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Rainer Elstermann
Rainer Elstermann

Rainer Elstermann

Country: Germany
Birth: 1965

Rainer Elstermann was born in West-Berlin in 1965. He took his first self-portrait-photographs when he was 17 years old. In 1983 when he was 18 he started working with the avantgarde experimental super-8 film production company Teufelsberg Produktion. In 1984 he began being seriously involved with photography after his uncle gave him a complete dark-room equipment. Further encouragment came by the way of famous fashion photographer Paolo Roversi who photographed Rainer Elstermann for Italien Vogue in 1985. After seeing his portfolio he insisted Rainer should be a fashion photographer in Paris. Instead Rainer Elstermann moved to London in 1988 where he remained until 1992, realizing little art projects and exploring photography. First assignements followed. In 1999 he started his studio as an advertising photographer. From 2006 Rainer Elstermann projects moved again towards Art photography and since 2009 he is exclusively concentrating on Art. Also in 2006 he met Andreas Stamm and they have been working together since.
 

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Vivian Maier
United States
1926 | † 2009
Vivian Dorothea Maier (February 1, 1926 – April 21, 2009) was an American amateur street photographer, who was born in New York City but grew up in France. After returning to the United States, she worked for about forty years as a nanny in Chicago, IL. During those years, she took about 100,000 photographs, primarily of people and cityscapes in Chicago, although she traveled and photographed worldwide. Her photographs remained unknown and mostly undeveloped until they were discovered by a local Chicago historian and collector, John Maloof, in 2007. Following Maier's death, her work began to receive critical acclaim. Her photographs have been exhibited in the US, England, Germany, Denmark, and Norway, and have appeared in newspapers and magazines in the US, England, Germany, Italy, France and other countries. A book of her photography titled Vivian Maier: Street Photographer was published in 2011.Personal lifeMany of the details of Maier's life are still being uncovered. Initial impressions about her life indicated that she was born in France, but further researching revealed that she was born in New York, the daughter of Maria Jaussaud and Charles Maier, French and Austrian respectively. Vivian moved between the U.S. and France several times during her childhood, although where in France she lived is unknown. Her father seems to have left the family for unknown reasons by 1930. In the census that year, the head of the household was listed as award-winning portrait photographer Jeanne Bertrand, who knew the founder of the Whitney Museum of American Art. In 1951, at 25, Maier moved from France to New York, where she worked for some time in a sweatshop. She made her way to the Chicago area's North Shore in 1956 and became a nanny on and off for about 40 years, staying with one family for 14 of them. She was, in the accounts of the families for whom she worked, very private, spending her days off walking the streets of Chicago and taking photographs, most often with a Rolleiflex camera. John Maloof, curator of Maier's collection of photographs, summarizes the way the children she nannied would later describe her: She was a Socialist, a Feminist, a movie critic, and a tell-it-like-it-is type of person. She learned English by going to theaters, which she loved. She wore a men's jacket, men's shoes and a large hat most of the time. She was constantly taking pictures, which she didn't show anyone. Between 1959 and 1960, Maier traveled to and photographed in Los Angeles, Manila, Bangkok, Beijing, Egypt, Italy and the American Southwest. The trip was probably financed by the sale of a family farm in Alsace. For a brief period in the 1970s, Maier worked as a nanny for Phil Donahue's children. As she got older, she collected more boxes of belongings, taking them with her to each new post. At one employer's house, she stored 200 boxes of materials. Most were photographs or negatives, but Maier collected other objects, such as newspapers, and sometimes recorded audiotapes of conversations she had with people she photographed. Toward the end of her life, Maier may have been homeless for some time. She lived on Social Security and may have had another source of income, but the children she had taken care of in the early 1950s bought her an apartment in the Rogers Park area of Chicago and paid her bills. In 2008, she slipped on ice and hit her head. She did not fully recover and died in 2009, at 83.(Source: en.wikipedia.org)
Jacob Aue Sobol
Denmark
1976
Jacob Aue Sobol (born 1976) is a Danish photographer. He has worked in East Greenland, Guatemala, Tokyo, Bangkok, Copenhagen, America and Russia. In 2007 Sobol became a nominee at Magnum Photos and a full member in 2012. Four monographs and many catalogues of his work have been published and widely exhibited including at Yossi Milo Gallery in New York and at the Diemar/Noble Photography Gallery in London. Born in Copenhagen, Sobol lived in Canada from 1994 to 1995. Back in Europe he first studied at the European Film College and from 1998 at Fatamorgana, the Danish School of Art Photography. In the autumn of 1999, he went to the remote East Greenland village of Tiniteqilaaq to photograph. The visit was only supposed to last a few weeks but after meeting a local girl, Sabine, he returned the following year and stayed there for the next two years, living the life of a fisherman and hunter. In 2004 Sobol published Sabine, which in photographs and narrative portrays Sabine and describes his encounter with Greenlandic culture. The pictures in the book express the photographic idiom he developed at Fatamorgana. In the summer of 2005, Sobol went with a film crew to Guatemala to make a documentary about a young Mayan girl's first trip to the ocean. The following year he returned to the mountains of Guatemala, this time by himself, to stay with an indigenous family for a month to document their everyday life. In 2006 he moved to Tokyo to spend 18 months photographing the city for his book I, Tokyo. Commenting on the book, Miranda Gavin appreciates how "the sensitivity of his approach shines through the work and sets him apart as one of a new generation of photographers with the ability to allow eroticism and danger to seep through his images without becoming sordid or clichéd." Sobol became a nominee of Magnum Photos in 2007 and a full member in 2012. In 2008, Sobol worked in Bangkok where he photographed children fighting for survival in the Sukhumvit slums, despite the country's growing economic prosperity. In 2009, he moved back to Copenhagen. Since then he has worked on projects at home as well as in America and Russia.Source: Wikipedia Following his time in Tokyo, Jacob worked extensively in Bangkok, resulting in the 2016 book By the River of Kings. In 2012 he began photographing along the Trans-Siberian Railroad and spent the next five winters photographing in the remote Russian province of Yakutia for his project Road of Bones. He has ongoing projects in Denmark (Home) and the United States (America).Source: www.jacobauesobol.com
Ole Marius Joergensen
Ole Marius Joergensen is an artist with a background in film based in Asker, Norway. He is best known for his meticulously staged cinematic photographs. With the use of theatrical light and vivid color juxtapositions, Ole Marius' work emphasizes the mystery and duality of rural life in the modern world. A child of 80s rural Norway, he became fascinated with suburban America, like the popular narratives told on screen by Steven Spielberg and the storytelling of author Stephen King. Drawn to the descriptive narrative and quality of light, he found himself wanting to create his own stories. Influenced by the work of the mid century painter Hopper and the directors Alfred Hitchcock, David Lynch, as well as 19th Century painting traditions of David Caspar Frederic, his work often depicts ordinary situations infused with a unique narrative that unlocks an unexpected mystery that feels both old and new. In 2014 he debuted his first major series "No Superhero," an ode to one of his childhood heroes, and a playful series with dark undertones. Ole Marius views Superman as a metaphor for taking risks and the worry of failure. Each scene is depicted through a lens that captures childhood nostalgia with the hero as an ordinary man. In 2015 Ole Marius made the series "Space Travels" which was his rediscovery of his native country. It was a narrative driven by the feeling of being trapped in a place and yearning for a new adventure that is out of reach. "Vignettes of a Salesman" (2016) is a love letter to simpler times of Scandinavia in the 1950s and 1960s. This series follows the main protagonist on a silent, solitary journey and the complex emotions, from the dark to the eccentric, associated with a stranger's life unfulfilled. Ole Marius' work has been exhibited widely in the United States, Asia, and Europe. His work can be found in private collections in Hong Kong, Los Angeles, Oslo, New York, Madrid and Berlin. His work has been featured on international art & culture websites, as well as in printed publications around the world.
Lara Wilde
Germany
1988
Lara Wilde dances in her projects between the themes of raw human emotions and the complexity of the outside world. As a photographer and psychologist she is interested in what moves us as humanity on an individual level. Besides an intensive involvement with her protagonists, she stands for technical perfection in the execution, which has earned her several awards. Since 2016 Wilde is working as a fine art photographer and creative director. Statement A few years ago I moved from a Norwegian village back to Berlin to study photography. What I didn't know back then is that you unlearn being a city person when you are gone long enough. I really thought I would die in the anonymous streets of the city I once loved so much. As you know, when we are determined to solve a problem, we go deeper into it. So I wanted to meet strangers and see how they feel outside of their awesome social herds. A lot of nights I now invited myself to other peoples houses, men and women, all strangers, drinking coffee and photographing them in the process. I shot them in longterm exposures, first, because I didn't want to bring a lot of equipment, but later I enjoyed the slow process, sitting there in darkness and waiting for the picture to come through. For some people, it was torture sitting around in the darkness, confronted with their thoughts without their smartphones, friends or busy surroundings. For me they looked like something was missing when they were just sitting by themselves. It felt really personal watching them trying to get comfortable in this inputless scene, to see them struggle, or to see them think and sometimes sharing the feelings that were coming forward. All these conversations with strangers, waiting around in the dark, gave me a feeling of togetherness, becoming a tiny particles of their lives and giving them something that they normally didn't have: Stillness. They were so open and thankful for conversations and most of the times we talked about the real shit: About being lonely, about dying, about calling our parents and our first love. All the stories found their way into the pictures and reminded me of everything we talked about. But I personally got my Berlin back. Not at the streets, but at the dark corners of their homes. Everything in their homes told their stories as loud as they did and I had the honor of being part of it for a short period of time. I get you now, Berlin-people: You are kind and giving, but you are afraid of being used. You are interested in others, but don't want to be tangled up in other peoples problems. You want to show yourself, but want to be accepted. And if you like it our not, the people around you want that too.
Consuelo Kanaga
United States
1894 | † 1978
Consuelo Kanaga (born Consuelo Delesseps Kanaga) was an American photographer and writer who became well known for her photographs of African-Americans. She is one of the pioneers of modern American photography, began her career as a photojournalist in 1915 in San Francisco. In the 1920s, Alfred Stieglitz inspired her to develop a more aesthetic approach, and a trip to Europe in 1928 awakened her lifelong preoccupation with European modernist painting and the ways in which that work was influenced by the sculpture of Africa. Kanaga successfully combined a Pictorialist aesthetic with a realist strategy, producing handsomely composed and carefully printed images. She was one of few white American photographers in the 1930s to make artistic portraits of African Americans.Source: The Brooklyn Museum Kanaga was born on May 25, 1894 in Astoria, Oregon, the second child of Amos Ream Kanaga and Mathilda Carolina Hartwig. Her father was a successful lawyer and judge in Ohio. After moving to Astoria he became the district attorney for the city, and he also traveled widely, often leaving his family behind with little notice. After they moved to California in 1915 her mother became a real estate broker, a highly unusual occupation for a woman at that time. The last name "Kanaga" is of Swiss origin, and a family genealogy traces its roots back at least 250 years. She spelled her first name "Consuela," at least in the 1920s and '30s, but it is generally listed now as Consuelo, a more common Spanish name. Her middle name "Delesseps" is said to have come from her mother's admiration for Ferdinand de Lesseps, the French diplomat and developer of the Suez Canal. In 1911 the family moved from Oregon to Larkspur in Marin County, California. In 1915 Kanaga got a job as a reporter, feature writer and part-time photographer for the San Francisco Chronicle. Dorothea Lange later said that Kanaga was the first female newspaper photographer she had ever encountered. It was there that she discovered Alfred Stieglitz's journal Camera Work and decided to become a photographer. Lange encouraged her to take up photography as a career and introduced her to the growing San Francisco Bay Area community of artistic photographers, notably Anne Brigman, Edward Weston, Francis Bruguière, and Louise Dahl-Wolf. In 1919 she married mining engineer Evans Davidson, but they separated within two years. In 1922 she moved to New York in order to work as a photojournalist for the New York American newspaper. While in New York a co-worker at the newspaper, Donald Litchfield, introduced her to Alfred Stieglitz. Stieglitz worked with Kanaga to help transform her vision from photojournalism to a more artistic photographic style. By March 1923 she was living with Litchfield, although at the time she had not yet divorced Davidson. In 1924 she and Litchfield moved to California, living at times near Santa Cruz, San Francisco and Los Angeles. By the end of the year she had finalized divorce proceedings against Davidson, and she became engaged to Litchfield. The engagement lasted only six months, however, and by the end of the year they were no longer a couple. In 1926 she met Tina Modotti, who was visiting San Francisco, and she put together a small exhibition of Modotti's photographs at the Kanaga Studio on Post Street. Aided by art patron Albert Bender, she began planning a prolonged "tour" of Europe, and in 1927 she spent the latter part of the year traveling and photographing in France, Germany, Hungary and Italy. While there she met up with Dahl, and the two of them spent many weeks traveling together. While traveling to Tunisia in January 1928, she met James Barry McCarthy, an Irish writer and ex-pilot, and by March they were married. In May they returned to New York City and took up residence there. Kanaga initially found work as a photographic retoucher, but within a few months she had her own darkroom and was printing the first of her many photos from Europe. In 1930 she and McCarthy moved to San Francisco, and soon she was re-established in the photographic community there. In 1931 she met and began to employ African-American Eluard Luchell McDaniels, a young "man-of-all-trades" who worked for her as a handyman and chauffeur. She began to photograph him around her home, and as they talked she became captivated by the plight of African-Americans and their continuing fight against racism. Soon she was devoting much of her photography to images of African-Americans, their homes and their culture. In 1932 she was invited by Weston and Ansel Adams to participate in the famous Group f/64 show at the M.H. de Young Museum, and she showed four prints. There is some confusion about whether Kanaga should actually be called a "member" of Group f/64. The announcement for the show at the de Young Museum listed seven photographers in Group f/64 and said "From time to time various other photographers will be asked to display their work with Group f/64. Those invited for the first showing are: Preston Holder, Consuela Kanaga, Alma Lavenson, Brett Weston." However, in 1934 the group posted a notice in Camera Craft magazine that said "The F:64 group includes in its membership such well known names as Edward Weston, Ansel Adams, Willard Van Dyke, John Paul Edwards, Imogene [sic] Cunningham, Consuela Kanaga and several others." In an interview later in her life, Kanaga herself said "I was in that f/64 show with Edward Weston, Imogen Cunningham, Willard Van Dyke and Ansel Adams, but I wasn't in a group, nor did I belong to anything ever. I wasn't a belonger." In 1935 she moved back to New York without McCarthy, and the two apparently were divorced sometime that year. She began plans for a portfolio of African Americans and interviewed several families in Harlem with whom she hoped to live while documenting their lives. While there she encountered painter Wallace Putnam, whom she had met the last time she lived in New York. Within three months they were married. They spent part of their honeymoon visiting Alfred Stieglitz at his home at Lake George. In 1938 she joined the Photo League, where she lectured a new generation of artistic photographers and became the leader of the Documentary Group projects, including Neighborhoods of New York. Her photographs were printed in progressive publications of the time, including New Masses, Labor Defender, and Sunday Worker. By 1940 she found teaching too restrictive, and she returned to taking photographs full time. She was actively photographing and exhibiting throughout the 1940s, 50s and 60s. In the latter decade she became very active in civil rights, and she took part in and photographed many demonstrations and marches. In 1963 she was arrested in Albany, Georgia during the Walk for Peace. She finally seemed to have found the right romantic and creative partner in Putnam, and the two of them remained together for the rest of her life. They traveled frequently and spent the last half of the 1960s going back and forth to France. A review published in New York Times described that "She continued to work into her 70s, despite suffering from emphysema and cancer, which were probably caused by the chemicals used in creating her prints. Her body of work, though comparatively small, is consistently exceptional. Consuelo Kanaga died virtually unknown on February 28, 1978, but her talent endures." Her entire estate amounted to $1,345 in photographic equipment, almost 2,500 negatives and 375 prints. Everything else she had given away to friends.Source: Wikipedia
Ragnar Axelsson
Iceland
1958
For over 40 years, Ragnar Axelsson, Rax, has been photographing the people, animals, and landscape of the most remote regions of the Arctic, including Iceland, Siberia, and Greenland. In stark black-and-white images, he captures the elemental, human experience of nature at the edge of the liveable world, making visible the extraordinary relationships between the people of the Arctic and their extreme environment – relationships now being altered in profound and complex ways by the unprecedented changes in climate. A photojournalist at Morgunbladid since 1976, Ragnar has also worked on free-lance assignment in Latvia, Lithuania, Mozambique, South Africa, China, and Ukraine. His photographs have been featured in LIFE, Newsweek, Stern, GEO, National Geographic, Time, and Polka, and have been exhibited widely. Ragnar has published 7 books in various international editions. His most recent, Jökull (Glacier) was published in 2018, with a foreword by Olafur Eliasson. Andlit Nordursins (Faces of The North), was published in 2016, with a foreword by Mary Ellen Mark, and won the 2016 Icelandic Literary Prize for non-fiction. Other awards for Ragnar's work include numerous Icelandic Photojournalist Awards; The Leica Oskar Barnack Award (Honorable Mention); The Grand Prize, Photo de Mer, Vannes; and Iceland's highest honor, the Order of the Falcon, Knight's Cross. Ragnar is currently working on a 3-year project documenting people's lives in all 8 countries of the Arctic. At this pivotal time, as climate change irrevocably disrupts the physical and traditional realities of their world, Ragnar is bearing witness to the immediate and direct threat global warming poses to their survival. Must Read Article Photography and Climate Change Awareness
Harry Benson
Scotland
1929
Scottish born photojournalist Harry Benson arrived in America with the Beatles in 1964. Harry has photographed every U.S. president from Eisenhower to Barack H. Obama; was just feet away from Bobby Kennedy the night he was assassinated; in the room with Richard Nixon when he resigned; on the Meredith march with Martin Luther King, Jr., next to Coretta Scott King at her husband's funeral; on maneuvers with the IRA; was there when the Berlin Wall went up and when it came down; and covered the aftermath of Katrina in New Orleans. In 2013 Harry received an Honorary Doctor of Letters from The University of St. Andrews, Scotland. On January 1, 2009, Harry was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and received his honor at Buckingham Palace in March. In London in November 2009 Harry received an Honorary Fellowship in the Royal Photographic Society. Harry was honored with a Doctor of Letters from the Glasgow School of Art and Glasgow University in 2007. Twice named NPPA Magazine Photographer of the Year, Harry received the 2005 LUCIE Award for Lifetime Achievement in Portrait Photography; the 2005 AMERICAN PHOTO Magazine Award for Achievement in Photography; the 2006 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Scottish Press Photographers Association; and has twice received the Leica Medal of Excellence. He has had 40 gallery solo exhibitions and fourteen books of his photographs have been published. His photographs are in the permanent collection of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh, and the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC, both museums hosted his Harry Benson: Being There exhibition (2006-7). A major retrospective exhibition of Harry's photographs was at Kelvingrove Museum in Glasgow from June to September, 2008. Harry was under contract to LIFE Magazine from 1970 to 2000. His photographs appear in major magazines including Vanity Fair, Town & Country, Architectural Digest, Time, Newsweek, Vice, Paris Match, and The London Sunday Times Magazine. Harry lives in Wellington, Florida with his wife, Gigi, who works with him on his book and exhibit
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