All about photo.com: photo contests, photography exhibitions, galleries, photographers, books, schools and venues.
Manuel Besse
Manuel Besse
Manuel Besse

Manuel Besse

Country: France
Birth: 1964

Manuel Besse is a versatile photographer, renowned for his black-and-white portraits - imbued with a universal resonance - captured across the USA, Brazil, Canada and Eurasia. His exacting quest for authenticity is reflected in the finesse with which he captures faces, silhouettes and atmospheres. Influenced as a child by Don McCullin's documentary on the Vietnam War, he began his photographic career in the early 1980s, winning the Polaroid First Prize at the École Nationale Supérieure Louis-Lumière. He then enriched his skills in photography, videography, fine arts and ethnology at the Académie Charpentier and the École du Louvre, under the guidance of Maurice Bitter, an emblematic figure in journalism.

His ongoing exploration took him to Brazil, Central America and the Amazon, where, in 1987, he was the first Frenchman to document the Serra Pelada gold mines. A freelance photographer for Cosmo International and Sipa Press, he joined Colombian army missions against drug traffickers in the Amazon. These experiences enriched his perspective and led him through French Guiana, Argentina, Venezuela and Suriname, where he sailed the Maroni River with the Foreign Legion, exploring little-known territories.

In the 1990s, he travelled to the Dolomites, Canada and the Arctic Circle, consolidating his commitment to the preservation of nature and local cultures. Awarded a prize in 1994 for his documentary "À quoi ça rime?", Manuel Besse continues his travels, capturing and restoring its diversity through striking images that reflect his own reading of the world.

Article

A L'Origine by Manuel Besse

All About Photo Competitions

AAP Magazine 32 B&W
 

Inspiring Portfolios

Call for Entries
AAP Magazine #40 Portrait
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

Olivia Arthur
United Kingdom
1980
Olivia Arthur is a British documentary photographer. She co-founded Fishbar, a publisher and space for photography in London, with Philipp Ebeling in 2010. Arthur is a member of the Magnum Photos agency and has produced the books Jeddah Diary (2012) and Stranger (2015). Originally studying mathematics at Oxford University, Arthur later studied photojournalism at London College of Printing. She became a nominee member of Magnum Photos in 2008, an associate member in 2011, and a full member in 2013. In 2010 Arthur co-founded Fishbar, a publisher and space for photography in East London, with her husband Philipp Ebeling. Her first book Jeddah Diary (2012) is about the lives of young women in Saudi Arabia. Her second book Stranger (2015) views Dubai through the eyes of the survivor of a shipwreck.Source: Wikipedia Olivia Arthur is known for her in-depth photography examining people and their personal and cultural identities. Much of her work has illuminated the daily lives of women living in countries as varied as Saudi Arabia, India and across Europe. A more recent focus on large format portraiture has brought her work back to the UK. “For me, part of the power of still photography is the ambiguousness of pictures, the ability to give a hint about a scene or event without being too absolute,” says Arthur of her work. Arthur was born in London and grew up in the UK. She studied mathematics at Oxford University and photojournalism at the London College of Printing. She began working as a photographer in 2003 after moving to Delhi and was based in India for two and a half years. In 2006, she left for Italy to take up a one-year residency with Fabrica, during which she began working on a series about women and cultural divides. Representation and the way we see ourselves are also areas of interest for Arthur. She explored these themes in her project In Private/Mumbai (2016-2018) about sexuality in India and through her ‘Portrait of a City’ commission about young people for Hull, City of Culture (2017). Arthur’s work has been shown in publications including The New Yorker, Vogue and TIME Magazine among others and selected commercial clients include British Airways, Capeb and BNP Paribas. She has received support from the Inge Morath Award, the National Media Museum, OjodePez-PhotoEspana Award for Human Values. Arthur continues to return to India and to work in London where she lives. She became a full member of Magnum Photos in 2013.Source: Magnum Photos
Valerio Nicolosi
Valerio Nicolosi, filmmaker and photojournalist based and born in Rome in 1984, has always had a passion for photography and video. In 2008 he graduated with highest honours from the 'Experimental Television Center' in Rome. He is always looking for the "human factor" on his photos. He made few reportages from the Syrian-Lebanon border about the crises of refugees and the humanitarian corridors. He made Italian and european network and investigative journalism programs for which he has made many reportages on the issue of immigrants and in particular in the "Jungle of Calais". He also covered the terrorist attacks both in Paris and Brussels. During the months of October and November 2016 he followed the US elections making a series of reportages together with the journalist Giovanna Pancheri, broadcast by SkyTg24. Most of the reportages were about human condition on suburbs of America. Making the documentary "Death Before Lampedusa" for the German national TV, ARD, he followed the operation "Mare Nostrum" on board the Italian military vessels deployed in the recovery of boats coming from Africa. He has made numerous music videos with Italian and Palestinian singer/songwriters and has published three books of short stories and photography, "Bar(n)Out", "Be Filmmaker in Gaza" "(R)Esistenze". He spent more than 20 days on board the "Proactiva Open Arms" boat, a Spanish NGO whose main mission is to rescue refugees from the sea that arrive in Europe fleeing wars, persecution or poverty. On that 3 weeks they rescued 86 refugees. He is just come back from the Gaza Strip where he taught filmmaking and did some reportages about fishermen and daily life. He also works as an occasional lecturer with the 'Audio-visual Journalism Tribune' at La Sapienza University and the Palestinian Al-Aqsa and Deir El-Balah, both located in the Gaza Strip. He collaboreted with the international press agency Reuters and currently he collaborates with Associated Press. Discover Valerio Nicolosi's Interview
Peikwen Cheng
China
1975
Peikwen Cheng studied product design at Stanford University, graduating in 1997. He is a self-taught photographer who has exhibited his work in Cambodia, Canada, China, Germany, Greece, Poland, Singapore, Sweden, Syria, United Kingdom and United States. Before turning his focus to art, he was a designer and was awarded with a United States Design Patent and an Industrial Design Excellence Award by the Industrial Design Society of America. Peikwen Cheng lives in Beijing. Peikwen Cheng is a Chinese-American artist based in New York and Shanghai. His work explores the process of change across cultures, time and place and seeks to discover magical moments in unexpected places. His art has been exhibited in Belgium, Cambodia, Canada, China, Luxembourg, Germany, Greece, Poland, Singapore, Sweden, Syria, United Kingdom and the United States; and his work has been featured by BBC, CNN, BBC, Financial Times, The Guardian, National Public Radio, The Sunday Times, and Vogue. He has been recognized by international awards including the Three Shadows Photography Award, National Geographic Award at the Eddie Adams Workshop, C/O Berlin Talents Award, Renaissance Photography Prize Category Winner, Flash Forward Selected Winner by the Magenta Foundation, Px3, and International Photography Awards. And as a designer, he was awarded with a United States Design Patent and an Industrial Design Excellence Award by the Industrial Design Society of America. He is a graduate of Stanford University, Tsinghua University and Insead. Source: Visura
Bieke Depoorter
Belgium
1986
Bieke Depoorter (born 1986) is a Belgian photographer. She is a member of Magnum Photos and has published four books: Ou Menya, I am About to Call it a Day, As it May Be, and Sète#15. Depoorter received a master's degree in photography at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Ghent in 2009. The relationships Depoorter establishes with the subjects of her photographs lie at the foundation of her artistic practice. Accidental encounters are the starting point, and how these interactions naturally develop dictate the nature of Depoorter’s work. Many of her self-initiated projects are about intimate situations in families and in peoples' homes. For her graduation project and her first book, Ou Menya (2011), she made three trips to Russia, photographing people in their homes that she met whilst travelling around. The series won the 2009 Magnum Expression Award. Bieke Depoorter made the work for her second book, I am About to Call it a Day (2014) in a similar way whilst hitchhiking and driving around the U.S. However several recent projects have been the result of Depoorter questioning the medium. In As it May Be, she gradually became more aware of her status as an outsider, both culturally and as a photographer. So, in 2017, she revisited Egypt with the first draft of the book, inviting people to write comments directly onto the photographs. In Sète#15, and also Dvalemodus, a short film she co-directed together with Mattias De Craene, she began to see her subjects as actors. Although she portrayed them in their true environments, she tried to project her own story onto the scenes, fictionalizing the realities of her subjects in a way that blurred the lines between their world and hers. In the ongoing project Agata, a project about a young woman Depoorter met at a striptease bar in Paris in October 2017, she explores her interest in collaborative portraiture. It’s an example of Depoorter’s interest in finding people that can work with her in telling a story. These stories are always partially hers, and partially theirs. In her latest project Michael, she investigates the disappearance and life of a man she met on the streets of Portland in 2015. After giving her three suitcases full of scrapbooks, notes and books, everyone lost sight of him. Bieke Depoorter became a nominee member of Magnum Photos in 2012, an associate member in 2014, and a full member in 2016. She is the fourth Belgian member of the agency, after Carl De Keyzer, Martine Franck, Harry Gruyaert... Depoorter has won the Magnum Expression Award, The Larry Sultan Award and the Prix Levallois.Source: Wikipedia For the past six years, Bieke Depoorter has spent countless nights photographing perfect strangers—people that she encounters on the street who are willing to open their homes to Depoorter and her camera. The project began when she was travelling on the Trans-Siberian Railway, in 2008. She didn’t speak the language, so photography became her mode of communication. (She carried a letter that a friend wrote in Russian that explained her intent.) After publishing the work as a book, called Ou Menya, Depoorter headed to the United States, in 2010, where she hitchhiked and drove around the country, creating the collection found in her latest book, I Am About to Call It a Day. The project, both intimate and removed, hinges upon Depoorter’s ability to build trust within a tight timeframe. In many of the photographs, she seems to go unnoticed, capturing the unguarded moments found only in the privacy of one’s own home. “I like the atmosphere of the night,” Depoorter told me. “When people go to sleep, I think it’s most real. No one is looking at them, and they become their true selves.” She told me that her process is intrinsic to the success of her images. “I try to not hope for a picture,” she said. “I am there as a person first, and a photographer second.”Source: The New Yorker
Werner Bischof
Switzerland
1916 | † 1954
Bischof was born in Zürich, Switzerland. When he was six years old, the family moved to Waldshut, Germany, where he subsequently went to school. In 1932, having abandoned studies to become a teacher, he enrolled at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Zürich, where he graduated cum laude in 1936. From 1939 on, he worked as an independent photographer for various magazines, in particular, du, based in Zürich. He travelled extensively from 1945 to 1949 through nearly all European countries from France to Romania and from Norway to Greece. His works on the devastation in post-war Europe established him as one of the foremost photojournalists of his time. He was associated into Magnum Photos in 1948 and became a full member in 1949. At that time Magnum was composed of just five other photographers, its founders Robert Capa, Henri Cartier-Bresson, George Rodger, David Seymour, and Ernst Haas. The focus of much of Bischof's post-war humanist photography was showing the poverty and despair around him in Europe, tempered with his desire to travel the world, conveying the beauty of nature and humanity. In 1951, he went to India, freelancing for Life, and then to Japan and Korea. For Paris Match he worked as a war reporter in Vietnam. In 1954, he travelled through Mexico and Panama, before flying to Peru, where he embarked on a trip through the Andes to the Amazonas on 14 May. On 16 May his car fell off a cliff on a mountain road in the Andes, and all three passengers were killed. Source: Wikipedia Werner Bischof was born in Switzerland. He studied photography with Hans Finsler in his native Zurich at the School for Arts and Crafts, then opened a photography and advertising studio. In 1942, he became a freelancer for Du magazine, which published his first major photo essays in 1943. Bischof received international recognition after the publication of his 1945 reportage on the devastation caused by the Second World War. In the years that followed, Bischof traveled in Italy and Greece for Swiss Relief, an organization dedicated to post-war reconstruction. In 1948, he photographed the Winter Olympics in St Moritz for LIFE magazine. After trips to Eastern Europe, Finland, Sweden and Denmark, he worked for Picture Post, The Observer, Illustrated, and Epoca. He was the first photographer to join Magnum with the founding members in 1949. Disliking the ‘superficiality and sensationalism’ of the magazine business, he devoted much of his working life to looking for order and tranquility in traditional culture, something that did not endear him to picture editors looking for hot topical material. Nonetheless, he found himself sent to report on the famine in India by Life magazine (1951), and he went on to work in Japan, Korea, Hong Kong and Indochina. The images from these reportages were used in major picture magazines throughout the world. In the autumn of 1953, Bischof created a series of expansively composed color photographs of the USA. The following year he traveled throughout Mexico and Panama, and then on to a remote part of Peru, where he was engaged in making a film. Tragically, Bischof died in a road accident in the Andes on 16 May 1954, only nine days before Magnum founder Robert Capa lost his life in Indochina. Source: Magnum Photos
Ali MC
Australia
A former touring musician and producer, Ali MC is a photographer, writer and lecturer in law and criminology. He is also a regular contributor to Al Jazeera and has had his work featured extensively in a variety of publications internationally. Recent photographic projects include Rohingya refugees in Burma and Bangladesh, Khasi stone labourers in India, marginalised groups in Timor-Lesteand street scenes in Iran. In 2023 he launched H: A Love Story, a long form analogue ‘photographic audiobook’ and AV installation about homelessness and heroin addiction in his home city of Naarm (Melbourne, Australia). His portrait of Indigenous singer Archie Roach was selected in the 2021 national Bowness prize and a portrait of esteemed Indigenous actor Jack Charles shortlisted in the 2022 Australian Photography Awards. A collection of his protest photography was also recently acquired by the State Library of Victoria archives. Working predominantly in 35mm and medium format, Ali's work is grounded in research and academic study, holding a Bachelor of Arts with Honours in History and a Masters in Human Rights Law. Statement Ali MC’s creative and academic practice aims to elevate the voices of marginalised and criminalised peoples globally and tackle social and political issues through extensive, long-term engagement. Using a variety of film and camera combinations, Ali’s often-experimental practice seeks to push the boundaries of documentary photography and photojournalism, often exploring ways to evoke a mood, emotion or experience as much as documenting people and places. Themes of trauma, marginalisation and criminalisation permeate his work, taking him deep into the darkness of the human psyche and experience. Not content to remain an armchair narrator, Ali MC has travelled to countries such as Haiti, Ethiopia, Iraq, Rwanda and Syria (and many more) to meet people first-hand, build relationships and develop the close collaborations that drive his stories. H: A Love Story
Richard Misrach
United States
1949
Richard Misrach (born 1949) is an American photographer "firmly identified with the introduction of color to 'fine' [art] photography in the 1970s, and with the use of large-format traditional cameras" (Nancy Princenthal, Art in America). David Littlejohn of the Wall Street Journal calls Misrach "the most interesting and original American photographer of his generation," describing his work as running "parallel to that of Thomas Struth and Andreas Gursky, two German contemporaries." Littlejohn notes that all three used a large scale color format that defied the expectations of fine art photography at the time. Misrach is widely recognized as "one of this century’s most internationally acclaimed photographers." He is perhaps best known for his depictions of the deserts of the American west, and for his series documenting the changes brought to bear on the environment by various man-made factors such as urban sprawl, tourism, industrialization, floods, fires, petrochemical manufacturing, and the testing of explosives and nuclear weapons by the military. Curator Anne Wilkes Tucker writes that Misrach's practice has been "driven [by] issues of aesthetics, politics, ecology, and sociology." In a 2011 interview, Misrach noted: "My career, in a way, has been about navigating these two extremes - the political and the aesthetic." Describing his philosophy, Tracey Taylor of the New York Times writes that "[Misrach's] images are for the historical record, not reportage." Misrach has been married since 1989 to writer Myriam Weisang and has a son, Jake, from his first marriage to Debra Bloomfield. Misrach's book Desert Cantos received the 1988 Infinity Award from the International Center of Photography, and his Bravo 20: The Bombing of the American West, co-authored with Myriam Weisang Misrach, was awarded the 1991 PEN Center West Award for a nonfiction book. His Katrina monograph Destroy This Memory won Best Photobook of the Year 2011 at PhotoEspaña. He has received numerous awards including four National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, a Guggenheim Fellowship, an International Center of Photography Infinity Award for a Publication, and the Distinguished Career in Photography Award from the Los Angeles Center for Photographic Studies. In 2002 he was given the Kulturpreis for Lifetime Achievement in Photography by the German Society for Photography, and in 2008 he received the Lucie Award for Outstanding Achievement in Fine Art Photography. In 2010, Apple licensed Misrach's 2004 image Pyramid Lake (at Night) as the inaugural wallpaper for the first iPad. The opening credits of the 2014 HBO series True Detective featured a montage of images from Misrach's Petrochemical America. In 2016, the AIGA selected Border Cantos for its "50 Books | 50 Covers" competition, a "survey of the best in book design represent[ing] perhaps the longest-standing legacy in American graphic design." Source: Wikipedia Richard Misrach is one of the most influential photographers of his generation. In the 1970s, he helped pioneer the renaissance of color photography and large-scale presentation that are in widespread practice today. Best known for his ongoing series, Desert Cantos, a multi-faceted approach to the study of place and man’s complex relationship to it, he has worked in the landscape for over 40 years. A recent chapter of the series, Border Cantos, made in collaboration with the experimental composer Guillermo Galindo, explores the unseen realities of the US-Mexico borderlands. This work was exhibited at the Amon Carter Museum of Art, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, and San Jose Museum of Art in 2016-17. In the most recent chapters, Premonitions and The Writing on the Wall, Misrach documents graffiti on abandoned buildings throughout the Southwest and Southern California, finding an angry and ominous response to the highly charged political climate before and after the 2016 election. Both series premiered at Fraenkel Gallery in 2017. Other notable bodies of work include his documentation of the industrial corridor along the Mississippi River known as Cancer Alley, the study of weather, time, color and light in his serial photographs of the Golden Gate Bridge, and On The Beach, an aerial perspective of human interaction and isolation. Recent projects mark departures from his work to date. In one series, he has experimented with new advances in digital capture and printing, foregrounding the negative as an end in itself and digitally creating images with astonishing detail and color spectrum. In another, he built a powerful narrative out of images of graffiti produced in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, made with a 4-megapixel pocket camera. In fall 2012, in collaboration with landscape architect Kate Orff, Misrach launched a major book and exhibition entitled Petrochemical America, which addresses the health and environmental issues associated with our dependency on oil. Source: Fraenkel Gallery
Advertisement
AAP Magazine #40: Portrait
Win a Solo Exhibition in June
AAP Magazine #40: Portrait

Latest Interviews

Barbara Cole and Wet Collodion Photographs
Cole is best known for her underwater photography, but her other studio practice during the cold months in Toronto is an ongoing series of wet collodion photographs. This heavily analog process from the 19th Century is a years-long endeavor of revitalization and experimentation, offering modern day viewers an understanding of what it took to develop photographs in the early days of its invention. Cole has added her own unique take on the process by adding a layer of color in contrast to the usual sepia tones associated with the genre. The resulting wet plate photographs are tactile and dimensional dances between light and shadow, past and present, depicting women in timeless dreamscapes. We asked her a few questions about this specific project
Exclusive Interview with Michael Joseph
I discovered Michael Joseph's work in 2016, thanks to Ann Jastrab. I was immediately captivated by the power of his beautiful black and white photographs from his series 'Lost and Found.' His haunting portraits of young Travelers have stayed with me ever since.
Exclusive Interview with Debe Arlook
Debe Arlook is an award-winning American artist working in photography. Through color and diverse photographic processes, Arlook’s conceptual work is a response to her surroundings and the larger environment, as she attempts to understand the inner and outer worlds of human relationships. Degrees in filmmaking and psychology inform these views.
Orchestrating Light: Seth Dickerman Talks About his Passion for Photographic Printmaking
Seth Dickerman is a master manipulator of the wide spectrum of light densities that reflect off the surface of a photographic print and enter into our field of vision. His singular intent in making prints is to bring out the best an image has to offer, which means giving an image the ability to hold our attention, to engage us, and to allow us to discover something about an image that is meaningful and significant.
Exclusive Interview with Michel Haddi
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
Exclusive Interview with Sebastien Sardi
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.
Call for Entries
AAP Magazine #40 Portrait
Publish your work in AAP Magazine and win $1,000 Cash Prizes