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Niki Feijen
Niki Feijen
Niki Feijen

Niki Feijen

Country: Netherlands
Birth: 1977

Dutch photographer Niki Feijen immortilizes an astonishingly intact glimpse into the past. This autodidact specializes in documenting and capturing historic architecture and abandoned buildings. Each photo fuses together the conflicting notions of beauty and decay and corresponds with his desire to capture and silently communicate with his audience about the subject's very essence.

Niki wants to recreate the exact same scene as he sees while standing in a location but the lightspectrum your eye can capture is much, much wider than a camera can capture. Photographing a dark setting with extreme highlights like a window causes the highlights to wash out into white or dark areas can become obscure black blobs. It's impossible to shoot a photo that captures both ends of this spectrum. Since Niki does not use any artificial lighting he uses different exposures to capture a much wider light spectrum than a traditional photograph. The result is a hyper realistic photo which would replicate the exact same thing you would see standing inside the location yourself.

In 2010 Feijen visited the quintessential location of desertion: the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. After a catastrophic nuclear accident occurred in 1986 the entire city of Pripyat, all 50,000 inhabitants, were evacuated within 48 hours. Most of the belongings of the evacuated inhabitants were left behind and never returned to again. The incredible deafening silence of this location, in its absence of the living, permeates the senses and mind of visitors who venture to there to this day.

Feijen is currently travelling around the globe looking for more hidden gems tucked away behind 'Do Not Enter' signs. Curious about what lies on the other side, he goes in search of the hidden world that is often in plain sight. When Feijen comes across impressive yet eerie locations, such as homes located in ghost towns, asylums, decaying hospitals, abandoned castles and long forgotten hotels, he intends to preserve the what is left of the past by encapsulating these forgotten masterpieces' ethos in a photo before they crumble and collapse.

The impressions left from these places are represented in visual form for the public in three separate books. All works, 'Disciple of Decay' (April 2013) 'Frozen' (September 2014) and 'Tempus Fugit' (December 2017), have been independently published. The first sold out in six months. On top of these publications, Feijen's photographs are exhibited at art galleries and international art fairs several times a year.

His works have been featured by NBC, BBC, The Huffington Post, ABC News, The Daily Mail and Chase Jarvis, among a variety of others. As of 2014 Feijen's work is part of the Sir Elton John Photography Collection where his name is among legendary photographers as ; Edward Weston, David LaChapelle, Diane Arbus and Henri Cartier-Bresson.
 

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Todd Hido
United States
1968
Todd Hido (American, b.1968) is a prolific photographer whose works of suburban and urban homes have been shown in galleries and businesses throughout the nation. He was born in Kent, OH, and is now based in San Francisco, CA. He received a BFA in 1991 from Tufts University in Massachusetts, and an MFA from the California College of Arts and Crafts. He is currently an adjunct professor at the California College of Art in San Francisco. TODD HIDO (b. 1968 in Kent, OH) is a San Francisco Bay Area-based artist who received his M.F.A. from the California College of Arts and Crafts and his B.F.A. from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and Tufts University. His photographs have been exhibited internationally, including solo exhibitions at the Cleveland Museum of Art, and the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City, and are included in numerous museum collections, including the Whitney Museum of Art, Guggenheim Museum, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art as well as in many other public and private collections. His work has been featured in Artforum, The New York Times Magazine, Eyemazing, Metropolis, The Face, I-D, and Vanity Fair. In 2001 an award-winning monograph of his work titled House Hunting was published by Nazraeli Press and a companion monograph, Outskirts, was published in 2002. His third book, Roaming, was published in 2004. Between the Two, focusing on portraits and nudes, was published in 2007. His latest book of landscapes, A Road Divided, was published in 2010. In May of 2013 Excerpts from Silver Meadows was published by Nazraeli Press. He is an adjunct professor at the California College of Art, San Francisco, California. Source: Rose Gallery Drawing from childhood memories as a creative wellspring, Hido wanders endlessly, taking lengthy road trips in search of imagery that connects with his own recollections. For his landscapes the artist chooses to photograph during overcast days and often frames his images through the vantage point of his car, using the windshield as an additional lens. Through this unique process and signature color palette, he alludes to the quiet and mysterious side of suburban America, where uniform communities provide for a stable façade, while concealing the instability that lies within its walls. While Hido is notorious for photographing suburbia from the outside as his pictures of well-worn dwellings evidence, he has also entered the interiors of these houses and integrated the human form into his work. His ability to capture the inherent tensions of both the human body and landscapes marks his work as a starting point of a broader discussion. Any narrative inferred form his work is entirely a construct of the viewer’s imagination heightened by Hido’s power of sequencing photographs and his fascination with a cinematic style of image making. Hido was born in 1968 in Kent, Ohio. He received his B.F.A. from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and Tufts University. In 1996 he earned his M.F.A. from the California College of Arts and Crafts where he was mentored by Larry Sultan. He is now an adjunct professor at the California College of Art, San Francisco. Hido has been the recipient of the Eureka Fellowship, Fleishhacker Foundation, Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation Visual Arts Award, and the Barclay Simpson Award. His latest show with Bruce Silverstein Gallery, Bright Black World is the artist's fourth solo exhibition with the gallery. His photographs have been the subject of solo exhibitions at the Cleveland Museum of Art, and the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City. Other major institutions that have previously exhibited Hido’s work include the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washignton D.C.; Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago; Miami Art Museum, Florida; Netherland Architecture Institute, Rotterdam; Palazzo Ducale, Genova, Italy; Samsung Museum of Modern Art in Korea; and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Work by Hido is held in public and private collections including the Guggenheim Museum, New York; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; San Francisco Museum of Art; and the Whitney Museum of Art. In 2001 an award-winning monograph of his work titled House Hunting was published by Nazraeli Press, followed by a companion monograph, Outskirts, published in 2002. His third book, Roaming, was published in 2004. Between the Two, focusing on portraits and nudes, and A Road Divided were respectively published in 2007 and 2010. A full volume of Silver Meadows, mined from Hido’s own experience growing up in Kent, was launched at Paris Photo 2012. Intimate Distance, published in 2016, is the first comprehensive monograph charting the career of the artist. Hido’s most recent publication, Bright Black World, will be released in late autumn 2018. This newest publication highlights the artist’s first significant foray extensively photographing territory outside of the United States, chronicling a decidedly new psychological geography. The artist lives and works in the San Francisco Bay Area. Source: Bruce Silverstein
Li Zhensheng
China
1940
Li Zhensheng (born September 22, 1940) is a Chinese photojournalist who captured some of the most telling images from the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, better known as the Chinese Cultural Revolution. His employment at the Heilongjiang Daily, which followed the party line, and his decision to wear a red arm band indicating an alliance with Chairman Mao Zedong, allowed him access to scenes otherwise only described in written and verbal accounts. His recent publication of the book, "Red-Color News Soldier" exhibits both the revolutionary ideals and, more notably, many of the atrocities that occurred during the Cultural Revolution. The Heilongjiang Daily newspaper had a strict policy in accordance with a government dictate that only "positive" images could be published, which consisted mostly of smiling revolutionaries offering praise for Chairman Mao. The "negative" images, which depicted the atrocities of the time, were hidden beneath a floorboard in his house before he brought them to light at a photo exhibit in 1988.Early lifeLi Zhensheng was born to a poor family in Dalian, which is located in the northeastern province of Liaoning, China. At the time of his birth this was Kwantung Leased Territory, where Japan maintained the puppet regime, Manchukuo. His mother died when he was three, and his older brother, who was a member of the People's Liberation Army was killed during the Chinese Civil War. Zhensheng helped his father, who was a cook on a steamship and later as a farmer, until Zhensheng was 10-years-old. Zhensheng quickly rose to the top of his class despite starting school late. He later earned a spot at the Changchun Film School, where he acquired much of his photographic knowledge. In 1963, he briefly achieved a job at the Heilongjiang Daily, however the Socialist Education Movement soon intervened and he ended up back in the countryside for nearly two years, living with peasants and studying the works of Chairman Mao.Cultural RevolutionZhensheng returned to Harbin just months before the outbreak of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution in the spring of 1966. A lack of photographic film, marauding Red Guards, and a political dictate against photographing the negative aspects of the revolution restricted what he was able to portray. He soon realized that only people wearing the red-colored arm band of the Red Guards could photograph without harassment. To achieve this, he founded his own small rebel group at the newspaper. Zhensheng then captured some of the most horrific acts of the Cultural Revolution. His collection includes photos depicting dehumanizing tactics used by the Red Guards to humiliate or degrade alleged counterrevolutionaries. Some of the images depict public displays of "denunciations," where the hair of prominent individuals is shaved. Other images show people bearing "dunce" hats; people with black paint spread over their faces; others wearing signs around their necks with writings that criticize their profession or names. Zhensheng also captured scenes of public executions of counterrevolutionaries who were never given a trial for their alleged crimes. At the height of the Cultural Revolution, Zhensheng was once more sent back to the countryside in September 1969. He was sent to the May 7th Cadre School in Liuhe, a labor camp where he and his wife, Zu Yingxia, spent two years performing hard labor. Zhensheng had taken meticulous care of the documented "negative" images he captured while at the newspaper, hiding them beneath a floorboard of his one-room apartment. The dry atmosphere and mild temperatures of Harbin aided the preservation of the photographic negatives. While he was sent away, Zhensheng entrusted a friend to care for the apartment, and instructed him to never reveal the secrets it contained. Zhensheng returned to the newspaper in 1972 as the head of the photography department, and later became a professor at Peking University in 1982.Red-Color News Soldier"Red-Color News Soldier" is a literal translation of the Chinese characters written on the armband Li Zhensheng wore during the Chinese Cultural Revolution. Although, he says he never gave his alliance to Chairman Mao, wearing the arm band gave him unprecedented access to historic events, which have since shaped Chinese culture. [4] The book covers the period from just before the Cultural Revolution in 1965 to just after in 1976. It is separated into five chronological sections: 1964-1966 titled "It is right to rebel"; 1966 titled "Bombard the Headquarters"; 1966-1968 titled "The Red Sun in our hearts"; 1968-1972 titled "Revolution is not a dinner party"; and 1972-1974 titled "Die Fighting." The veteran China analyst John Gittings was among the reviewers who welcomed Li's book. He noted that Li was a Red Guard as well as a photographer and did not deny that he also led "struggle sessions" against innocent victims; but his pictures reflect a deeper desire to record and understand. Li's book was "unique" for a simple reason: "Although the post-Mao Chinese government has labelled the cultural revolution '10 years of chaos,' it still tries to suppress any real inquiry into the countless human tragedies it caused..." The book, which has not been published in China, took many years to publish. Zhensheng's "negative" pictures (those that depicted the atrocities of the cultural revolution) were first revealed publicly in March 1988 at a Chinese Press Association's photography competition in Beijing. The show, entitled "Let History Tell the Future" consisted of twenty images from his collection, which were deemed "counterrevolutionary. " In December of that year, Zhensheng met Robert Pledge, an American who was director of Contact Press Images, an international photo agency, who had come to Beijing. They agreed to work together on a book of Zhensheng's photos, but to wait until the political climate was right. Seven months later, in June 1989, the brutal events of Tiananmen Square made worldwide headlines, and Zhensheng became determined to produce a book to show the world the images from the Cultural Revolution. Work on the book began in 1999. Since Pledge did not speak Chinese, and Zhensheng did not speak English, the two had to coordinate work through the use of translators — many of whom became integral parts of their relationship. Zhensheng sent over 30,000 brown envelopes to Pledge's office in New York City, each containing photographic negatives. A number of the images are self-portraits of Zhensheng. This was the result of always returning to the paper with one extra frame on the film roll; a photojournalism technique of always being prepared to cover a breaking news event at the last minute. Zhensheng would "burn off" the last image with a photo of himself shortly before developing the film. Often the poses were humorous and playful. One such image of Zhensheng exposing his bare chest was published in the book He said he was attempting to recreate the old expression of "baring one's chest in the face of adversity," or in his case, communism. During book tours Zhensheng makes a point to speak of his love for China. He says while he disagrees with the government, he still loves his country and hopes democracy will perhaps prevail in the long-term future. He does not believe his images or the book should be considered anti-Chinese, rather a reminder of the painful past many countries endure during their evolution.Source: Wikipedia
Brad Walls
Australia
1992
Brad Walls is an Australian aerial photography based in Sydney. Best known for his use of close up top downs, Brad specialises in aerial portraiture and a minimalistic approach to aerial photography. Utilising one of the first consumer drones, Brad Walls stumbled across his passion for aerial content through stitching small video clips together taken during his extensive travels. 18 months on, Brad has refined his skillset, with a vision to strive and see the world from a different angle creating the perfect metaphor for his work. Pools From Above Pools From Above is an ode to the beauty found in the shapes, colours and textures of swimming pools. This unique and never-before-seen perspective uses Walls' clean, minimal aesthetic to visually showcase interesting pools from around the world. Inspired by his travels throughout Southeast Asia and within his own home country of Australia, Walls' journey initially began by capturing the bodies of water simply to document holiday memories. It wasn't until picking up the bestselling Annie Kelly coffee table book Splash: The Art of the Swimming Pool, however, that Walls would start investing time and passion into curating a series, stating that "As I turned each page of Kelly's book, a wave of childhood nostalgia washed over me, spending hours in the pool over summer." Paying powerful homage to Kelly, Walls' series chooses to keenly focus on pools' elements of composition from a bird's eye view. "I fell in love with the lines, curves and negative space of the pools, which - without alternate perspective from a drone - would have been lost." Pools From Above is also an integral part of a much larger project which is aimed at a book release in the not-too-distant future, as Walls says "The response from viewers has been positive, asking for the series to be amongst their coffee table books." Looking ahead, once the world finally re-opens, Walls has no plans of slowing down. He plans to capture even more world-renowned swimming pools across an array of idyllic locations, including Palm Springs, Mexico and the Mediterranean. Since bursting onto the photography scene in early 2019, Walls has gone on to produce award-winning photographs and garner worldwide media attention, with a primary focus on capturing aerial portraits of sportspeople like synchronized swimmers, gymnasts and ice skaters from unique perspectives and angles that audiences are normally unable to see.
Joseph Rafferty
United States
1976
Photography has been a life-line of expression in my life. I feel most alive when my ideas materialize to visual imagery. Motivated by passion for social justice, drawn to examples of beauty amongst pain, I use imagery as a visual tapestry, weaving visceral experiences that provoke emotion and encourage empathy for others, despite our differences. I see photography as a voice that has capacity to illuminate injustice, inequality, and can be more powerful than words alone. When I was eight, my mother died. She went on vacation to Hawaii, and returned in a coffin. I was immediately uprooted from my free and love-filled life, and forced to live with my father and step-mother. Raised in this family that silenced individuality, demanded polite compliance, and kept me tethered to their ideals, I did not develop the art of verbal expression. I quickly learned to swallow my truth and hide my pain. Photography became a powerful thread of connection to my emotion and ideas, laced with the harsh realities of this flawed culture, and the ironies within my family's worldview. Photography was an open window in my prison, giving fresh breath to my starving soul, and it became a pivotal foundation in my metamorphosis. It gave the theatre of my mind a stage, creating space for growth and transformation beyond the stifling shell that threatened to encase me. With the money left for me by my mother's community, I was able to purchase the cameras and photography equipment I still use today. In so doing, my work has become my connection to my mother. Her spirit, instrumental in my freedom, has guided me from the pain and anger of my youth, and led me to embrace my potential. Through loving memory of her unconditional support, I have found a peace and purpose in life, grounded in relationships with my wife and children, mindful of certain pitfalls in our culture, and dedicated to the unedited, true expression of my unique experience. My archive, also influenced by my early foundational years among the redwood trees, by my service in the United States Military, and by my education at Art Center College of Design, is non-linear and free, yet technical and pointed. Heavily inspired by Arnold Newman's manipulation of existing light, I capture images with 4x5 large and medium formats, utilizing color neg film. My creative process begins with an idea explored through sketches, further developed through research (literature, current events, locations, and style), materialized through sculpting of props, and executed with purpose in every detail. Each detail becomes a tool in building a landscape of meaning.
Norm Diamond
United States
1948
Norm Diamond spent thirty years as an interventional radiologist in Dallas, Texas. Treating severely ill and injured patients on a daily basis had a profound effect on him, which he came to fully understand when he retired and began his second career as a fine art photographer. Mentored by Cig Harvey since 2013, he began making work focused on themes of memory, loss, and isolation. In his first major project, What Is Left Behind - Stories from Estate Sales, he visited several hundred estate sales searching for and photographing objects left by one generation for the next. Daylight Books published this work as a monograph in 2017. In his next series, Doug's Gym, he chronicled the last six months of a dilapidated, yet beautiful old gym in downtown Dallas. It was owned by 87-year-old Doug Eidd, who had run the gym since 1962. Both he and the gym came from a bygone era never to be seen again. Kehrer Verlag published Doug's Gym in 2020. Diamond has now returned to an old project, Dark Planet. It reflects his worldview drawn from his experiences as a physician, his family background, and current events. The images reflect the same themes he has photographed for his two previous projects, but they are not tethered to specific locations or settings. Diamond was named a finalist in the Photolucida Critical Mass competitions of 2015, 2016, 2018, 2019, and 2020. The Afterimage Gallery in Dallas and the Cumberland Gallery in Nashville have hosted solo shows of his work. His prints are in the hands of private collectors and have also been shown in multiple galleries and museums including Ogden Museum of Southern Art, Griffin Museum of Photography, Masur Museum of Art, Houston Center for Photography, Center for Fine Art Photography, and Center for Photographic Art.
Nicola Ducati
Italy
1973
My name is Nicola Ducati I am an Italian photographer, travel and portrait photography is my expressive medium. With my pictures I want to tell stories that create empathy between the viewer and the subject with elegance and authenticity. I was born in a small town among the Italian Alps. I have always lived in a beautiful place that has made me grow and appreciate nature, animals, quiet places and respect for what surrounds us, I think this way of living in the countryside has greatly influenced my photographic sensitivity. I approached the world of photography by chance. As a child, I used to play with an old camera found who knows where, a shabby but fascinating object that soon became a passion. Later, my curiosity led me to experiment with many different genres, from the first landscape, travel photography, and finally the travel portrait. Today I especially like photography, which tells stories but also lets you imagine them, which excites and suggests reflections. A narrating photography. What I like I photograph only what I like and what fascinates me, I am a curious person and i try to find what in the world unites us not what divides us, I mean that I try to bring out those traits of humanity that make us all connected. An exercise to accept with empathy the entropy of our world. My photography is not conceptual, it represents what I see, what I feel important, what excites me or moves me. I love when the emotion and the story hidden inside a picture reaches the observer. I entrust my work and aesthetics photography to the task of telling and giving the observer inspiration and sense of belonging. Photography that responds to this, is a successful one.
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