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Geir Tonnessen
Geir Tonnessen
Geir Tonnessen

Geir Tonnessen

Country: Norway
Birth: 1976

Geir Tønnessen (born in 1976) is a contemporary photographer currently based in Oslo, Norway. He studied photography by himself with some guidance from friends and the Internet. Some of his works have been exhibited in the following galleries: Cyan Studio (Oslo, Norway), Galleri MAP (Oslo, Norway), and Preus Museum (Horten, Norway).

"Photography is to have fun and being smart at the same time, which for me is the perfect combination. With my creative fun shots I want to get other people to laugh and inspire them to shoot for them self. With my nature and city shots I want to create a special feeling that makes my viewers think and make them look at my shots for a long quiet time."

Interview with Geir Tønnessen

All About Photo: When did you realize you wanted to be a photographer?
Geir Tønnessen: When i very young realized i had to release my creative urges, and since i am a shitty drawer/painter, photo was my thing! And since i also like to be playful and humorous every day, i had to get it out some way!

AAP: Where did you study photography?
GT: I studied photography all by myself, spending many hour every day on the net looking at others pictures, by having a father reading art books to me since i was born, by going to a lot go art exhibitions home i Oslo and when visiting other countries and cities all over the world.

AAP: How long have you been a photographer?
GT: I got my camera when i was about five years old to my birthday from my grandmother. Something i enjoyed very much that time!

AAP: What or who inspires you?
GT: Other artists that with a lot of creativity and great new ideas. I love to find shoots by others that look like something i never have seen before.

AAP: How could you describe your style?
GT: My style is not easy to describe but i like to take creative artsy portraits, calm pictures of nature and early morning shots of cities.

AAP: What kind of gear do you use? Camera, lens, digital, film?
GT: I shoot both digital and analog. When i shoot analog, i use my Hasselblad 500cm with the standard 85mm Carl Zeiss and my Pratica LTL with a 50mm. When i shoot digital i use my Nikon d800 with Nikon NIKKOR 85mm 1:1.4G lens.

AAP: Do you spend a lot of time editing your images?
GT: I don`t use much time to edit on my computer, i like that my shots can be taken directly from the camera. So i general i just edit the shots just a little bit.

AAP: Favorite(s) photographer(s)?
GT: My favotite is Martin Parr.

AAP: What mistake should a young photographer avoid?
GT: Don`t think to much of technique! Just shoot and try to be creative and original!

AAP: If you could have taken the photographs of someone else who would it be?
GT: Martin Parr

AAP: Anything else you would like to share?
GT: Shoot first and ask for permission afterwards.

 

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More Great Photographers To Discover

Gilles Nicolet
France
1960
I am a self-taught photographer who spent 35 years living and working in Africa, with long stays in Somalia, West Africa and Tanzania. I started out as an agricultural engineer but soon switched to photography in order to follow an old passion. I have since shot numerous stories for all sorts of magazines, including the Sunday Times Magazine, National Geographic Magazine, Geo, the Smithsonian and Paris-Match. I have a special interest in anthropology and ethnography, something that - I hope - has helped me capture the essence of my subjects. In the past most of my stories where about rare traditions that somehow linked man and wildlife, but Africa has changed a lot in the last few decades and unfortunately most of these traditions have now disappeared. My recent work has therefore been more personal and contemplative and less focused on narrative picture stories meant for magazines. In fact, today my interest lies in the convergence between art and documentary photography. I have also moved away from color photography and now only shoot in black and white. My work has received several major awards, including a World Press Photo Award and a Fuji Award. My latest project on the Swahili Coast also obtained the following recognitions: 2017 HIPA Hamdan International Photography Awards - 2nd Prize, Portfolio Category 2017 Elliott Erwitt Havana Fellowship - Nominee 2017 Seventh Annual Exposure Photography Awards - Winner 2017 IPA International Photography Awards - 2nd Prize, People/Culture Category 2017 Meitar Award - Nominee 2017 Monochrome Photography Awards - Photojournalism/Professional - Two Honorable Mentions 2017 Monochrome Photography Awards - People/Professional - Honorable Mention 2018 CAP Contemporary African Photography Prize - Finalist 2018 SIPA Contest - Honorable Mention 2019 SOPHOT Award - Winner This work on the Swahili Coast is featured in "Swahili", a book released by Contrejour Publishers in May 2019 (available on amazon.fr and amazon.co.uk). Six degrees south The Zanzibar archipelago, an highly evocative name even for those who are quite unable to locate it on a map, lies six degrees south of the Equator. It is also the exact geographical center of the Swahili Coast, a unique physical, historical and cultural entity running from Southern Somalia to Mozambique, which first grew in the 10th century through trade with the Arab world, India and China. Gold, coconut, ebony, mangrove wood, sisal, myrrh and the infamous slave trade helped make the wealth of this region, slowly shaping it and giving it its unique present character. For a thousand years now, wooden dhows have sailed these lonely shores, with their characteristic white cotton sails, using the monsoon winds to help traders move goods between Africa and Arabia. And for a thousand years too, fishermen have ploughed these rich seas for their bounty of fish, contributing with the traders to the emergence of rich city-ports like Stone Town or Mombasa. But all of this is changing now. A combination of overfishing by both local and foreign ships, population increase, changes in weather patterns as well as the recent discovery of huge gas fields in the region, is threatening this fragile equilibrium. The fishing communities that occupy these shores are particularly at risk, and it could be that we are now witnessing the last of fishing and sailing traditions that had remained largely unchanged since Ibn Battuta, the famous 12th Century Arab explorer, first described them in his travel memoirs. With this recent work I have tried to testify to the unique beauty and timelessness of the Swahili Coast, and to record it for generations to come. It is a personal, melancholic, sometimes dreamy vision of a place and a culture that are very dear to my heart but which, I now realise, may soon disappear.
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
Christopher Anderson
Christopher Anderson (b.1970, Canada), a member of Magnum Photos for over ten years, has covered an innumerable list of political and social issues around the world. Whilst he is widely known for his moving photographs of fleeing Haitian immigrants aboard a sinking handmade boat named 'Believe in God', Anderson has also made pictures of Barack Obama, Al Gore and David Letterman amongst countless other people and places. Contrary to the often-unforgiving frontiers Anderson places himself in, his photographs are always imbued with palpable emotion. In a society in which a torrent of photographs from the mass media drive an apathetic view of such narratives, Anderson instead offers an alternative, poetic and intimate practice that that speaks of his own experience, whilst constructing a frame for us to experience it with him. In 2000, Christopher Anderson received the Robert Capa Gold Medal for his series on the crossing made by boat by Haitian refugees to the United States. He has also been nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. Anderson has worked for Newsweek Magazine and National Geographic Magazine and in 2011 he became the first Photographer in Residence at New York Magazine. Numerous books have been published on his work: Nonfiction (2003), Capitolio (2009), Son (2013), Stump (2014) and his latest book Approximate Joy (2018). Anderson lives and works in both New York and Barcelona.Source: The Ravestijn Gallery Christopher Anderson is known for his emotionally charged, artfully drawn images that explore themes of truth and subjectivity. He is one of today’s most influential photographers, whose origins began in war reporting and later transformed into something more intimate, blending the worlds of commercial, art and fashion work, but always with a foundation in documentary. Anderson was born in 1970 in Canada and grew up in west Texas. His photographic career began working for local newspapers. In 2000, on assignment for the New York Times Magazine , he boarded a small wooden boat with 44 Haitians trying to sail to America. The boat sank in the Caribbean. The photographs received the Robert Capa Gold Medal and marked the beginning of a ten-year period as a contract photographer for Newsweek Magazine and National Geographic Magazine. In 2011 he became New York Magazine’s first ever Photographer in Residence; a notable collaboration that would also mark Anderson’s shift into portraiture and fashion, making images of significant figures including Barack Obama, Spike Lee and Debby Harry. In 2008, after the birth of his first child, Anderson moved further away from journalistic magazine work to subjects more immediate to his personal experience. In 2012, his book, SON, was published, defining a visual direction that has come characterize to his work. Other projects created within this intensely intimate approach include Capitolio, Stump and Approximate JOY.
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