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Hai Bo
Hai Bo

Hai Bo

Country: China
Birth: 1962

Hai Bo (b. 1962, Changchun, China) graduated from the Printmaking Department of the Fine Art Institute of Jilin in 1984. His artistic ideals involve the restoration of the past through photography. Hai Bo’s work is less about what changes through time and more about what endures. His photography often depicts people shown in various stages of life as well as the passage of time.
 

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Thomas Dodd
United States
Thomas Dodd is a visual artist and photographer based out of Atlanta, Georgia who has developed a style that he calls "painterly photo montage" - a method he employs during principal photography and in editing software with which he crafts elaborately textured pieces that have a very organic and decidedly non-digital look to them. His work often has mythic and quasi-religious themes that pay homage to Old Master art traditions while at the same time drawing from psychological archetypes that evoke a strong emotional response from the viewer. Although his artwork resembles paintings, his pieces are entirely photographic in nature, fusing many images into a cohesive whole. His larger works are often presented in a mixed media form that adds a depth and texture that complements the photography beautifully. Thomas has had numerous exhibitions of his works in many cities in the USA and around the world. He has had recent shows in New York City, Paris, Mexico City, New Orleans, Tokyo, San Antonio, Seattle, and in his hometown of Atlanta. Dodd's photographs have been featured in many magazines, on book and album covers and he frequently teaches workshops and webinars on photo-editing and marketing for artists. Thomas began his career as a visual artist in 2005. Before that, he was best known as the harpist and songwriter for the 1990s musical group Trio Nocturna, a Celtic Gothic ensemble that put out three critically-acclaimed albums ("Morphia", "Tears of Light" and "Songs of the Celtic Night") and performed at author Anne Rice's annual Halloween balls in New Orleans, as well as spawning an offshoot band called the Changelings. Thomas also played harp on two albums by Michael Gira (the driving force behind the influential post-punk band the Swans): "the Body Lovers" and the Angels of Light "New Mother". The images that Thomas creates are basically a visual equivalent of the music he composed in the 1990s. Mythic themes and their relation to emotions and psychological states continue to be his primary subjects and motivations. Source: thomasdodd.com Interview with Thomas Dodd All About Photo: When did you realize you wanted to be a photographer? Thomas Dodd: There was a period in my early teens where I was inspired by seeing a gallery show of Ansel Adams’ work, and for a short time thereafter I was compelled to study black and white film photography (of course, digital did not exist back then in the 1970s), but that inspiration quickly was replaced by the kick in the ass I received when I heard the Sex Pistols (in 1977) which made me run out and get a guitar so I could take out my teen angst upon the (non-listening) world! AAP: Where did you study photography? With whom? TD: My father taught me the basics of the camera back in the 1970s. I also took a darkroom course in high school. My reemergence as a photographer in 2006 (after a 25 year musical career playing the Celtic harp) was basically a self-taught one with quite a few online tutorials along the way! AAP: Do you have a mentor? TD: My father was a great influence on me- both as a photographer and a human being. AAP: How long have you been a photographer? TD: Since 2006. My brief dabbling in photography in the 70s barely counts! AAP: Do you remember your first shot? What was it? TD: My first real photoshoot was of my friend (and first Muse) Halley dressed in a beautiful Rococo-themed dress she made. We wandered through the streets of downtown Decatur Ga. at around midnight searching for street light to shoot in. AAP: What or who inspires you? TD: Beauty inspires me. Great painters inspire me. An artistic or chameleonesque model inspires me... AAP: How could you describe your style? TD: “Painterly” photo montage with an artistic approach AAP: Do you have a favorite photograph or series? TD: My favorite photo is always the one I am currently working on! AAP: What kind of gear do you use? Camera, lens, digital, film? TD: I really am not one of those photographers who likes to talk about gear because I think the most important tool that an artist possesses is their imagination... but I shoot with a Sony A57 using a 18-70mm lens. AAP: Do you spend a lot of time editing your images? For what purpose? TD: I seem to spend ALL my time editing photos - What purpose? Self expression and sometimes' client satisfaction! AAP: Favorite(s) photographer(s)? TD: Jan Saudek - for the way he created such boldly erotic personal imagery while hiding from a repressive Communist regime... He also used texture and color in a very painterly way which has influenced me a great deal. AAP: What advice would you give a young photographer? TD: Don't be in a hurry to "succeed", and shun advice like "Fake it ‘til you make it". It takes TIME and PATIENCE to develop your own style. Always follow your own voice and don't be swayed by what is currently popular, and don't forget to ENJOY it - this is not supposed to feel like work! AAP: What mistake should a young photographer avoid? TD: Becoming an imitation or a copy of another photographer. Being in a hurry to get published or displayed in galleries is another common mistake. Take the time and develop your craft for a few years before you start thinking about sharing it with the world! AAP: Any quotes you would like to share? TD: "I am steadily surprised that there are so many photographers that reject manipulating reality, as if that was wrong. Change reality! If you don't find it, invent it!" - Pete Turner AAP: What current projects are you working on? TD: Nothing I can tell you about, but I will drop a hint and say it involves shattering some commonly held preconceptions about a "marginalized" segment of society. AAP: Your best memory as a photographer? TD: There have been so many, it's hard to choose an absolute best but I will say my first solo show, my first print sale and my first publication were all high points! AAP: Your worst souvenir as a photographer? TD: My broken D50 which gasped it’s last breath 5 clicks into a nude shoot! Or maybe the memory card and external hard drive that I irretrievably lost data from. Here is some more good advice - ALWAYS use an online backup in addition to discs and hard drives! AAP:The compliment that touched you most? TD: When my 92 year old Mother came to my first big gallery show in Atlanta (featuring some very large nude images) and said she was proud of me... AAP: Your favorite photo book? TD: Bob Carlos Clarke's "The Dark Summer" and Helmut Newton's "White Women". AAP: An anecdote? TD: I long ago learned as a model photographer that the crucial things to pack in your camera bag are not extra lenses, filters and light meters, They are instead bobby pins, safety pins, hair ties, insect repellent and sun block. Oh yeah, and a few model releases too! AAP: Anything else you would like to share? TD: Please feel free to "like" my Facebook page and introduce yourself.
Oleksandr Rupeta
Ukraine
1981
Oleksandr Rupeta is a documentary photographer from Ukraine working worldwide. He is a member of the Independent Media Trade Union Of Ukraine and the International Federation of Journalists from 2016 and a member of the Ukrainian Association of Professional Photographers and Federation of European Photographers from 2018. As a news and reportage photographer, Oleksandr carries out short and long-term projects about political, cultural, and social life in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. His works highlight Ukrainian-Russian conflict, Afghan Red Crescent Society, the life of Iranian Jews community, Sufi Community in Northern Cyprus, people with disabilities in Southern African countries, ethnic minorities in Azerbaijan, LGBT community in the Balkans, elephant conservation in Laos, robotics in Japan, etc. The photos appeared in The New York Times, The Financial Times, The Times, The Guardian, The Economist, Time, Nature, Forbes, National Geographic Traveler and others. His news photos were chosen numerous times as a photo of the day, a photo of the month and a photo of the year in agencies such as NurPhoto, Zuma Press and GettyImages reportage. About Someone in your corner From the middle of the XX century, the tendency of keeping animals as pets has been increased in their number and variety. There are many reasons for this phenomenon. First of all, the technological development improved the overall standard of living. Human attitudes towards animals are becoming of increasing importance and less pragmatic. When a man moves away from nature he begins to use animals as compensation for the lost connection. As a result, animals are engaged in social relations with a human. As family members, pets are changing not only their behavior but also the behavior of the owners. They build complex interdependent relationships. In Ukraine, like the entire post-Soviet space, this tendency has become widespread with gaining independence. Open borders facilitated the transportation of exotic animals and their purchase became quite easy. Keeping unusual animals ceased to be the prerogative of a privileged few. Instead of this came out a problem of the pet owners' ignorance who may have a lack of knowledge of proper exotic pet care. The idea for the project was to explore the mutuality and relationship of the human-animal bond in the modern world, to see and pay attention to the conditions of their interaction and coexistence. The project was created in the summer-fall 2019, throughout Ukraine. The primary eligibility criteria for choosing characters was the exclusion of all occasional owners, zoos, circuses and using animals in entertainment spectacles. But everything turned out to be more complicated than expected. Odd owners often saved their pets from death and mostly they showed true love to the pets. Other characters were chosen from people with a passion for animals. In addition to owning exotic animals as house pets, these people frequently try to link their lives with animals. Some of them organize private or home zoos, some work in pet shops, others try to find work at animal shelters or wildlife sanctuary. The project turned out wider than I planned but each shot in the series elucidates the special human-animal connection.
Hugo Thomassen
Netherlands
1972
Shadow of Truth In his search for shadow, Hugo Thomassen found light. It is not the play of light that intrigues, but the richness of shadow. The bottles are what they are, yet they inadvertently evoke associations. Are we looking at a nocturnal cityscape with figures? Are we witnessing a chance encounter, a moment frozen in time, or simply an elegant composition with one or more bottles as the photographic subject? The bottle as a shape. In actual fact, the bottle has been constructed down in minute detail. Although the associations may suggest coincidence, the composition itself makes no such assumption. After all, it was built layer by layer. Painstakingly so. It is rich in its simplicity. No expense is spared. Each line is deliberate, considered. So much is expressed through so little. Without warning, this piece sends you soaring into the void - at least it had that effect on me. The void in which there is no time, and the severity of silence reigns. From a compositional standpoint, you have no reference point for space and time. As such, you go on your instincts and create a story yourself. Or you experience it in a meditative sense. What am I feeling? Is it abandonment, bottomless loneliness? Or am I experiencing silence, light, and intimacy? The image is poetic, still, melancholy, and harmonious. Reassurance emanates from the strict imposition of order. Coincidence is out of the question. The meaning of the work is hidden in the order that it projects. The interplay of lines formed by light and shadows never becomes a labyrinth, instead forming a guide pointing out the right direction. The photo has a reassuring effect on me which does not indicate a lack of thought. It makes me wander off in my mind’s eye while deciding my own perspective. This piece puts me outside of time. I can find no links to a memory, something which photography usually excels at. The image is new, though I believe I see a shade of art history through which the influence of Giorgio de Chirico, Morandi, and Night Shadows by Edward Hopper subtly shine through. The photograph distils the bottle to its purest form. It lays bare its essence. An idea. Is it truth that we see? Reality being exposed? Or are these simply shadows created by shapes? It is this that Thomassen plays with. Is it a single photograph or a picture composed of several images, a multitude of shots? In a sense, the photographic image is attempting to transcend the flatness of the paper. Photography is the means by which Thomassen explores the world. He exposes order in chaos or reveals an event through an ordering. He is the author of a visual story. His work is a narrative without words. It is excitement without something taking place. It represents an ode to emptiness, silence, and form. The bottle as the bearer of meaning. Everything has been translated into a language that one does not necessarily need to understand, but that one feels. He finds beauty in the composition of things, of objects. Naturally, a bottle is just a bottle, but in a composition and in relation to other bottles, by sheer coincidence a story is created. Thomassen brings light and shadow as nuances to that composition. He does not impose hierarchy onto the image. The background, the negative space, is just as important as the bottle. This piece is so streamlined that there are no secondary subjects. Light and shadow are of equal importance, because they need one another. Hugo Thomassen provides a context to the bottles. It is up to the viewer to make a story out of them - or not, of course. Because what is simply a charming image to one may appear to another as a story about existence and appearances. Ludo Diels
Richard Kalvar
United States
1944
Richard Kalvar (born 1944) is an American photographer who has been associated with Magnum Photos since 1975. Kalvar was born in Brooklyn, New York. A trip to Europe in 1966 with a Pentax camera given him by French fashion photographer Jérôme Ducrot (with whom Kalvar worked in New York as an assistant) inspired him to become a photographer. On his return to New York he worked at Modernage photo lab. Two years later he moved to Paris and joined Agence Vu photography agency. Kalvar has worked around the world, especially in England, France, Italy, Japan and the United States and has had a solo exhibition at Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris. Source: Wikipedia Ambiguity is at the forefront of Richard Kalvar’s photography. Kalvar, who describes context as the “enemy”, seeks mystery and multiple meaning through surprising framing and meticulous timing. He describes his approach as “more like poetry than photojournalism – it attacks on the emotional level.” Kalvar has published a number of solo books: Portrait de Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, 1993; Earthlings (Terriens), 2007; Drôles de vie!, 2008; Richard Kalvar: Photo Poche, 2018; Richard Kalvar: Photofile (the English-language version of Photo Poche), 2019; and Magnum, la Storia, le Immagini: Richard Kalvar, 2019. He has had important exhibitions in the US, France, Germany, Spain and Italy, and has participated in multiple group books and exhibitions in America and Europe, notably Centre Pompidou Album Photographique 1, 1979, L’Usine, 1987, and in several Magnum books, most recently Magnum Contact Sheets, 2013, Magnum Analog Recovery, 2017 and Magnum Manifesto, 2017. Kalvar’s work has appeared in Geo, The Paris Review, Creative Camera, Aperture, Zoom, Newsweek, and Photo, among many others. Editorial assignments and even commercial work have given Kalvar an additional opportunity to do personal photography. He did many documentary stories that allowed him to disengage from documentary mode when the occasion arose. Kalvar joined Magnum as an associate member in 1975, and became a full member two years later. He subsequently served several times as vice president, and once as president of the agency.Source: Magnum Photos Kalvar has done extensive personal work in America, Europe and Asia, notably in France, Italy, England, Japan and the United States, supporting himself with journalistic and commercial assignments. He has a long-term unfinished project in progress in Rome. In 1980, Kalvar presented a solo show at Agathe Gaillard gallery in Paris and has participated in many group shows. A major retrospective of his work was shown at the Maison Européenne de la Photographie in 2007, accompanied by his book Earthlings. Kalvar’s photographs are marked by a strong homogeneity of aesthetic and theme. His images frequently play on a discrepancy between the banality of a real situation and the uncanny feeling that is produced by a particular choice of timing and framing. The result of his careful framing is a state of tension between two levels of interpretation, attenuated by a touch of humour.Source: Sedition Art
Bernard Benavides
Bernard Benavides (Barcelona, 1980), photographer, licensed by the Gris Art School Barcelona, in 2011, has developed his professional and artistic career through his passion for travel and photography. Always interested in the remote cultures of distant countries, with which he establishes a personal and close link to meet in person, to experience the day to day of the ethnic group, its culture, its rituals and its particular landscapes and lost paradises. This has marked the pulse of his travels and allowed him to perceive each face and each landscape uniquely. He is an avid traveler who takes the opportunity to escape and travel the world with his camera and backpack. He likes the most complicated challenges and trips. Since different events occur in the interests of today's world, his preference is always social photography. He believes that it is not the experience itself, but the meaning that he gives to the experience. His professional and artistic career began at the age of thirteen. Having personally experienced the Civil War of El Salvador for three years, it marked the rest of his life and had an important influence on the decision to direct his career to photojournalism. In 2011, due to personal and professional stability gained from the cultural exchanges experienced in his previous trips, as well as for the discovery of new places such as Kano, Nigeria, he adopted a different and more critical outlook when discovering and documenting the ethnic political conflict between Christians and Muslims. Nigeria was a country where he developed a high degree of personal and professional learning. His long trips through Central Asia, South East Asia, America, Australia, and currently a two-year trip through Africa, have led him to enjoy and document with his lens, the native peoples and especially the fascination of living with tribes.
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