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Robert Bergman
© Robert Bergman
Robert Bergman
Robert Bergman

Robert Bergman

Country: United States
Birth: 1944

Over more than 50 years, largely outside the mainstream, Robert Bergman has pursued a vision of advancing psychological and philosophical depth in photography and of transcending the boundaries between painting and photography. In Toni Morrison's words in her introduction to his classic 1998 book A Kind of Rapture, his color portraits are "... a master template of the singularity, the community, and the unextinguishable sacredness of the human race."

In his Epilogue to that book, the pre-eminent art historian, Professor Meyer Schapiro, wrote, "... his recent color portraits ... have no forerunners in photography. ... he has introduced the processes of unification, as in painting, with the search for harmony, movement, variety and distinction within it, beyond what I have ever seen in a photograph.... His finest works bring to mind some of the greatest painted portraits. ... truly profound works of art."

Placing Bergman in the context of other, better known master American photographers, John Yau, poet, critic, and author of The United States of Jasper Johns, has said, "Diane Arbus, Robert Frank, Garry Winogrand, and William Eggleston. ...he is certainly in their league. ... One day Bergman will get credit for the richness of his photographs, the way they transcend image."

Robert Bergman is currently producing a limited edition KEY SET of new master prints of 150-200 photographs that, together with the 51 A Kind of Rapture prints, will reveal the organic unity, the arc, of his creative journey: black & white street work of people and cityscapes; black & white portraits in nursing homes; black & white abstracts; hundreds of color portraits on the streets of American cities; and most recently, large-scale color abstracts.

Bergman has had solo exhibitions at The National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, MoMA/P.S.1 in New York, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Yossi Milo Gallery in New York, and Michael Hoppen Contemporary in London. Group shows include the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, MoMA, the Ackland Art Museum in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and the "Come Together: Surviving Sandy" exhibition in Brooklyn, NY.

In addition to the collections of the Hill Art Foundation and Agnes Gund, President Emerita, MoMA, and numerous other individual's collections, Robert Bergman's work is in the permanent collections of the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, which recently acquired a vintage set of the 51 A Kind of Rapture color portraits, the Cleveland Museum, the Houston Museum of Fine Arts, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, The National Gallery of Art, the 21C Museum in Louisville, KY. His work has also been highlighted in books, magazines, and newspapers in the United States, Great Britain, France, and Germany as well as on National Public Radio and the Public Broadcasting System. He received the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant in 2017.
 

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More Great Photographers To Discover

Lee Jeffries
United Kingdom
Lee Jeffries lives in Manchester in the United Kingdom. Close to the professional football circle, this artist starts to photograph sporting events. A chance meeting with a young homeless girl in the streets of London changes his artistic approach forever. Lee Jeffries recalls that, initially, he had stolen a photo from this young homeless girl huddled in a sleeping bag. The photographer knew that the young girl had noticed him but his first reaction was to leave. He says that something made him stay and go and discuss with the homeless girl. His perception of the homeless completely changes. They become the subject of his art. The models in his photographs are homeless people that he has met in Europe and in the United States: «Situations arose, and I made an effort to learn to get to know each of the subjects before asking their permission to do their portrait.» From then onwards, his photographs portray his convictions and his compassion to the world. "If you will forgive my indulgence, This work is most definitely NOT photojournalism. Nor is it intended as portraiture. It's religious or spiritual iconography. It's powerful stuff. Jeffries gave these people something more than personal dignity. He gave them a light in their eyes that depicts transcendence, a glimmer of light at the gates of Eden, so to speak. The clarity in their eyes is awesome to behold as if God is somewhere in there. He has made these people into more than poor old broken homeless people lazily waiting for a handout from some urbane and thoughtful corporate agent. He infused them with light, not darkness. Even the blind guy has light pouring from his sightless eyes. I think Jeffries intended his art to honor these people, not pity them. He honors those people by giving their likenesses a greater meaning. He gives them a religious spiritual significance. He imbues them with the iconic soul of humanity. I think that's what he was trying to do, at least to some degree thereof." Source: www.yellowkorner.com Lee Jeffries leads a double life – as a full-time accountant near Manchester, and in his free time as an impassioned photographer of the homeless all over the world. A self-taught photographer who started out taking pictures of stock in a bike shop, his epiphany came in April 2008 when, on the eve of running the London Marathon, he snatched a long-lens image of a homeless girl huddling in a doorway, and felt compelled to apologize to her when she called him out for it. Their resulting conversation changed not only his approach to photography; it changed his life. Since that day Lee has been on a mission to raise awareness of – and funds for – the homeless. His work features street people from the UK, Europe, and the US whom he gets to know by living rough with them, the relationship between them enabling him to capture a searing intimacy and authenticity in his portraits. He has published two critically acclaimed fund-raising books, Lost Angels and Homeless, worked with the Salvation Army on a major campaign, and donated the half-dozen cameras he's won in prestigious imaging competitions to charity. He estimates he's given thousands of pounds of his own money to help those he photographs. All this, and he's still 'an amateur'. Source: Nikon In-Frame Read our Exclusive Interview with Lee Jeffries
Zev Hoover
United States
1999
Zev Hoover, from Natick, Massachusetts, goes by the Flickr username Fiddle Oak, a play on 'little folk', which adequately describes the incredible images that make up his 'miniature world'. In his fantastical photos in which people are digitally shrunken, acorns make excellent seats, Popsicle sticks are the ideal size for building rafts, and paper airplanes are viable modes of transport. Zev told Today.com that while he takes the photos with his own camera, his older sister Nell, 18, was the brains behind the original tiny people concept. "She is sort of my partner in crime," he said, adding that she is "more of a writer". While Nell may have come up with the idea, Zev executes the images beautifully, and his unique work has attracted the attention of professional photographers and designers. The 14-year-old, who also writes a blog, explained the complicated process of how he creates his dreamlike images, many of which feature him as the main subject. The process involves capturing the background image first, shrinking photos of people in similar lighting, manipulating the images in Photoshop and editing the color scheme so that it all matches. 'It takes a long time,' he said of the resulting images, which are so otherworldly that they almost look like drawings. One image shows a boy constructing a house of playing cards, his body the same size as the cards. In another image, a 'miniature' boy and girl sit upon a raft made of Popsicle sticks, the sail of which is a single leaf. Many of Zev's images explore nature, including one in which a boy perches inside the shell of an acorn. Another nature-themed photo, which plays with and distorts size ratio, shows a miniscule-looking boy sitting on the edge of a rock, a violin in his hand. Photography and design websites have picked up on Zev's work, lauding him for being so talented and creative at such a young age.Source: www.dailymail.co.uk
Maggie Taylor
United States
1961
Maggie Taylor received her BA degree in philosophy from Yale University in 1983 and her MFA degree in photography from the University of Florida in 1987. After more than ten years as a still life photographer, she began to use the computer to create her images in 1996. Her work is featured in Adobe Photoshop Master Class: Maggie Taylor’s Landscape of Dreams, published by Adobe Press in 2004; Solutions Beginning with A, Modernbook Editions, Palo Alto, 2007; and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Modernbook Editions, Palo Alto, 2008. Taylor’s images have been exhibited in one-person exhibitions throughout the U.S and abroad and are in numerous public and private collections including The Art Museum, Princeton University; The Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University; Harn Museum of Art, University of Florida; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas; and The Museum of Photography, Seoul, Korea. In 1996 and 2001, she received State of Florida Individual Artist’s Fellowships. In 2004, she won the Santa Fe Center for Photography’s Project Competition. 2005 she received the Ultimate Eye Foundation Grant. She lives in Gaineville, Florida.From en.wikipedia.orgMaggie Taylor (born 1961 in Cleveland, Ohio) is an artist who works with digital images. She won the Santa Fe Center for Photography's Project Competition in 2004. Her work has been widely exhibited in the United States and Europe and is represented within the permanent collections of several galleries and museums. She is the third wife of American photographer, Jerry Uelsmann. She produces prints by scanning objects into a computer using a flatbed scanner, then layering and manipulating these images using Adobe Photoshop into a surrealistic montage.
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
Odette England
Australia
1975
Odette England is an Australia/British artist who uses photography, performance, writing, and the archive to explore relationships between autobiography, gender, place, and vernacular photography. England is currently Visiting Artist-in-Residence at Amherst College in Massachusetts. She is also a resident artist of the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts Studio Program in New York. Her work has shown in more than 90 solo, two-person, and group exhibitions worldwide. Notable venues include the George Eastman Museum, Museum of Contemporary Photography Chicago, New Mexico Museum of Art, Fort Wayne Museum of Art, RISD Museum, Center for Photography at Woodstock, Colorado Photographic Arts Center, Philadelphia Photo Arts Center, Photographic Resource Center Boston, MacDonald Stewart Art Center Ontario, Perth Center for Photography in Australia, State Library of South Australia, HOST Gallery London, and the Durham Art Museum & Gallery in England. England has regularly received funding through competitive grants and fellowships. These include the CENTER $5,000 Project Launch Award (2012); two grants - $4,865 and $2,315 - from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation (2018-2019); the Anonymous Was a Woman $1,500 Grant (2020); Color Lab $2,000 Dean's Council Research Fellowship (2020); and the Center for Fine Art Photography Director's Award (2015), among others. She has received fellowships to attend residencies in Australia, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Spain, and the United States including the invitation-only Robert Rauschenberg Foundation residency working with Guggenheim Fellow, Jennifer Garza-Cuen. England's first edited volume Keeper of the Hearth was published by Schilt Publishing in March 2020, with a foreword by Charlotte Cotton. The book is part of England's Winter Garden Photograph project which includes an exhibition at the Houston Center for Photography opening September 2020. England's photographs are held in public collections including the Brooklyn Art Library, the Fort Wayne Museum of Art, George Eastman Museum, Hungarian Multicultural Center, Museum of Contemporary Photography, New Mexico Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, Robert Rauschenberg Residency, and Texas A&M University. Award-related exhibitions include the 2015 Australian Photobook of the Year; Magenta Foundation Flash Forward Emerging Photographers awards (UK winner, twice); HotShoe Magazine Photofusion Photography Award (1st prize); Director's Choice Award at the Medium Festival of Photography's ‘Size Matters' exhibition (1st prize); Px3 Prix De La Photographie competition (1st prize, People's Choice Award); and the Photo Review Photography Competition. Her work has been published in contemporary art journals, magazines, and newspapers including American Photo, Photograph, The Brooklyn Rail, The Photo Review, Photo District News, Hotshoe International, British Journal of Photography, Australian Art Monthly, Musee, GUP, SPOT, JRNL, The Guardian (United Kingdom) and Der Standaard (Belgium). England has given artist talks and critiques at Harvard University, Princeton University, Stanford University, Brown University, the School of Visual Arts in New York, Amherst College, the Penumbra Foundation, Kenyon College, Syracuse University, Lesley College of Art & Design, University of Melbourne, and the Art Gallery of South Australia, among others. She received a four-year fully-funded Research Training Program Scholarship to complete her PhD at the Australian National University in 2018. She also has an MFA in Photography with Honors from the Rhode Island School of Design and an MA in Communication, Culture and Language from the University of South Australia. England is a permanent US resident and lives and works in Providence, Rhode Island and New York City. Her work is represented in the US (east coast only) by Klompching Gallery.
Hendrik Kerstens
Netherlands
1956
Since 1995, Dutch photographer Hendrik Kerstens has been photographing his daughter, Paula. His photographs have been collected by museums around the world and have inspired taste-makers as diverse as Elton John and Alexander McQueen. (McQueen, in fact based his Fall 2009 collection on Kerstens' image of Paula with a plastic bag as a head-dress, using the image as his invitation for the show.) Initially Kerstens' photographs were created out of the artist's desire to capture something of the fleeting moments that fade of childhood. The pictures recorded everyday events – his daughter's sunburn, the child's bath. However, one day there was a moment of revelation when Kerstens not only saw her in relation to the events of her own life, but also projected on her his interest in the Dutch painters of the seventeenth century.
 As Kerstens recalls, "One day Paula came back from horseback riding. She took off her cap and I was struck by the image of her hair held together by a hair-net. It reminded me of the portraits by the Dutch masters and I portrayed her in that fashion. After that I started to do more portraits in which I refer to the paintings of that era. The thing that fascinates me in particular is the way a seventeenth-century painting is seen as a surface which can be read as a description of everyday life as opposed to the paintings of the Italian renaissance, which usually tell a story. Northern European painting relies much more on craftsmanship and the perfect rendition of the subject. The use of light is instrumental in this." A number of the portraits of Paula are clearly reminiscent of Johannes Vermeer. The austerity of the photograph, its clarity, the serene expression on the young girl's face, and not least, the characteristic "Dutch" light, all combine to create this impression.
 However, Kerstens was not just imitating painting. As the series progressed, he became increasingly interested in the game of creating a conceptual and humorous dialog between past and present. The titles give the game away. "Napkin" looks like a maid's bonnet. In "Bag", a plastic grocery bag is shaped to look like a lace hood. In other pictures no pretense is made to imitate 17th century clothing but Paula's face and Kerstens' light turn a thoroughly modern hoodie into a classic and timeless garment. Conceptually, Kerstens' photographs play with the dialog between the mediums of painting and photography, with seriality, and time. On a more emotional level, they address everyday reality while expressing his love for his child, and the knowledge and development of his craft.Source: Danziger Gallery Hendrik Kerstens' (1956) oeuvre consists of a consequent sequence of portraits from his muse, his daughter, each time with a different angle, meaning or purpose. In the hemisphere of the radically realist paintings of the Dutch Golden Age, Kerstens explores the photograph as a surface, a platform to study contemporary ordinary objects and its meaning in historical tradition. With his typical selection for down-to-earth forms of headwear, from a napkin, a wet towel, spheres of lace to folded aluminium foil, he recalls how daily life has always been an integral subject of art, whether in the 17th or in 21st century. With his clear ambition to illustrate the dialogue between history and contemporary life, rich and sober, functional and valuable, Kerstens also accomplishes to renew and contemporize history while boosting the position and function of day-to-day objects. In connecting todays photography techniques with the camera obscura techniques in earlier times, Kerstens raises awareness for the use and development of the photographic process. It is not accidental that he is a state-of-the-art perfectionist, taking nothing for granted and giving a lot of attention to the work process. The printing proces itself, the hardly visible transition of the many dark tones, the interplay of light and shadow, Kerstens dedicates himself completely in refining the image, where details and the way of looking play a key role. Kerstens, who worked many times with Kathy Ryan from The New York Times Magazine, was awarded the PANL award (2001) in the Netherlands; the Taylor Wesing Photographic Portrait Prize (2008) at the National Portrait Gallery in London, the silver LeadAward Medaillon, Porträtfotografie des Jahres (2010) in Germany and the 11th Lucie Award (2013). Kerstens work and ideas were included in Alexander McQueen's spectacular show The Horn of Plenty: Everyting but the Kitchen Sink, a retrospective on 15 shocking years in fashion.Source: Flatland Gallery Galleries:   Danziger Gallery   Jenkins Johnson Gallery   Dean Project   Flatland Gallery
James Houston
Australia
James Houston's background as a sculptor helped shape and influence his graphic photographic style. Australian born, Houston celebrates beauty and the human form, creating sensual iconic portraits and international campaigns for L'Oreal Paris, GAP, Donna Karan, Hugo Boss and Givenchy. New York based Houston balances his career with passion projects that make a difference in the community. Five award winning international books have been published on his work. Houston's book MOVE (PowerHouse Books), was created to benefit various HIV/AIDS charities and raised close to US$500,000 from sales and launch events. The book project, titled MOVE FOR AIDS was launched in 2006 with the support of Elton John, Hugh Jackman, Baz Luhrmann and Sarah Murdoch. While working on MOVE FOR AIDS, Houston was shocked to learn about American attitudes towards adolescent sexuality and the impact it has on U.S. teens. This discovery inspired Houston to raise over 1 million dollars to fund his first feature documentary titled, LET’S TALK ABOUT SEX (www.letstalkaboutsexthefilm.com). The Award winning film takes a revealing look at how American attitudes towards adolescent sexuality affect today’s teenagers. The film aired nationally on the TLC network in April, 2011 with the goal of helping parents and communities understand the importance of honest and open communication. For his latest photographic project, Natural Beauty, Houston turns his eye to nature for inspiration with the goal to raise awareness for the environment and funds for environmental non profit Global Green USA. In collaboration with MILK, Houston shot a series of striking portraits of some of the world’s leading models and celebrities. These captivating photographs, bring together two of Houston’s great passions – the human form and the natural world. Natural Beauty launched at MILK Gallery NYC April 2013. Houston also directed a web series on the 'making of' Natural Beauty as well as several film installations for the exhibition. Source: www.houstonphoto.com
Bruce Barnbaum
United States
1943
Bruce Barnbaum, of Granite Falls, WA, entered photography as a hobbyist in the 1960s, and after four decades, it is still his hobby. It has also been his life's work for the past 30 years. Bruce's educational background includes Bachelor's and Master's degrees in mathematics from UCLA. After working for several years as a mathematical analyst and computer programmer for missile guidance systems, he abruptly left the field and turned to photography. Bruce has authored several books, some of which have become classics. The Art of Photography was first published in 1994 and remained in print until 2007. Bruce has been self-publishing the book ever since, but with limited distribution. Bruce is a frequent contributor to several photography magazines. His series The Master Printing Class is featured in each issue of Photo Techniques, and his articles are published regularly in LensWork. Through his workshops, articles, lectures, books, and innovative photography, Bruce has become a well-known and highly respected photographer, educator, and pioneer. Bruce is recognized as one of the finest darkroom printers on this planet, both for his exceptional black-and-white work, as well as for his color imagery. He understands light to an extent rarely found, and combines this understanding with a mastery of composition, applying his knowledge to an extraordinarily wide range of subject matter. His work is represented by more than ten galleries throughout the United States and Canada, and is in the collections of museums and private collectors worldwide.Source: O’Reilly Bruce has been an active environmental advocate for more than three decades, both independently and through organizations such as the Sierra Club (where he served on the Board of Directors of the Angeles Chapter from 1976-80, and the California Regional Conservation Committee), Audubon, the Stillaguamish Citizens’ Alliance (which he co-founded in 1991) now renamed the Mountain Loop Conservancy, 1000 Friends of Washington, and the North Cascades Conservation Council (where he has served on the Board of Directors since 1994). As a photographer he has seen the changes in our land and our landscape—almost all of them for the worse—that have taken place in the 35 years he has actively been photographing our planet. He points out that we all live on this one magical globe called “Earth,” and unless we love it, revere it, and protect it, we’ll all perish with it. Currently, we are exploiting planet earth at an unprecedented rate, saddling ourselves with many self-inflicted problems: human overpopulation, global warming, an increasing ozone hole, deforestation, overfishing of the oceans, overuse of fresh water resources, pollution of the air, land, and waters (lakes, rivers, and oceans), and many others too numerous to detail. But humanity is doing little to correct any one of these problems. We have enough knowledge to recognize the steps that should be taken to turn from our destructive ways to more intelligent, productive, and sustainable means, but we may not have the wisdom or political will to implement that knowledge.Source: Fahey/Klein Gallery
Trine Søndergaard
Trine Søndergaard is a Danish visual artist and contemporary photographer. Søndergaard studied drawing and painting in Aalborg and Copenhagen from 1992 to 1994 and attended the photography school Fatamorgana in Copenhagen, Denmark. In 2000 the artist received the Albert Renger Patzsch Award and has since received numerous grants and fellowships, including a three-year working grant from The Danish Arts Foundation. Søndergaard's work has been featured in many group and solo exhibitions. The artist is represented in major public and private collections in many countries including Spain, the United States, Sweden, Israel, and Denmark. Additionally, Søndergaard has completed public commissions for both museums and cultural institutions.Source: Wikipedia Trine Søndergaard is a Danish photo-based artist, born 1972 in Grenaa. She studied drawing and painting in Aalborg and Copenhagen from 1992 to 1994, and later attended Fatamorgana – School of Art Photography in Copenhagen. Her photographic works are marked by a precision and sensibility that co-exist with an investigation of the medium of photography itself, its boundaries and what constitutes an image. Her photography is grounded in an objective and documentary attitude, heightened through both reduction and poetic narratives. A central theme in Trine Søndergaard’s oeuvre is vision and the gaze. She utilises a circular visual poetics, in which motifs and phrases from earlier works create meaningful connections. This takes place in a spirit of both playfulness and contemplation, in a balance between the spontaneous and the precise, the planned and the accidental. Trine Søndergaard’s work is layered with meaning and quiet emotion, and her work often revolves around existential questions that are equally personal and universal. Søndergaard’s work explores what it means to be human, and while her work is often initiated by a personal angle, it also contains an overall exploration of more general phenomas related to historical, cultural and gender related questions. In 2000, Trine Søndergaard received the Albert Renger Patzsch Award and has since received numerous grants and fellowships, including the Anne Marie Telmányi’s honorary award for female artists. Søndergaard’s work has been featured in many international group and solo exhibitions, most recently at Dunkers Kulturhus, Gl. Holtegaard and Gothenburg Art Museum. She is represented in major public and private collections all over the world and has completed public commissions for both museums and cultural institutions. Trine Søndergaard currently lives and works in Copenhagen.Source: Martin Asbæk Gallery
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