachers in the years prior to the Foundation's inception. Brandt captures the trophies in these epic landscapes and the images of perfectly preserved creatures calcified by the salts of the Rift Valley soda lake. In both instances, the creatures appear in an ethereal animated state seemingly posing for their portraits. Big Life Foundation: In September 2010, in urgent response to the escalation of poaching in Africa due to increased demand from the Far East, Nick Brandt founded the non-profit organization called Big Life Foundation, dedicated to the conservation of Africa's wildlife and ecosystems. With one of the most spectacular elephant populations in Africa being rapidly diminished by poachers, the Amboseli ecosystem, which straddles both Kenya and Tanzania, became the Foundation's large-scale pilot project. Headed up in Kenya by renowned conservationist Richard Bonham, multiple fully equipped teams of anti-poaching rangers have been placed in newly built outposts in the critical areas throughout the 2-million-acre (8,100 km2) + area, resulting in a dramatically reduced incidence of killing and poaching of wildlife in the ecosystem. Source: Wikipedia Must Read Articles Exclusive Interview with Nick Brandt Big Life Foundation This Empty World, Inherit The Dust
Vanessa Marsh
United States
1978
Vanessa Marsh is a visual artist working in Oakland, CA. Originally from Seattle, WA, her favorite pastimes are hiking in mossy forests and watching re-runs of NOVA. In 2002 she moved to San Francisco to go to grad school at California College of the Arts and earned her MFA two years later. She moved to Oakland in 2010 where she now lives with her boyfriend and two cats. Some of her favorite places to have exhibited her work include the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco, Dolby Chadwick Gallery in San Francisco, Foley Gallery in New York, and the Sun Valley Art Center in Ketchum, ID. She has spent time making work at the Headlands Center for the Arts, The MacDowell Colony, Kala Art Institute and was AIR at Rayko Photo Center. In the spring of 2018 she was an artist in residence at Jentel Foundation in Banner, WY. About The Sun Beneath the Sky "The Sun Beneath the Sky is a series of Lumen prints featuring imagined landscapes highlighted by soft glowing light. In the images, seen and unseen suns illuminate transparent layers of mountains and volcanoes creating dreamlike and atmospheric places. The Sun Beneath the Sky continues my use of cut paper, multiple exposures and dodging and burning techniques to create invented photographic landscapes. First cut paper masks traced from the silhouettes of real mountain ranges are layered on top of silver gelatin paper. The paper is then exposed to sunlight at intervals and then processed to fix the image. The resulting photographs are pastel and ethereal. Through this series I am reflecting upon the nature of light, atmosphere, geology and time." Read more about Falling
Dan Budnik
United States
1933
Dan Budnik (b.1933, Long Island, NY) studied painting at the Art Students’ League of New York. After being drafted, he started photographing the New York school of Abstracts Expressionist and Pop Artists in the mid-fifties, making it a primary focus for several decades. He made major photo-essays on Willem de Kooning and David Smith, among many other artists. It was his teacher Charles Alston at the Art Students’ League of New York, the first African American to teach at the League, who inspired his interest in documentary photography and the budding Civil Rights Movement. In 1957 he started working at Magnum Photos, New York, assisting several photographers, notably Cornell Capa, Burt Glinn, Eve Arnold, Ernst Haas, Eric Hartmann and Elliott Erwitt. In March 1958 Budnik travelled to live with the underground in Havana for 6 weeks during the Cuban revolution. Budnik continued to work with Magnum for half of his time, until joining as an associate member in 1963. In 1964 he left Magnum and continued specializing in essays for leading national and international magazines, focussing on civil and human rights, ecological issues and artists. Since 1970 Budnik has worked with the Hopi and Navaho traditional people of northern Arizona, and received for this work a National Endowment for the Arts Grant in 1973 and a Polaroid Foundation Grant in 1980. In 1998 he was the recipient of the Honor Roll Award of the American Society of Media Photographers. He lives and works in Tucson and Flagstaff, Arizona. Source: danbudnik.com
Clay Lipsky
United States
Clay Lipsky is a fine art photographer & Emmy Award winning graphic designer based in Los Angeles. He has applied his unique visual style across a variety of mediums, from print and multimedia to TV and film. Despite his varied interests, photography has always been a part of Clay’s life. Recently, he has experienced a new-found interest with the medium and is now passionately focused on pursuing photography as fine art, free from clients and limitless in creative possibilities. Clay is self-taught and strives to create images that can stand the test of time. His photos have been exhibited in various group shows, including those at the Annenberg Space for Photography, MOPLA, Pink Art Fair Seoul, Wall Space, Rayko and Impossible Project Spaces in NYC & Warsaw, Poland. Clay has been published internationally in print and online, most notably with Esquire Russia, Wired Italia, Fraction, Square, Lenscratch, Diffusion, i-ref, Daily News (UK), Yahoo! Lifestyle (Germany), La Republica (Italy), Libération (France), Shots & um[laut] Magazines. Clay Lipsky's project, In Dark Light, is intriguing on a number of levels. First, the work was created, for the most part, on a trip to Iceland and as we know, creating conceptual fine art images while in a foreign place, with no opportunity for previsualization, is not an easy task. But somehow, Clay instinctively found a narrative and way of working within a concentrated period of time. The other interesting aspect is what the work is about. Making imagery about depression, about loss and solitude has to have subtle nuances that are at once personal and universal, and Clay captured this subject with emotion and simplicity. Clay works as fine art photographer and graphic in Los Angeles. His photos have been exhibited in group shows across the country, including the Annenberg Space for Photography, MOPLA, Pink Art Fair Seoul, PhotoPlace and Impossible Project NYC. He has been featured internationally in print and online in publications such as Fraction, Square, Diffusion, F-Stop, PH and Shots Magazines. Recently, he was a featured "Ten" through Jennifer Schwartz Gallery, and North Light Press will be publishing an edition of his Cuba photos through their 11+1 series. He is also an avid self-publisher with several titles that exhibit as part of the Indie Photobook Library. Source: www.lenscratch.com About the series In Dark Light This series of self portraits examines my loss of identity and enduring personal journey through depression. It is a solitary path that encompasses loss of home and parent, the pursuit of beauty, work and perseverance under no religious or visceral compass. Imagined as a vast, shadowed plane it is a private purgatory mired in fog with colors muted and senses numbed. The varied landscape acts as metaphor for life's many obstacles. Beyond the horizon lies hope for brighter days and so the lone soul carries on, albeit cast in dark light. Discover Clay Lipsky's Interview
John Kenny
United Kingdom
In 2006 I developed my style of portrait photography within traditional communities, heavily influenced by the dramatic pictures of chiaroscuro artists. Chiaroscuro is an Italian term which literally means light-dark. Back then, at the very start of my Africa journey, I was buzzing with energy having met people of real magnetism just days into my trip. I was excited by extraordinary people and fascinating cultures and wondered how I could possibly communicate and express these feelings of excitement to friends and family back home.The solution, I imagined, would involve abstracting the remarkable from the not so remarkable: put simply, I felt that the vibrant and intense individuals that I had met in traditional communities would best show their magnetism on camera when they were removed from the (often) dull and dusty backgrounds of their immediate environment. After a few days I started to imagine each of these people in front of me emerging from the nothingness of darkness, with no distractions, hoping that this would provide a real feeling of proximity between the viewer and the person in the picture. I made a conscious decision at that time to leave a more documentary style of environmental portraiture to others. Practicing this new technique in remote African villages in 2006 I had nothing but sunshine and a hut available as a great ‘open studio': so I used these parameters and started experimenting (I've never really liked flash anyway). So it's simply the illumination of natural sunlight, and sun on dry earth, that reaches into the darkness of huts and lights up these remarkable people. Sun and dry earth are the only ingredients required for the lighting in my prints. And of course, you also need to find exceptional people!Falling in love with photography, and the origins of this series:I first fell in love with photography around 2003. I had not been fortunate enough to receive an art or photography education, but I knew back then, when I picked up my first SLR camera, that I had found the perfect way to express myself. Every time I had the camera in my hand I was looking to improve, needing to know what everything and anything looked like once it had been through the photographic process. It was a bit like a mad pursuit of alchemy - throwing everything into the mix to see if any magic came out of the other side. The process of photographic learning is very rarely a simple one, but to me it remains beautiful: discoveries, experimentation and seeing for the first time how a camera distorts and enhances the world.In Africa I seem to have made it my goal to travel through some of the remotest areas of the continent where the reaches of urbanisation and 21st century living are barely detectable. Looking back, this wasn’t my intention when I first arrived there in 2006, but somehow I keep returning to Africa to photograph because I'm fascinated to encounter societies that are able to survive in some of the most arid, isolated and difficult environments that people have settled in. If you haven’t visited these places then the reality of living is not nearly as romantic or idealised as one might imagine. Life takes place against a backdrop of very uncertain resources and enormous hardships, but traditions and hospitality towards outsiders remain intact.I specifically chose to photograph the individuals that you see in these galleries because I had a very real sense of wonder when I met them. Each one of these people had something that attracted me, sometimes a piercing intensity, or an uncommon beauty, that I felt compelled to try and capture. It’s true that I photograph for myself, first and foremost, but a close second is my desire to show others this magnetism that draws one into the eyes of these fascinating people.I have usually travelled alone or with a guide on these journeys, along the way walking and hopping onto overloaded vehicles of every kind to head to remote settlements. Often the destination is a transient, weekly market where hundreds of vibrant, colourful people assemble somewhat incongruously against a dull, dusty backdrop for a few hours. Later in the day they will all melt away with their animals and traded possessions, until the location is again a patch of bone-dry ground with almost nothing to separate it from the rest of the featureless land that typifies much of the African Sahel. It is fascinating to observe this process play out in almost exactly the same way across countless African countries, many of which are separated by hundreds or thousands of miles across this huge continent’s surface.My favourite tools are sharp prime lenses and cameras that let you capture the tiniest pieces of detail: whilst these details may be insignificant alone, when aggregated I feel they help paint the picture of the environment and how each person adapts to theirs.My favourite series of work remains the Northern Kenya series which involved 6 weeks of intense travelling with my guide, Mo, across remote areas without a vehicle and often without any semblance of an idea how to get to the next tiny settlement. The trip was full of unique encounters in locations that seemed to be famous, to me at least, as places where no transport seemed to be heading. On one particular occasion we came across a lone Moran (warrior) emerge into the dawn light, miles from anywhere. He seemed like a mirage: a vibrant vision in pink cloth and bright colourful jewellery, and more acutely so when set against the hazy yellow monotone of land that he emerged from. Even for Northern Kenya, I thought he seemed to be in a remote, featureless location: devoid of any water, and within an hour it would again be blistering hot. Despite these uncomfortable realities - which clearly weighed more heavily on my mind than his - the warrior seemed confident of his bearings and stopped for a moment to exchange pleasantries with Mo and I. A couple of minutes later, after sharing cigarette with my guide, he purposefully set off walking again, to God knows where. This place that looked barren and foreboding, to me at least, was clearly his home.
Serena Dzenis
Australia
1984
Serena Dzenis is a lens-based artist from Australia who resides in Iceland. She uses her work to tell stories about science, conservation, environmental issues and the future of mankind. Serena’s photographs depart from the traditional, with a focus on capturing the otherworldliness that is sometimes associated with nature and human constructions on our own planet. The emphasis of her art is on storytelling within the landscape – connecting with the land and exploring the outcomes of human desires while immersing oneself in the rhythms and dangers associated with the living presence of this world. 2021 ± II: Utopia Broadcasting Do you think that the first space colony created by mankind will happen during your lifetime? Technology has advanced so quickly over the past few years. In the overall scheme of things, we’re just a flash in the pan and yet we’ve done so much to change our planet. Humankind is leaving a profound legacy on Earth, exploiting its resources to turn it into the sanctuary that we want it to be or perhaps farewelling a paradise that we’ve already lost. ‘2021 ± II: Utopia Broadcasting’ encapsulates everything about human construction, sheer curiosity, consumerism, as well as the wonders and dangers associated with science. The overall aim of this project is to utilise existing structures within the Icelandic landscape to transport the viewer’s imagination to another world that exists outside of time. In doing so, the hope is to invoke conversation around themes of futurism and dreams for a better life amidst the darker side of human ideals.
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Photographer and film director, Michel Haddi has photographed many high-profile celebrities while living in the USA including, Clint Eastwood, Martin Scorsese, David Bowie, Uma Thurman, Francis Ford Coppola, Cameron Diaz, Faye Dunaway, Nicholas Cage, Johnny Depp, Heath Ledger, Angelina Jolie, Janet Jackson, Jennifer Lopez, and many others. He also manages a publishing house, MHS publishing, which publishes his own books. Currently based in London we have asked him a few questions about his life and work
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In 2008, Swedish photographer Sebastian Sardi, inspired by an article exposing hidden mining-related incidents, embarked on a photography journey. Without formal training, he explored mines and ventured to India's Jharkhand state to document coal miners in Dhanbad, known as the "coal capital." His project, "Black Diamond," captured the lives of people, including men, women, and children, dedicated to coal extraction in grueling conditions.
Exclusive Interview with Debra Achen
Monterey-based photographer Debra Achen was born and raised near Pittsburgh, PA, where she developed a passion for both nature and art. She studied a variety of studio arts, including drawing, painting, and printmaking in addition to her training in traditional film and darkroom photography. Her project 'Folding and Mending' won the September 2022 Solo Exhibition. We asked here a few questions about her life and work.
Exclusive Interview with Steve Hoffman
Steve Hoffman is a documentary photographer who has who spent the last dozen years working with and photographing the people that live the housing projects in Coney Island. He was the winner of the July and August 2022 Solo Exhibition. We asked him a few questions about his life and work.
Exclusive Interview with Aya Okawa
Aya is passionate about exploring the natural world and protecting ecosystems and wild landsAll about Photo: Tell us about your first introduction to photography. What drew you into this world? Her project The Systems That Shape Us'won the February 2022 Solo Exhibition. We asked her a few questions about her life and her work.
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