All About Photo Awards 2019

John Kenny

English Photographer
In 2006 I developed my style of portrait photography within traditional communities, heavily influenced by the dramatic pictures of chiaroscuro artists. Chiaroscuro is an Italian term which literally means light-dark. Back then, at the very start of my Africa journey, I was buzzing with energy having met people of real magnetism just days into my trip. I was excited by extraordinary people and fascinating cultures and wondered how I could possibly communicate and express these feelings of excitement to friends and family back home.

The solution, I imagined, would involve abstracting the remarkable from the not so remarkable: put simply, I felt that the vibrant and intense individuals that I had met in traditional communities would best show their magnetism on camera when they were removed from the (often) dull and dusty backgrounds of their immediate environment. After a few days I started to imagine each of these people in front of me emerging from the nothingness of darkness, with no distractions, hoping that this would provide a real feeling of proximity between the viewer and the person in the picture. I made a conscious decision at that time to leave a more documentary style of environmental portraiture to others. Practicing this new technique in remote African villages in 2006 I had nothing but sunshine and a hut available as a great ‘open studio': so I used these parameters and started experimenting (I've never really liked flash anyway). So it's simply the illumination of natural sunlight, and sun on dry earth, that reaches into the darkness of huts and lights up these remarkable people. Sun and dry earth are the only ingredients required for the lighting in my prints. And of course, you also need to find exceptional people!

Falling in love with photography, and the origins of this series:
I first fell in love with photography around 2003. I had not been fortunate enough to receive an art or photography education, but I knew back then, when I picked up my first SLR camera, that I had found the perfect way to express myself. Every time I had the camera in my hand I was looking to improve, needing to know what everything and anything looked like once it had been through the photographic process. It was a bit like a mad pursuit of alchemy - throwing everything into the mix to see if any magic came out of the other side. The process of photographic learning is very rarely a simple one, but to me it remains beautiful: discoveries, experimentation and seeing for the first time how a camera distorts and enhances the world.
In Africa I seem to have made it my goal to travel through some of the remotest areas of the continent where the reaches of urbanisation and 21st century living are barely detectable. Looking back, this wasn’t my intention when I first arrived there in 2006, but somehow I keep returning to Africa to photograph because I'm fascinated to encounter societies that are able to survive in some of the most arid, isolated and difficult environments that people have settled in. If you haven’t visited these places then the reality of living is not nearly as romantic or idealised as one might imagine. Life takes place against a backdrop of very uncertain resources and enormous hardships, but traditions and hospitality towards outsiders remain intact.
I specifically chose to photograph the individuals that you see in these galleries because I had a very real sense of wonder when I met them. Each one of these people had something that attracted me, sometimes a piercing intensity, or an uncommon beauty, that I felt compelled to try and capture. It’s true that I photograph for myself, first and foremost, but a close second is my desire to show others this magnetism that draws one into the eyes of these fascinating people.
I have usually travelled alone or with a guide on these journeys, along the way walking and hopping onto overloaded vehicles of every kind to head to remote settlements. Often the destination is a transient, weekly market where hundreds of vibrant, colourful people assemble somewhat incongruously against a dull, dusty backdrop for a few hours. Later in the day they will all melt away with their animals and traded possessions, until the location is again a patch of bone-dry ground with almost nothing to separate it from the rest of the featureless land that typifies much of the African Sahel. It is fascinating to observe this process play out in almost exactly the same way across countless African countries, many of which are separated by hundreds or thousands of miles across this huge continent’s surface.
My favourite tools are sharp prime lenses and cameras that let you capture the tiniest pieces of detail: whilst these details may be insignificant alone, when aggregated I feel they help paint the picture of the environment and how each person adapts to theirs.

My favourite series of work remains the Northern Kenya series which involved 6 weeks of intense travelling with my guide, Mo, across remote areas without a vehicle and often without any semblance of an idea how to get to the next tiny settlement. The trip was full of unique encounters in locations that seemed to be famous, to me at least, as places where no transport seemed to be heading. On one particular occasion we came across a lone Moran (warrior) emerge into the dawn light, miles from anywhere. He seemed like a mirage: a vibrant vision in pink cloth and bright colourful jewellery, and more acutely so when set against the hazy yellow monotone of land that he emerged from. Even for Northern Kenya, I thought he seemed to be in a remote, featureless location: devoid of any water, and within an hour it would again be blistering hot. Despite these uncomfortable realities - which clearly weighed more heavily on my mind than his - the warrior seemed confident of his bearings and stopped for a moment to exchange pleasantries with Mo and I. A couple of minutes later, after sharing cigarette with my guide, he purposefully set off walking again, to God knows where. This place that looked barren and foreboding, to me at least, was clearly his home.
John Kenny
John Kenny
John Kenny
John Kenny
John Kenny
John Kenny
John Kenny
John Kenny
John Kenny
John Kenny
John Kenny
John Kenny
John Kenny
John Kenny
John Kenny
John Kenny
John Kenny
John Kenny
John Kenny
John Kenny
John Kenny
John Kenny
John Kenny
John Kenny
John Kenny
John Kenny
AAP Magazine #6 Black & White Contest
 
 

More Great Photographers To Discover

Daniel Grant
Nationality: American
The images I produce tell a story of the experiences that I have had the opportunity to be a part of. My formative years were spent traveling through the United States, Mexico and Europe, where culture, art and the natural environment made a lasting impression. I searched for the best way to be expressive and to create my own unique form of storytelling. My voice was found through the novel and unique views of the toy cameras: ‘Holga’ and ‘Diana.’ these cameras were first (…)
Daniel Grant
Daniel Grant
Daniel Grant
Daniel Grant
Daniel Grant
Daniel Grant
Daniel Grant
Daniel Grant
 
Fabien Pio
Nationality: French
Born: 1988
Fabien Pio is a french photographer, former student at the Fine Arts school of Montpellier. His pictures are made of daily wanderings, in order to use the photographic medium as a way to write the simple things of life, like a diary, an everyday notebook. And through this, trying to evoke a cinematographic and literary language, according to an essential place to the narrative of the pictures. This is like an autobiography, representing oneself through the others and the (…)
Fabien Pio
Fabien Pio
Fabien Pio
Fabien Pio
Fabien Pio
Fabien Pio
Fabien Pio
Fabien Pio
 
Tim Flach
Nationality: British
Born: 1958

Tim Flach is an animal photographer with an interest in the way humans shape animals and shape their meaning while exploring the role of imagery in fostering an emotional connection. Bringing to life the complexity of the animal kingdom, his work ranges widely across species, united by a distinctive stylisation reflecting an interest in how we better connect people to the natural world.

He has four major bodies of work concerning different subjects: Equus ((…)
Tim Flach
Tim Flach
Tim Flach
Tim Flach
Tim Flach
Tim Flach
Tim Flach
Tim Flach
 
Vladimir Nosalskiy (Lenin)
Nationality: Russian Federation
Born: 1973

I was born in USSR on June 10-th 1973. My pseudonyms in arts is Lenin. Back there our country was far from being open towards new ways of self-expression such as modern art, creative photography or so. For a long time everything people could percept from art and culture has been gray and monotonous. My childhood passed in criminal district. However, both of my parents are self-educated artists. I am sure that my ability to see beauty in ordinary, routine things originates (…)

Vladimir Nosalskiy (Lenin)
Vladimir Nosalskiy (Lenin)
Vladimir Nosalskiy (Lenin)
Vladimir Nosalskiy (Lenin)
Vladimir Nosalskiy (Lenin)
Vladimir Nosalskiy (Lenin)
Vladimir Nosalskiy (Lenin)
Vladimir Nosalskiy (Lenin)
 
Goran Tomasevic
Nationality: Serbian
Born: 1969
Born in Belgrade in 1969, Goran Tomasevic started working for Reuters as a freelance photographer in 1996 during the anti-Milosevic demonstrations. He was based in Baghdad during the Iraq conflict, in Jerusalem during tense times between the Israelis and Palestinians and was senior photographer in Egypt during the uprising. Goran is currently covering the conflict in Syria. In 2003 and 2005 Goran won the Reuters photographer of the year award.
 
Anne Berry
Nationality: American
Behind Glass refers both to the glass or boundaries of an enclosure and to the glass of the camera lens. Often I find myself gazing into the eyes of a monkey, his hand touching the glass wall that separates our worlds. The window works not only as a framing device but also to add atmosphere and narrative, left for the viewer to interpret. My photographs are about the beauty of animals but, more importantly, about their plight. The pictorial quality of these images (…)
Anne Berry
Anne Berry
Anne Berry
Anne Berry
Anne Berry
Anne Berry
Anne Berry
Anne Berry
 
Agata Vera Schiller
Nationality: Polish
Born: 1980

Agata Vera Schiller was born in 1980 in Inowroclaw, Poland. Grew up in the countryside surrounded by loving family and beautiful nature. She has graduated at the Faculty of Journalism in Poznan in 2003. Lived for several months in Scotland, spending time drawing and taking pictures of landscapes with her first camera Zenit.

In 2006, she has made Masters at the Academy of Fine Arts in Poznan, drawing workshop. Moved to Warsaw and began postgraduate studies at (…)
Agata Vera Schiller
Agata Vera Schiller
Agata Vera Schiller
Agata Vera Schiller
Agata Vera Schiller
Agata Vera Schiller
Agata Vera Schiller
Agata Vera Schiller
 
Tamara Reynolds
Nationality: American
Tamara graduated with a BFA degree and has been enjoying a successful career in commercial photography for the past 25 years.

She has been recognized commercially, garnering several awards such Communication Arts Award, International Photography Award, American Photography Award 29 and 30. Recently her pursuits for her personal project of the Southern vernacular, titled Southern Route, has been recognized by The Review Santa Fe 100, Photo Lucida 2012, 2013 Finalist (…)
Tamara Reynolds
Tamara Reynolds
Tamara Reynolds
Tamara Reynolds
Tamara Reynolds
Tamara Reynolds
Tamara Reynolds
Tamara Reynolds
 
Philip Metcalf
Nationality: American
Philip Metcalf was born in the Finger Lakes area of central New York State. He is a photographer who focuses mainly on the landscape, shooting in black & white infrared. The “Fire Ghosts” portfolio explores the devastation and unexpected beauty caused by the 2011 Las Conchas forest fire in New Mexico. In 2013, a photo from this portfolio was selected for the Art of Photography show, curated by Julia Dolan, the Curator of Photography at the Portland Art Museum and hung in (…)
Philip Metcalf
Philip Metcalf
Philip Metcalf
Philip Metcalf
Philip Metcalf
Philip Metcalf
Philip Metcalf
Philip Metcalf
 
Julia Fullerton-Batten
Nationality: German
Born: 1970

Julia is a world-wide acclaimed and exhibited fine-art photographer. She has had portraits commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery, that are held in permanent collection. She is a winner of the HSBC Fondation pour la Photographie award and a Hasselblad Master. Her images are on the front covers of 'A Guide to Collecting Contemporary Photography' (Thames and Hudson, 2012) and Eyemazing Magazine. She is widely sought after as a judge for adjudicating at prestigious (…)
Julia Fullerton-Batten
Julia Fullerton-Batten
Julia Fullerton-Batten
Julia Fullerton-Batten
Julia Fullerton-Batten
Julia Fullerton-Batten
Julia Fullerton-Batten
Julia Fullerton-Batten
 
AAP Magazine #6 Black & White Contest
 
Join our newsletter
Be up-to-date with call for entries, deadlines and other news about exhibitions, galleries, publications, & special events
 
Discover the 5th Issue of AAP Magazine
All About Photo Magazine showcases the winners of AAP Magazine Competitions
 
 
 
The Jules Maeght Gallery is a contemporary art gallery who seeks to engage the San Francisco community by infusing European artists, young and established alike, into a diverse, multimedia dialogue.
 
TAKES U TO THE NEXT LEVEL
 
Since 2005, your guide through contemporary art from a French perspective to let you make exciting choices