All about photo: photo contests, photography exhibitions, galleries, schools, books and venues.
Nelli Palomäki
Self portrait: At twenty-six #3, 2008 Courtesy Galerie Les Filles du Calvaire
Nelli Palomäki
Nelli Palomäki

Nelli Palomäki

Country: Finland
Birth: 1981

Nelli Palomäki was born 1981 in Forssa, Finland. At the moment she lives and works in Karkkila and Helsinki, Finland. Her timeless portraits of children and young people reveal the fragility of the moment shared with her subject. Palomäki’s photographs deal with the growth, memory and our problematic way of seeing ourselves. One of the crucial themes in her portraiture is our mortality. She describes: “We fight against our mortality, denying it, yet photographs are there to prove our inescapable destiny. The idea of getting older is heart-rending.” She is a graduate of Aalto University School of Art, Design and Architecture in Helsinki.

Palomäki’s works have been exhibited in numerous international solo and group exhibitions. Selected solo shows: Shared (Galerie Les Filles du Calvaire, Paris 2018), Shared (Gallery Taik Persons, Berlin 2017), Jaettu (Forum Box, Helsinki 2016), Breathing the Same Air (Ordrupgaard Art Museum, Copenhagen 2013), Nelli Palomäki (The Finnish Museum of Photography, Helsinki 2013), Sons of Nakhimov (The Wapping Project Bankside, London 2012), As time consumes us (Les Rencontres d’Arles, Discovery Award 2012), As time consumes us (Kulturhuset, Stockholm 2011), Elsa and Viola (Next Level Projects, London 2011), Elsa and Viola (Gallery TAIK, Berlin 2009), I, Daughter (Turku Art Museum, Turku 2008). Her photographs have been shown in several group shows including Helsinki City Art Museum, Hasselblad Foundation in Gothenburg, Bruce Silverstein Gallery in New York, Daegu Photo Biennale in South Korea, The National Museum of Photography in Copenhagen, Purdy Hicks Gallery in London and Aperture Gallery in New York. Palomäki’s photography has been featured in several publications such as TIME magazine, British journal of photography, Independent magazine, New York Magazine, Zoom and Exit. Her book Breathing the Same Air was published spring 2013 by Hatje Cantz.

In spring 2010 Palomäki placed 2nd in Sony World Photography Awards in portraiture category and the same year Hasselblad Foundation awarded her the Victor Fellowship Grant for the studies in London. She has been selected as one of the young emerging artist for the reGeneration2–Tomorrow's Photographers Today project. In summer 2012 Palomäki was nominated for the Discover Award at the Rencontres d’Arles in France. Permanent collections include: Moderna Museet in Stockholm; The Hague Museum of Photography, Hasselblad Foundation in Gothenburg and Helsinki Art Museum. Palomäki is represented by Gallery Taik Persons (Berlin), Galerie Les filles du calvaire (Paris) and Jackson Fine Art (Atlanta).

Source: nellipalomaki.com

About The Work
Seen and captured by someone else’s eyes reminds us that the image we have of ourselves is not absolute, it is not truthful. In many senses the mirror lies more than a photograph. We learn to see ourselves in such a one-dimensional way, that hardly any image can satisfy us anymore. While time gnaws away at the faces of us and our close ones, we return to look at the pictures from our past. As beautiful or poignant as an image may be; as much as we could garner from it emotionally, the feeling for which we search remains intangible and elusive. We will never fully comprehend or recreate the moment, it died at the moment of its’ birth. Sadly, the portrait is just a shadow of our meeting, a small stain of the time we spend together. Each and every portrait I have taken is a photograph of me too. What I decide to see, or more likely, how I confront the things that I see, inevitably determines the final image. But more than that, the intensity of the moment shared with the subject, controls the portrait. As we stand there, with our grave faces, breathing the same heavy air; never so aware of each other’s details. One blind and lost without seeing his own appearance, one desperately trying to reach the perfect moment.

The complexity of portraiture, its greatest trap, eventually always lies on its power relationships. What I desire to find and to reveal might be someone’s secret. These secrets, finally shown to the viewers, as they were mine. A portrait remains forever. It is a desperate way to stay connected to someone who, though possibly a stranger, remains so familiar. It is my way of preserving a part of that person, embalming them. Through the portrait I build a relationship with my subject. I carry my subject’s memories with me, memories, as they are, being so intimately connected with photographs. Secretly I study their faces. This is how I remember them. I wonder how they remember me. As the time eats slowly away at us, I still hold these images of them, like they are the only way I ever knew, or will know these people. And that ever pervasive feeling; I met them. They will die and eventually I too will die.
 

Selected Book

Inspiring Portfolios

Call for Entries
AAP Magazine #22: Streets
Publish your work in AAP Magazine and win $1,000 Cash Prizes
 
Stay up-to-date  with call for entries, deadlines and other news about exhibitions, galleries, publications, & special events.

More Great Photographers To Discover

Cayetano GonzÁlez
My grandparents met during their studies in the University of Fine Arts in Valencia. Most of my close relatives work in the field of visual arts. On my behalf, I've always wanted to be a painter, and was fascinated by many artists: Sorolla, Velázquez, Rembrandt, Delacroix... During High School I had the opportunity to work on a short film for one of the courses, I then realised I wanted to work in the film industry. In 2006 I started my adventure. I studied Film in Valencia, and afterwards worked as a freelancer in a television production company for a year. At that time everything we did was recorded on tapes, and the cinematography quality I was searching for was unattainable. Fortunately, my grandfather lent me his Leica and everything changed. I slowly began learning how to use different cameras and I knew I had found my calling. Before even realising it I was already working as a photographer. I knew (or at least I thought I knew) how to use a camera, but not what to express with it, I needed to expand my knowledge of Art and extend my perspective. I began my studies in Fine Arts, and it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I still don't know the meaning of Art, fully, but I was able to learn what people could achieve thanks to having artistic values. During the last two years of my Arts studies I concentrated on Contemporary Art, Film and Photography. When I finished I wanted to specialise in Cinematography and decided to move to Barcelona to study a Masters in Cinematography in ESCAC (Superior School of Cinema of Catalonia). Since then I'm based in Barcelona and my work is focused mainly on Photography and Cinematography. I also teach workshops specialised in natural light and try to direct my work towards a more natural feel, creating atmospheres that recall the painters I've always admired. About Light In 2016, after years of studying arts and photography I decided I wanted to specialise in natural light. I wanted to learn everything I could about it, so I began to research and practice, studying from artists starting from the 15th century until today. This research evolved in a personal project called "aboutlight", shot with natural light, about beauty, femininity, loneliness, melancholy and any type of feeling you can transmit while in a state of calm. I'm currently teaching and learning constantly, improving and making others improve. It's this combination that's helping me grow and develop my skills day to day. Find out more in his exclusive interview
Miguel Rio Branco
Miguel Rio Branco (born 11 December 1946) is a Brazilian photographer, painter, and filmmaker (director and cinematographer). His work has focused on Brazil and included photojournalism, and social and political criticism. Rio Branco is an Associate Member of Magnum Photos. His photographs are included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art and Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Rio Branco was born in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, in the Canary Islands. His parents were diplomats and he spent his childhood in Portugal, Switzerland, Brazil and the United States. In 1976 he moved to New York City, where he earned a BA, and took a one-month vocational course at the New York Institute of Photography. In 1978, he moved to Rio de Janeiro and studied at the Industrial Design College. He has been an Associate Member of Magnum Photos since 1980. He lives and works in Rio de Janeiro. Rio Branco's Silent Book (1997) is included in Parr and Badger's The Photobook: A History, Volume II.Source: Wikipedia Miguel Rio Branco (born in Las Palmas in 1946) is a Brazilian artist (photographer, painter, filmmaker and creator of multimedia installations) living and working in Rio de Janeiro. In 1966 he studied at the New York Institute of Photography and in 1968 he left to study at the School of Industrial Design in Rio de Janeiro. Between 1970 and 1972, he worked in New York as a director and cinematographer, and in the following years directed several experimental feature and short films. At the same time, he began exhibiting his photographs in 1972. From 1980 he became a correspondent for Magnum Photos and his photographic work was published in numerous magazines (Aperture, Stern, Photo Magazine). Considering the book as an essential medium of expression, he conceived many books including Sudor Dulce Amargo (Fondo de Cultura Económica, Mexico City, 1985), Natka (Fundação Cultural de Curitib, 1996), Silent Book (Cosac & Naify, 1997), Miguel Rio Branco (Aperture, 1998) and Maldicidade (Taschen, 2019). His work has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions, including Beauty, the Beast at the Art Institute of Boston in 2003; Plaisir de la douleur at the Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris in 2005; Solo at Kulturhuset Stockholm in 2011; Miguel Rio Branco: Nada Levarei quando morrer at the Museu de Arte de São Paulo in 2017 and Miguel Rio Branco at the Moreira Salles Institute in São Paulo in 2020. His works can be found in many European and American public and private collections, including: Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro; Museu de Arte de São Paulo; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego; MoMA, New York.Source: LE BAL
Réhahn
France
1979
Referred to as someone who "captures the souls of his models", (Wanderlust Travel Magazine, 2018) Réhahn is more than just a man behind a camera. Behind each click is a story. Whether the photograph shows a child with startling blue eyes, a woman pulling a needle through indigo fabric or a man walking alone down a brightly painted street, these are more than just images to Réhahn. They are the culmination of an experience. The stories of his subjects as well as his passion to learn more about their culture, diversity and changing traditions are what drives Réhahn's work. Réhahn's unique combination of fine art photography and documentary styles results in images that both inform and mesmerize. His portraits of Vietnam, Cuba, and India are particularly well-known for exactly this reason. They take the viewer along on the voyage to catch a glimpse of authentic interactions with people, their smiles, their wisdom, their daily lives. For Réhahn, photography is a way to approach people, to document what is happening in the present while also learning about the traditions and heritage of their past. Réhahn visited over 35 countries before making Hoi An, Vietnam his home in 2011. His first book "Vietnam, Mosaic of Contrasts” has been a bestseller since 2014. He followed this success with four subsequent books: “Vietnam, Mosaic of Contrasts, Volume ll” in 2015; “The Collection, Réhahn - 10 Years of Photography” in 2017; “100 Iconic Portraits” in 2019; and “Vietnam Mosaic of Contrasts, Volume III” in 2020. In 2016, for International Women's day, Réhahn's portrait of Madam Xong was placed in the permanent collection at the Hanoi Women's museum. The resulting media coverage amassed more than 80 articles and 10 television interviews. Now just over two years later, Réhahn has been featured in international media totalling more than 500 articles and interviews and over 50 television appearances. One memorable career moment took place in 2018. Réhahn was honored during an official ceremony, which was organized to celebrate 45 years of friendship between France and Vietnam. Vietnam's Secretary of the Party, Nguyen Phu Trong, who has since become the President of Vietnam, gifted Réhahn's portrait "Madam Xong" to French President Emmanuel Macron. In addition to his four COULEURS BY RÉHAHN galleries, Réhahn opened the PRECIOUS HERITAGE museum located in the UNESCO World Heritage site of Hoi An ancient town in 2017 to showcase his portraits of Vietnam's diverse ethnic groups, their traditional costumes, stories, music, and artifacts. The museum is free to the public.
Robert Hecht
United States
1941
For over fifty years, Robert Hecht has been a dedicated fine art photographer. He is largely self-taught, having learned his craft primarily by studying the prints and books of many of the medium's greats, and then by attempting to apply what he absorbed from them in the darkroom (and later in the digital darkroom). In addition, he studied briefly with photographer and teacher Ruth Bernhard in the 1970's, and considers that experience meaningful for giving him direct contact and exchange of ideas with a master. His work has been exhibited internationally, purchased for both private and public collections, and showcased in many of the leading photography periodicals. Professionally, he has worked primarily as a producer-director of educational film and video programs, first at Stanford University and then in his own video production business for the past several decades. He and his wife live in Portland, Oregon. Statement I consider photography a way, if you will, to bring my experience of the visual world into clearer focus. Practicing the art of photography, which I consider a way of life in and of itself, has heightened my awareness of how in our everyday lives we are constantly surrounded by interesting subject matter. In contrast, during my early years of doing this work, I looked mainly to the classic landscape for inspiration, often pursuing dramatic vistas with large-format cameras. However, over time I came to see that I do not necessarily have to "go out shooting" or travel to impressive locales to find subjects—rather, I merely have to keep my eyes open to what is right here around me in my immediate environment and, without actually searching for a picture, simply be prepared should a picture jump out of the random visual chaos and present itself to me. This shift in focus has led me to a more spontaneous approach to making images, often enabling me to find great beauty in the most mundane materials at hand.
Kourtney Roy
Canada
1981
Roy (b.1981) was born in the wilderness of Northern Ontario, Canada. She holds a degree in media studies specializing in photography from the Emily Carr University of Art and Design in Vancouver, Canada. Roy is currently based in Paris, France, where she has been exhibiting her work nationally and internationally for over 10 years at such events and venues as Le Bal, Paris, the Musée Elysée, Lausanne, The Head On Photo Festival in Sydney and the Moscow International Photo Biennale. Kourtney Roy's work is bound up in an ambiguous and cinematic image-making that borders the real and the fantastic. Her approach to photography provokes contemplation and reconfiguration of common place subjects via playful revelation of the bizarre and the uncanny. She is fascinated with exploring the boundaries of liminal spaces; whether spatial, temporal or psychological. By using herself as the principal subject in her work, the artist creates a compelling, intimate universe inhabited by a multitude of diverse characters that explore these enigmatic themes. She has been the recipient of numerous awards and grants, including the Prix Picto (2007), Emily Award (2012), Carte Blanche PMU (2013), The Prix Elysée Nomination (2014) and The Canadian Council for the Arts artist grant (2015). Several books have been published on her work, including Ils pensent déjà que je suis folle (Editions Filigranes, 2014), California (Editions Louis Vuitton, 2016) and The Tourist (Editions La Pionnière, 2020). Source: www.kourtneyroy.com Roy has produced several series which all share the artist’s bold and cinematic aesthetic. Staged in laundrettes, motels, supermarkets and various other banal locations Roy creates hyper-realistic images that resemble film stills. Throughout her work Roy plays with ideas of the bizarre and the uncanny, whether it be a lone female figure walking along a deserted road in a vast landscape or a woman photographed through the wing mirror of a car, Roy’s photographs are permeated with an unsettling air. In her work Roy creates familiar still images of stereotyped heroines, using herself as the model Roy invents numerous characters for herself. This is a crucial element to her work, Roy has stated “It’s usually the male gaze, and the woman is the object to be looked at. So the idea was becoming the person who objectifies, but also objectifying myself. I just thought it was interesting to play the dual role.” Source: Huxley-Parlour The Canadian photographer Kourtney Roy was born in Northern Ontario in 1981. Intrigued by the possibility of creating a tragic mythology of the self, she conjures an intimate universe pervaded by both wonder and mystery. Kourtney Roy's photographer’s eye is drawn to places and settings whose lyrical qualities underscore the sublime banality of everyday life. Roy’s studies in photography, at Emily Carr University of Art and Design in Vancouver and later at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris, inspired her to develop her finicky aesthetic, which lends itself particularly well to both glossy paper and film. Roy works extensively as an independent photographer/filmmaker in the art world. Instilled with a dark sense of humor, taking their clues as much from the grotesque nature of seemingly placid settings as from the tensions simmering just under the surface, her photographs have garnered many prizes, including the Prix Picto in 2007, The Emily Award in Canada in 2012 and the Prix Carte Blanche PMU/Le Bal in 2013 and the Pernod Ricard Carte Blanche in 2018. In 2019 she won best experimental film at the Brest European Short Film Festival with her dark and dreamy piece, Morning, Vegas. Roy’s work has been exhibited widely in France, but also abroad. She has been seen at the Planche(s) Contact Festival in Deauville in 2012, The Portraits Festival in Vichy in 2015 and at Le Bal in 2014 and a solo show at Paris Photo in 2018, among other events and venues. Internationally Kourtney Roy’s photography has been featured at exhibitions in China, as well as Italy, Switzerland, The United States, Australia, the Moscow Photo Biennale in 2017 and at the Incadaqués International Photo Festival in Spain in 2019. Roy has also released several publications on her work including an accompanying artist book to Le Bal’s exhibition Ils pensent déjà que je suis folle and an artist’s book Enter as Fiction, both published by Filigrane Editions, as well as Northern Noir published by Editions La Pionnière. California is edited by Editions Louis Vuitton and was released in 2016 and her latest publication, The Tourist, is published by André Frère Editions and was released in November 2020.Source: Jackson Fine Art
Yukari Chikura
Yukari Chikura born in Tokyo, Japan. After graduated from university of music. She became music composer and computer programmer. She is the winner of STEIDL BOOK AWARD and her work has been published by STEIDL. She was selected as "FOTOFEST Discoveries of the Meeting Place 2018". She won LensCulture Emerging Talent Awards 2016, Sony World Photography Awards , Photolucida Critical Mass TOP50 2016 & 2015 among others. Her work has been published by New York Times, Guardian among others. She held 12 places solo exhibition and group exhibition at museum, gallery around the world. Some projects have collected in Griffin Museum in US and Bibliotheque national de France. ZAIDO This book is Yukari Chikura's preservation of the 1300-year-old Japanese ritual festivity "Zaido." Following a series of tragedies including her father's sudden death, her own critical accident and the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, Chikura recalls how her father came to her in a dream with the words: "Go to the village hidden deep in the snow where I lived a long time ago." And so with camera in hand she set off on a restorative pilgrimage to northeast Japan (the first of numerous journeys), which resulted in this book. Chikura arrived at the village, surreally silver in the snow and mist, and there discovered Zaido, where inhabitants from different villages gather on the second day of each new year and conduct a ritual dance to induce good fortune. The performers dedicate their sacred dance to the gods and undergo severe purifications. Combining photos of snowscapes that border on abstraction with images of the intricate masks and costumes of Zaido, Chikura depicts the cultural diversity of the participants as well as their common bond in creating collective memory and ensuring the survival of this ritual. More about Zaido by Ann Jastrab
Mario Algaze
Cuba / United States
1947
Mario Algaze (born 1947 in Havana, Cuba) is a Cuban-American photographer whose work celebrates the culture of Latin America. At the age of thirteen he was forced to exile Cuba in 1960 and relocated to Miami, Florida. Miami offered a rich cultural mecca and a vibrant melting pot of culture which encouraged him to travel to Central and South America where he worked as a freelance photojournalist for national and international publications. These trips allowed him a glimpse of belonging within a familiar culture. In finding his identity after exile, he began photographing Latin America in the 1970’s while reconnecting with the feeling of home. His photographs embody the everyday of Latin life. Between his travels in the late 70’s, Algaze studied visual art at Miami Dade College. Algaze’s masterful command of light illuminates his street scenes that detail the struggles and victories of Latin culture. Mario Algaze is the recipient of various acclaimed awards, including the Florida Artist Fellowship from the Florida Arts Council (1985), the Cintas Foundation Fellowship in Photography (1991), the Visual Arts Fellowship and the SAF Artist Fellowship sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts. In 1992, he received the National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Photography. A retrospective collection of his work is showcased in the important monograph, Mario Algaze: Portfolio, published by Di Puglia Publisher, 2010. Additional monographs by the artist include, Mario Algaze: Portafolio Latinamericano, Mario Algaze: Cuba 1999-2000, and A Respect for Light: The Latin American Photographs: 1974-2008. Algaze's documentary work is highly sought after by institutions and collectors worldwide. His work can be found in permanent collections at every corner of the world including the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Museo Tamayo, Mexico City; Santa Barbara Museum; Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego; Victoria and Albert Museum, London, DePaul University, Chicago and the Cleveland Museum of Art.Source: PDNB Gallery Mario Algaze was born in Havana, Cuba but emigrated to the United States in 1960, settling in Miami, Florida. In 1971, at the age of 24, he began a career as a freelance photojournalist. Although Algaze left Cuba as a teenager he has frequently turned to Latin America as the subject of his photographs, traveling extensively throughout the region. In his carefully composed black and white photographs, he captures people alone or in small groups on the streets and in cafes and parks. Many of his photographs of these everyday settings are infused with a soft light and marked by shadows, giving them a serene or mysterious quality, or evoking the passage of time. The region's conflicts and political activities, frequent subjects of photojournalism, are largely absent in his imagery; instead, he lends quiet insight into the cultural diversity of Latin America and the shape of daily life in countries as far spread as Mexico, Ecuador, and Argentina.Source: Museum of Contemporary Photography
Ian Berry
United Kingdom
1934
Ian Berry made his reputation as a photojournalist reporting from South Africa, where he worked for the Sunday Times and Drum magazine. He was the only photographer to document the massacre at Sharpeville. While based in Paris he was invited to join Magnum by Henri Cartier-Bresson. He moved to London to become the first contract photographer for the Observer Magazine. He has covered, conflict in Israel, Ireland, Vietnam, Czechoslovakia and Congo, famine in Ethiopia and apartheid in South Africa. He has also reported on the political and social transformations in China and the former USSR. Awards include Nikon Photographer of the Year (twice), Picture of the Year award from the National Press Photographers of America, and British Press Magazine Photographer of the Year (twice). Arts Council Award, Art Directors' Club of New York Award. His books include The English, two books on South Africa, Sold into slavery and Sea. Exhibitions in London, Paris, Hamburg, Brussels, Bradford, Perpignan, Aix en Provence Shanghai, Lowry Gallery, Walker Art Gallery Liverpool, Edinburgh, SCOP Shanghai, Hastings, Bruges. Ian Berry: Street Photography Photojournalism, documentary, reportage, call it what you will, shooting on the street is not easy. It needs a level of dedication and commitment as well as preparation, both mentally and with your shooting equipment. I'm aware of the differences of opinion over whether a photographer should ask a potential subject's permission before taking a picture. My take on the matter is that if you want a self-conscious stare into the camera, by all means ask, but if you want a potential subject in their natural environment and make a picture that reflects the situation, then shoot first and, if needs be, talk later. If observed, a smile nearly always puts your subject at ease. Often I find that if I walk out of a hotel in a strange city and go unnoticed when shooting the first picture, I'm high all day and can photograph non-stop without being seen or rebuffed, but a bad reaction from the first subject and I might as well go back to bed. A good way to hone your skills is to attend local events, street fairs and even pet shows, places where people are more amenable and accustomed to being photographed. It goes without saying that whether planning to shoot abroad or in Britain one should respect local customs and dress codes. It's no good wandering around a city in shorts and colourful T-shirts if you wish to move unobserved. This selective process also applies to equipment; whether you compromise between the Christmas tree approach and the sneaky ‘one camera in the hand behind the back' system, and between carrying enough gear to cope with whatever might arise, but not so much that you're exhausted after a few hours. I'm always amazed at colleagues who walk up to people with a 28mm lens and a flashgun banging away in their faces. It certainly creates a style but adds artificiality that I find unpleasant, both visually and in terms of aggression towards the subject. I think a style on the street should be created by a vision rather than a technique. Also the benefit of today's digital cameras to boost the ISO has enabled me at least to ditch a flashgun altogether during the day. Once in a while a new photographer joins Magnum with a totally different vision, like Russian Gueorgui Pinkhassov, who really excites me and makes me want to go out and shoot, not to recreate his style but rather to reinvent myself. I love to shoot with two fixed focal length lenses on two quiet Olympus cameras hanging around my neck, partially concealed under a vest or jacket. Only partially concealed because I don't want it to appear as if I were trying to hide the fact I am a photographer. The lenses I use are a 28mm and a 50mm, which are small, light and fast. I prefer fixed focal length lenses because I like to know exactly what is going to be in the frame, and it's far easier to take half a step forward or backward than fiddling with a zoom. In Magnum the jury is out among the street shooters over whether a DSLR or a range finder is the better choice, but nearly all use single focal length lenses. The other plus of a small camera is that you are often perceived as an amateur photographer and therefore less of a threat to the people you're photographing. Shooting with a long zoom on the street is a definite no-no, as you will be viewed as a voyeur. Curiously, I find I can be 3ft or 4ft from someone, shoot with a 28mm lens and pass by unnoticed and yet be obvious at 15ft. A recent fashion trend I don't think works is trying to carry equipment in a rucksack. It's great for the countryside or getting to or from a location but on the street every second counts and by the time you get a camera or lens out of this sort of bag, night has fallen and everyone has gone home. I find that a soft bag of the Domke variety will hold a body with longer lens inconspicuously but within quick reach. Whatever your kit set-up, however, the same creative needs apply. The ability to recognise a potential situation and produce an elegant composition in a fraction of a second on the street is what separates the great photojournalists such as Eugene Smith, Sebastião Salgado and Alex Webb from the rest of us. I've noticed that with that ability comes the physical stamina and professionalism to pound the streets for 12 hours on the trot. The basic elements are either to grab the decisive moment on the hoof, to see a potential situation and hover unseen until it develops, or spot a potentially great background and be prepared to hang around for an hour or more until the right juxtaposition of people slot into place in front of you. This is something I frequently do, especially in a foreign environment; simply wait until you become part of the fixtures and fittings so that when you raise the camera slowly and smoothly to the eye, no one's attention is drawn by an unusual movement. One of the great things about growing up photographically in Magnum was the words of wisdom dropped casually on occasion by Henri Cartier-Bresson. For example, "A great photograph is not an intellectual result, the only intellectual involvement is being there in the first place. The actual moment is purely intuitive, like squeezing the trigger of a gun when your subject is in exactly the right place in the frame." On another occasion as we were wandering around in Paris, "Walk softly and slowly. If you are moving quickly and stop suddenly, the people you are about to photograph will react to the change of pace in their peripheral vision and become aware of you." Street photography in Britain has become another issue. Years ago when travelling from Istanbul to Beijing by train, I'd passed from Iran into Turkmenistan and was shooting in the capital, Ashgabat. Most of the main buildings had 15ft-high portraits of the President in true personality cult style and after wandering around I chose what I thought was the most interesting building architecturally. I then stood for quite a while waiting for interesting people to pass by to make up the shape. After a short time a couple of guys came out of the building and watched me, then came over and ‘invited' me into the building. It transpired I was photographing the equivalent of the FSBheadquarters. One of the men spoke excellent English and after quizzing me in a not unpleasant way, asked that if he were to come to London would he be allowed to photograph Scotland Yard? In response I invited him to call me when he was next in London so we could photograph it together. Sadly I could not do that any more, we are no longer that relaxed a society. So what to do when you're in front of the Bank of England trying to shoot an essay on the City and an officious PCSO or a jobsworth from the nearest sock shop arrives to tell you to desist, or worse, delete your images? The advice of lawyer Rupert Grey, who knows a thing or two about photographers' rights, is to keep your cool, be polite and explain that you are perfectly entitled to take photographs in a public place without being hassled. The public are more sensible on the whole, although it's still best to avoid photographing children. Years ago when shooting for my book, The English, I was able to go into school playgrounds with the teachers' approval and thought nothing of it; and it was the same in shopping centres, even hospitals, but no longer. Having said that, not too long ago I was passing an African-Caribbean church and stopped outside to take a few pictures of people milling around, only to be invited in to photograph the service – a pleasurable experience in this age, which tells me that one should not give up on recording life in Britain. Ian's words of wisdom "Know your camera inside out. Walk with your finger on the release. Have your lens pre-focused (Josef Koudelka had bits of matchsticks glued to Olympus lenses at different points to focus by feel). A single focal lens is best. I shoot on aperture, only adjusting as light conditions change. Don't be intimidated, most people are happy to be photographed. If nervous walk with a friend, although they are always distracting and get in the way. Buy a waistcoat or jacket a size too big to keep your camera concealed inside. Look around you constantly. Be discreet; looking beyond the subject after shooting often helps. If confronted, good-humoured banter and a smile always work."
Advertisement
AAP Magazine #22: Streets
AAP Magazine #22: Streets
Solo Exhibition December 2021

Latest Interviews

Exclusive Interview with Nick Brandt About The Day May Break
Photographed in Zimbabwe and Kenya in late 2020, The Day May Break is the first part of a global series portraying people and animals impacted by environmental degradation and destruction. An ambitious and poetic project picturing people who have all been badly affected by climate change - some displaced by cyclones that destroyed their homes, others such as farmers displaced and impoverished by years-long severe droughts. We asked Nick Brandt a few questions about the project.
Exclusive Interview with Barbara Cole
For the last forty-five years, artist Barbara Cole has been recapturing the otherworldly mysteries of early photography in a body of work that flows in and out of time.
Exclusive Interview with Daniel Sackheim
Daniel Sackheim is an American Film & Television director and producer best known for his work on such highly acclaimed series as HBO's True Detective Season 3, Game of Thrones, and Amazon’s Jack Ryan. But he is also a talented photographer. We asked him a few questions about his life and work.
Exlusive Interview with Tom Price Winner of All About Photo Awards 2021
Tom Price is the Photographer of the Year, winner of All About Photo Awards 2021 - The Mind's Eye. My co-jurors Keith Cullen, Denis Dailleux, Stefano De Luigi, Monica Denevan, Claudine Doury, Ann Jastrab, Stephan Vanfleteren, Hiroshi Watanabe, Alison Wright and myself were impressed by his work 'Porter' taken from a series of surreal portraits, featuring 'relocated' porters from Kolkata, as a reflection on the experience of migrant workers.
Interview: Jill Enfield by Jon Wollenhaupt
Alternative photography pioneer Jill Enfield comes from a long line of photographers dating back to 1875-the date when her ancestors opened up gift stores in Germany where they sold cameras and other technical equipment. In 1939, after fleeing Nazi Germany, her family opened the first camera store in Miami Beach, where as a child, Jill roamed the aisles. It is easy to imagine that she grew up always having a camera in her hands. With photography imprinted in her DNA, her career path seemed inevitable.
Exclusive Interview with Michael Nguyen
Michael Nguyen is a street and documentary photographer living near Munich, Germany. He is also the co-founder of Tagree Magazine. We asked him a few questions about his life and work.
Exclusive Interview with Jon Enoch
Jon Enoch is a London-based photographer who focuses on portrait and lifestyle photography for advertising and media publications, as well as large organisations. He has won numerous awards for his Vietnamese photography portrait series called cBikes of Hanoi', including the Smithsonian Grand Prize; the Lens Culture Portrait Award and the Portraits of Humanity Award in 2020. The images were also shortlisted for the Sony World Photography Award and they won the gold Prix de la Photographie Paris (Px3) award in 2019. The set of portrait images were featured on the BBC, the Guardian, the Telegraph and went viral on websites across the world.
Exclusive Interview with Oliver Stegmann
Olivera Stegmann is a Swiss photographer and also the winner of AAP Magazine #16 Shadows with his project 'Circus Noir'. We asked him a few questions about his life and work.
Exclusive Interview with Francesco Gioia
Francesco Gioia is an Italian photographer who lives in England. He is the winner of AAP Magazine 15 Streets with his project 'Wake Up in London'. We asked him a few questions about his life and work
Call for Entries
Solo Exhibition December 2021
Win an Onine Solo Exhibition in December 2021