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Alastair Magnaldo
Alastair Magnaldo
Alastair Magnaldo

Alastair Magnaldo

Country: France

"I was ten when I first discovered photography and was even then fascinated by the light that B & W prints suffused. Armed with a Voigtländer and a handheld lightmeter, I made my first steps on the long and winding road of B & W photography. Ever since, I've kept a vision of photography filled with light and I've been trying to express it in most of my compositions, occasionally using colour to improve a setting. After these inconclusive beginnings, I gave up any pretention in the art of photography and did scientific studies.

I'm now a qualified physics and chemistry scientist with a PhD. I strongly favour therefore, the experimental approach to science. Around the year 2000, I bought a scanner for negatives followed by a printer, almost a compulsive buy. By then I had understood that having perfectly mastered the technical tools during my formative years had really allowed me to become emancipated. And so, I put all my energy into a dedicated photographic approach. As for my private life, my fabulous wife, our three fabulous children and I live and work between Provence and the Cévennes. I can’t find enough words to thank my family for their everyday support, especially the person who put the first camera into my hands."
 

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Ilse Bing
Germany
1899 | † 1998
Ilse Bing was one of the leading European photographers of the interwar period. She was born into a comfortable Jewish family in Frankfurt, Germany, in 1899. As a child her education was rich in music and art. In 1920 she began studying mathematics and physics at the University of Frankfurt, but soon changed to study the history of art. In 1924 she continued her studies with a doctorate on the Neo-Classical German architect Friedrich Gilly. Bing's introduction to photography was triggered by a practical need to illustrate her doctoral thesis. She bought a Voigtlander camera in 1928 and began to teach herself photography. The following year she bought a Leica, the new and revolutionary 35mm hand-held camera that enabled photographers to capture fast-moving events. As well as enabling her to photograph buildings for her thesis, Bing's newfound skill with the camera earned her an extra living as a photojournalist for a German illustrated magazine supplement, Das Illustriete Blatt. During these early days of her career, Bing was also commissioned by the Dutch modernist architect Mart Stam, who taught at the Bauhaus school of design, to visually record all of his housing projects in Frankfurt. The resulting photographs were characterized by dizzy angles, flat planes and strong shadows, which were characteristic of an emerging modernist language of art and design, pioneered by both the new architecture and the 'New Photography' movement, of which Bing was beginning to be a part. Through Stam, Bing was also introduced to Frankfurt's avant-garde artistic circles. Having found some commercial success with photography, and with her artistic horizons expanding, Bing gave up her thesis in the summer of 1929 and, in 1930, decided to move to Paris to concentrate on photography. Establishing herself in Paris as a freelance photographer, she applied elements of the photographic style she had experimented with in Frankfurt to commercial work, including photojournalism, architectural and theatrical photography, advertising, fashion and portraiture. For the first couple of years in the city, she published her work regularly with German newspapers and Das Illustriete Blat. Gradually, she also started to publish work in the leading French illustrated newspapers such as L'Illustration, Le Monde Illustré and Regards, and from about 1932, she increasingly worked for fashion magazines Vogue, Adam, Marchal, and the American Harper's Bazaar. She explored Paris' rich historic past and its worn and weathered environments as well as its modern urban scenes, photographing the exhausted grandeur of the Père Lachaise cemetery, dark apartment blocks reflected in gutters, or the layering of torn posters on a wooden fence. Her fascination with shadow, contrasts of light and dark, and basic geometrical shapes also informed her portraiture. Her photograph of a young girl (Flower Girl, 1931) staring into the distance demonstrates her skill as a portraitist. The large flowers in the background contrast with the delicate bright flowers on the girl's dress, and the shadows behind highlight the bright young face. When on assignment, Bing would take extra pictures for her own artistic interests, and she quickly built up a large body of work. During a commission to photograph the famous Moulin Rouge cabaret, for example, she made a series of photographs of dancers, which formed her first exhibition in Paris in 1931. Later that year, her photographs caught the attention of the photographer and critic Emmanuel Sougez, who praised their dynamism. Nicknaming Bing 'the Queen of the Leica', Sougez continued to be an important and influential supporter of her work throughout the 1930s. In 1931 Bing met the New York-based writer Hendrik Willem van Loon, who became her most important patron and introduced her work to American clients. Van Loon showed her work to the collector and gallerist Julien Lévy, who subsequently displayed her work in the exhibition Modern European Photography: Twenty Photographers at his New York Gallery in 1932. Bing also frequently exhibited in Parisian galleries, where her work was shown alongside that of Brassaï, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Florence Henri, Man Ray and André Kértesz. In a trip to New York, Bing met Alfred Stieglitz, a leading figure in the American photographic world and great supporter of modern photography. We can see the influence of Stieglitz's vision on the photographs Bing made of the city following their meeting. In Bing's image of a carriage in Central park, the cropped dark outline of the carriage and its driver dominate the composition, providing a stark contrast to the wispy trees and gentle cityscape in the background – stylistically reminiscent of Stieglitz's work The Terminal (1892). Bing also absorbed the styles of other contemporary American artists – some of whom she met through Stieglitz. Her street scenes, for example Barber College, New York (1936), can be likened to scenes from contemporary American realist painting. After returning to Paris in 1937, Bing married the German pianist Konrad Wolff, whom she had met in 1933 when they lived in the same block of flats. Bing kept her maiden name for her photographic activities, but also used the name Ilse Bing Wolff. She took fewer photographs during the late 1930s, though she continued to find inspiration in Paris, and explored different subject-matter, including still life work. The outbreak of the Second World War changed everything. In 1940 Bing and Wolff, who were both Jewish, were forced to leave Paris and were interned in separate camps in the south of France. Bing spent six weeks in a camp in the Pyrenees, before rejoining her husband in Marseille. The couple spent nine months there, awaiting visas for the US. Eventually, with the support of the fashion editor of Harper's Bazaar, they were able to leave for the US in June 1941. Although Bing had managed to take her negatives with her, she left all of her prints behind in Paris under the safekeeping of a friend. They were sent on to Marseille but Bing and her husband had left already France by the time they arrived. The prints remained in Marseille – in a shipping company's warehouse – miraculously missing the many bombs that fell on the port, until the end of the War, when they were finally sent to Bing in New York. Tragically, when they arrived, Bing was unable to pay the customs duty for all of them. She had to sift through the prints and decide which to keep and which to throw away – some of her most important vintage prints were lost at this time. Five years after her successful visit to New York in 1936, Bing returned to an altogether different environment. This was partly due to changing fashions in photography, and partly because of the large number of photographers who had, like Bing, fled Europe and were now seeking work. Bing found it hard to gain commissions for reportage work and worked much less as a photojournalist from this point on, though she continued to take portraits – especially of children – and exhibited her work throughout the late 1940s and early 1950s. Bing returned to Paris twice after the war, in 1947 and in 1952, and once again photographed the city that she had loved so much in the 1930s. According to Bing, these later Paris photographs are infused with a different spirit. Influenced by the war, she saw things on a more impersonal, isolated level. In the late 1950s, Bing eventually gave up photography, wanting to make more abstract work through poems and line drawings, and later, collage.Source: Victoria and Albert Museum
Kim Watson
United States
A multi-dimensional artist with decades of experience, Kim Watson has written, filmed, and photographed subjects ranging from the iconic entertainers of our time to the ''invisible'' people of marginalized communities. A highly influential director in music videos' early days, Watson has directed Grammy winners, shot in uniquely remote locations, and written across genres that include advertising, feature films for Hollywood studios such as Universal (Honey), MTV Films, and Warner Brothers, and publishers such as Simon & Schuster. His passionate marriage of art and social justice has been a life-long endeavor, and, in 2020, after consulting on Engagement & Impact for ITVS/PBS, Kim returned to the streets to create TRESPASS, documenting the images and stories of LA's unhoused. TRESPASS exhibited at The BAG (Bestor Architecture Gallery) in Silver Lake, Los Angeles, September 17, 2022 - October 11, 2022. Statement ''I'm gonna be an artist!'' That was my childhood mantra—even before I knew what it meant. You see, growing up in St. Albans, Queens and with family roots firmly planted in Harlem, I was surrounded by artistic expression, much of it created by my own family and much more blooming from the talented artists like Count Basie, James Brown and others who lived in our community—a community that would also bring us Run DMC, LL Cool J and Tribe Called Quest. Yes, I knew the path I would take but had no idea of the journey it would become. Untethered by labels, I have scratched my creative itch through writing, filmmaking, photography, and music; always aspiring to tell a story that touches and inspires us to see the world a little bit differently and with a little more empathy. It was while living in Brooklyn as a ''struggling artist'' that I truly saw art being used as a powerful social and political tool, capable of engaging, influencing and changing hearts and minds for the better. Since then, I have had the good fortune of both performing and producing music on the New York scene, and following a return to film school, directing a variety of projects, including over 40 music videos with Hip-Hop innovators and Grammy winners alike, from Roxanne Shante to Al Jarreau, receiving Best Music Video nominations from MTV and the Soul Train Awards, as well as NAACP recognition for my presentation of positive images of African Americans. Did I mention a move to Los Angles? Oh well... My passion for writing led to assignments for Disney Channel, Nickelodeon, Simon & Schuster, Warner Brothers Films, MTV Films, Kidz Bop, movies of the week and the Universal Pictures hit HONEY, starring Jessica Alba. I have partnered on entertainment and tech ventures, consulted on engagement and impact for ITVS/PBS and written, blogged, filmed and photographed around the world, often on assignment and sometimes merely to feed my soul. I guess you could say that I am in love with everything about the creative process, no matter the medium. For these opportunities I am eternally grateful. For the past year I have been immersed in TRESPASS... photographs and writing which bring focus to Los Angeles' homeless community; sharing the stories we need to hear and connecting with those too often unseen and unheard. I am thankful for the many relationships that have grown out of TRESPASS and the amazing individuals who share their world with me. Please take a look at Trespass as well as the other photo-essays, articles and more, I hope I have found a way to touch your heart, feed your soul and bring us all closer together. Exclusive Interview with Kim Watson
Richard Le Manz
For this engineer and self-taught photographer born in Spain in 1971, photography is equally essential both, to communicate the beauty and to reflect on the complex socio-environmental issues, which threaten our planet. He started in photography making landscape photography, but depicting nature is not enough. Pictures of great landscapes may not be the best way to move consciences and change our values and morals. His photography becomes what some journalist called "Philography", photography to philosophize, photography to make people think, to reflect. Photography used as a mean for expressing ideas, transmission of messages, and provoking reactions. Photography as a means to let out the images generated in his mind, imagination and creativity. For this purpose, the artist uses both the object and various photographic techniques like expression way, to delve into the plot of reflection, ideas and dreams. Photography to transmit a clear message, sometimes critical. His landscape photographs begin to turn to black and white and later they go unstructuring seeking to convey a clearer message. One of the first projects in which the search for new forms of expression begins is the "Unstructured Sunset" project that can be seen in this brief presentation. After receiving numerous national and international awards, he present in 2018 his first major project "Habitat, beyond photography", moving from local exhibitions to being invited to international festivals. In 2019 I present this project, together with the most recent "In Our Hands" at the Xposure International Photography festival in Sharjah (United Arab Emirates); different projects but both focuses on the future of our planet. The work "Habitat, beyond photography" explores the relationship between development and nature, between development and the environment and especially between the world of automotive and the environment. It focuses on the serious problem of the mobility habits of today's society, traffic and pollution. It uses internal elements of the explosion engine, (intake valves, exhaust valves, spark plugs, camshafts, injectors, timing chain, and so on) transforming and stamping these objects with a new meaning, creating visual metaphors where nothing is as it seems. In "In Our Hands" he uses multiple exposure in camera without digital manipulation to create images that show a stubborn reality, we are nature and his future is in our hands.
Rogan Coles
South Africa/United Kingdom
1954
I was born in 1954. Photography is what I do. The stories lie therein. In presenting this body of work I want to explore something that is often overlooked - as in the intrinsic value of photography. As one of his mantras, Jack Ma, the founder and now former CEO of Alibaba and a person whose tenacity I admire, said this, "I always look 10 years ahead". While I'm not going to suggested that this is what I do with my photography or when I am about to embark on a project. But and quite often, there's something prescient in what I do and how I approach my work as a photographer. When I set out to document Smithfield Market in London, this is more or less what happened. Besides all the talk of closing down the market, there were suggestions that the market was going to be refurbished and, in the process, brought up to European Union health standards. At around this time, I used to take a short cut through the market's precinct as I walked from one side of the city to the other. Of course, during the day, there was nothing there. Well, let me qualify, there were no people there. Working hours were from just around midnight until the early hours of the morning. With these various stories doing the rounds, I wanted to investigate. In the process I made contact with the market's management. As a result, I was granted to two week window to document the market and the activities there. This was back in April of 1991. Yes, nearly 30 years ago. This is what I mean, the "intrinsic value of photography". I don't know what these images are worth. I have never exhibited them or ever had them published in any form. No real reason. Then as now, perhaps I didn't have a compelling enough story that publications or curators could buy into. "Intrinsic value" is not going to see this work through to anything significant. Perhaps something like "British working class heroes", "End of an era" or "Times are a changing" may have done it. But, we live on in hope. I have long admired photography of Vivien Maier and see her work in much the same way - and that is, for its intrinsic value. Through her work, Maier more or less defined the Chicago of a particular era. Another photographer's work who I much admire is Max Yavno. Again, the strength of his work lies in its intrinsic value. Through his work, he more or less defined Los Angeles and San Francisco of an era and, to some degree, Cairo. His work is iconic - just as is Maier's.
Harry Gruyaert
Belgium
1941
Originally dreaming of becoming a film director, Harry Gruyaert studied at the School of Film and Photography in Brussels from 1959 to 1962. Shortly after he left Belgium at the age of 21, fleeing the strict catholic environment in which he was raised. Gruyaert travelled extensively across Europe, North Africa, Asia and the United States and lived in cities with a vibrant film and photography scene like Paris and London. During his first trip to New York in 1968, he discovered Pop artists like Roy Lichtenstein and Robert Rauschenberg. This encounter made him appreciate the creative potential of colour and encouraged him to search for beauty in everyday elements for the rest of his career. Around the same time Gruyaert befriended the American artists Richard Nonas and Gordon Matta-Clark and photographed their work. Further inspired by the visual impulses on his first trip to Morocco in 1969, he decided in the second half of the 1970s as one of the first photographers in Europe to commit himself entirely to colour photography. Gruyaert's cinematographic background instilled in him an aesthetic conception of photography. Rather than telling stories or documenting the world through his lens, he searches for beauty in everyday elements. His images are simply snapshots of magical moments in which different visual elements, primarily colour, form, light and movement, spontaneously come together in front of his lens. In his search for strong graphical images, Gruyaert focuses his camera on objects as much as on people, who are often reduced to silhouettes or rendered to plain colour fields. Unsurprisingly the countries he photographs are mostly identified by means of the subtle differences in colour palette and light, inherent to the local atmosphere, culture and climate, more than by the depicted subjects or scenes. Among his most well-known series are 'Rivages/Edges', featuring coastal views from around the world, that Gruyaert photographed out of a fascination for the rapidly changing light in these places. In the early 1970s, while he was living in London, Gruyaert worked on a series of colour television screen shots later to become the 'TV Shots' and now part of the Centre Pompidou collection. Around that time he regularly returned to his home country Belgium. This resulted in the series 'Roots', that perfectly reflects the Belgian Zeitgeist of the 1970s and 1980s. In 1982 Gruyaert joined Magnum Photos. More about Irish Summers More about Between Worlds
Christian Tagliavini
Switzerland/Italy
1971
Christian Tagliavini was born in 1971 in Switzerland, where he currently lives and works as a fine art photographer and craftsman. His work is heavily shaped by a childhood spent in Parma, where he grew up immersed in the rich artistic culture of the Plain of the Po, Italy’s longest river. Tagliavini’s evocative images represent just the final stage in his artistic process. His photographs capture the creative vision in his mind’s eye, which he brings to life with handcrafted props, made-to-measure costumes and unconventional models. This behind-the-scenes work establishes him as an artisan- photographer. Choosing unexplored concepts as themes, Tagliavini’s work narrates open-ended stories, inviting the viewer to actively experience unique ideas, sensations and feelings, and ultimately decide the ending for themselves. A self-taught photographer, Tagliavini originally trained in architecture and worked as a graphic designer. His interest in photography was sparked in 2000, at a photographic exhibition in Milan. Fascinated by the technical aspects of photography, he tried his hand at several photographic disciplines before discovering that the mise-en-scène technique was the most effective way to capture the stories that lived in his imagination. Embracing the art of slow photography, Tagliavini’s creative approach involves meticulous planning and careful design. Each project begins with initial historical and iconographic research, feasibility assessments, sketches, storyboarding, colour experimentation, and composition before he sets about making his vision a reality. Tagliavini uses various techniques to handcraft each and every detail, including the props and backdrops. Each costume is fashioned to Christian’s detailed designs, including the fabric and colour choices, and is made-to-measure for each model. Where possible, Tagliavini prefers to work with non-professional models, drawing inspiration from their spontaneity and curiosity. A champion of unconventional beauty, he has always favoured personality over a classical aesthetic. His models represent the only detail of his work that he cannot control: their expressiveness is instinctive and they often inspire him to take his stories in completely new directions. This unscripted detail casts him in the role of observer rather than director. Christian Tagliavini won the Hasselblad Masters Fine Art Category in 2012 and the IPA Fine Art: Portrait prize in 2013. His work has been exhibited in many art galleries and museums worldwide.
Dejan Mijović
Slovenia
1976
Slovenian freelance photography journalist Dejan Mijović, born on 18 September 1976 and based in Ljubljana, is assistant photo editor of the Delo.si web portal. Mijović has been involved in photography for the past 20 years, ever since undertaking studies of graphic technology at the Faculty of Natural Sciences and Engineering. In 2010, Mijović sustained an injury and was left completely paralysed from the neck down. Through amazing luck, strong willpower and lengthy rehabilitation, and driven by his as yet unfulfilled desire to pursue photography, the tetraplegic was back in the saddle, and has since held several one-man shows and participated in a number of group exhibitions in Slovenia and abroad. Recently, he has been polishing his photography skills with Klavdij Sluban, a French photographer of Slovenian descent based in Paris. Developing his photographic idiom, Mijović first focused on the wide landscapes of the Caribbean and South America, the poetic Tuscany, the magical Lake Cerknica, and explored hidden gems in his immediate vicinity and further afield. Mijović's great flair for composition and light contrasts renders his portraits of random individuals far more than simply frozen moments in time but, rather, perceptive accounts of his life stories. His black-and-white photographs, a preoccupation of recent years, aim to capture diverse moods of his closest family and long-standing friends also in their most intimate moments. All photos in this project were taken after the injury. About 9 years 9 months "The greatest desire of most couples around the world is to start a family. Unfortunately, this is a big problem in developed countries today, as every sixth couple suffers from infertility. These data also apply to Slovenia. Our story began ten years ago when I became quadriplegic after falling on a slippery ramp which led to the sea and was overgrown with algae. After spinal surgery and a six-month recovery in the Rehabilitation Center Soča, I returned home on crutches. A good year after the accident, my wife and I began to think intensely about starting a family. Due to my medical condition (spastic quadriplegia, also known as spastic tetraplegia), we had to seek medical help. We decided for the infertility clinic in Postojna. This is where our nine-year odyssey began, full of ups and downs, joy, tears, mental distress, depression but most of all, getting to know each other and learning about life. Our relationship was put to the test for the entire period, but we realised time and time again that each painful experience created an even stronger bond between us and we were even more determined to succeed sooner or later. In Postojna, the first three attempts with IVF, better known as in vitro fertilization, were unsuccessful. This was a very painful experience for both of us. Naturally for women this is much more traumatic as all the processes take place in their body. Men can only support them, but in reality we do not experience the whole process as intensely as women do. In one phase, the procedure is also physically extremely painful for women (puncture of follicles or removal of eggs from the ovaries). After the doctor performs the artificial insemination (he usually inserts a five-day-old embryo into the uterus which developed in the laboratory under the watchful eye of an embryologist), a long fourteen-day wait begins before a pregnancy test can be done. When the moment of truth comes and you see a minus instead of a much desired plus, your heart breaks. It seems like a piece of you dies with every negative pregnancy test. The bad news was followed by a depressing break of several months, during which we decided to try our luck at an infertility clinic in Maribor. Each clinic has its own methods. They are basically the same, with minor differences. Despite eight embryo transfers, all attempts were unsuccessful here as well. We were especially crushed after the first pregnancy which unfortunately ended in miscarriage in the initial phase. When, after years of unsuccessful attempts, you finally see the desired plus on a pregnancy test, you instantly forget about all previous painful experiences. All of a sudden you are overwhelmed by positive energy and you come to life again, both emotionally and physically. But as the saying goes, life is not a box of chocolates. Suddenly, the joy was over and a time of great sorrow and crocodile tears came instead. Such events cut into your heart forever. Despite the pain, we did not give up and we tried to move on. In order to forget the past events, full of distress and failures, but also because a symbolic wedding had already been quietly planned all along, we decided to get married unofficially in Thailand. After a few more relaxed months, it was time for action again. But what could we do after having used all the six free procedures (multiple transfers are possible in each procedure, depending on the amount of embryos) provided by our healthcare system? We had no choice but to find an infertility clinic abroad on our own which is, among other things, also a big financial burden. However, which clinic to choose and where? A shorter period of research followed. In the Czech Republic alone, which is a very interesting and quite affordable destination for Slovenian couples, there are about 40 such clinics. We decided for an infertility clinic in Brno. After two more unsuccessful attempts and eight extremely exhausting years, my wife gave up. She simply could no longer see the light at the end of the tunnel. We started thinking about adoption more and more intensely. However, this procedure also required a lot of energy and research. Above all, the social work center first had to obtain a certificate proving that we were a suitable candidates for adoption. At the same time we had to obtain a psychological assessment from a psychologist. It took more than ten hearings at the social work center and a visit from a social worker at our home to obtain the certificate. We also found out during the procedure that in most countries where adoptions take place, applicants are required to be officially together for at least ten years before they apply for adoption. In addition, they must be officially married. We therefore had to get married officially, this time in Slovenia. With all the papers we obtained and with the help of our acquaintances, a possibility arose to adopt a child in one of the African countries. We were the tenth on the waiting list. It would have taken at least a year before we could adopt a child. However, since we still had some frozen embryos in Brno, we decided to try our luck in Brno for the last time while waiting for the adopted child. We thought that we would only be able to get the desired child through adoption and that we would soon become parents in any case. Finally, the wheel of fortune was on our side. After nine long years our biggest wish came true. My dear wife got pregnant and despite a risky pregnancy and a long nine-month wait, our son was born and we named him Lev (Lion in English). He was born healthy in mid-March, during the coronavirus pandemic. We can proudly say that we are the happiest parents in the world. We wish to share the story with others to encourage all the couples who are facing a similar situation as we did last 9 years." -- Dejan Mijović
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My new book STAR STRUCK focuses on the people and places of Hollywood Boulevard. Soon after I moved to Los Angeles in the '70s, I started shooting there. I was working at Capital Records, just a block and a half away, as a one of four art directors. At lunchtime, we would go out to eat at the Brown Derby, Musso, and Franks, or some other local restaurant, and I got to observe all the activity that was occurring on Hollywood Boulevard. It was amazing and it was fun, even though the location was ''on the turn''.
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In The Haight-Ashbury Portraits, 1967-1968 (published by Damiani) during the waning days of the Summer of Love, Elaine Mayes embarked on a set of portraits of youth culture in her neighborhood. Mayes was a young photographer living in San Francisco during the 1960s. She had photographed the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967 and, later that year the hippie movement had turned from euphoria to harder drugs, and the Haight had become less of a blissed-out haven for young people seeking a better way of life than a halfway house for runaway teens.
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