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David Johndrow
David Johndrow
David Johndrow

David Johndrow

Country: United States

David Johndrow is a fine art photographer living in Austin, Texas. After studying photography the University of Texas, he began shooting commercial work as well as pursuing his more personal fine art photography.

David’s continuing series, Terrestrials, combines his passion for gardening and photography and features macro nature photographs of animals and plants that inhabit his Hill Country, Texas garden. To realize his vision, he prints with silver gelatin, platinum/palladium, gum-bichromate and gumoil.

His photographs are part of the Wittliff Collection of Southwestern and Mexican Photography, as well as in many private collections.


All about David Johndrow:

AAP: When did you realize you wanted to be a photographer?
I took a darkroom class in art school and fell in love with the process. The first roll of film I shot I processed and printed myself.

AAP: Where did you study photography?
I learned photography at The University of Texas, but I built my own darkroom and started working on my own. I really honed my printing skills working as a printer in a photo lab. Just the shear volume of work I printed during that time made me a better printer.

AAP: Do you have a mentor or role model?
I can’t say I had any mentors except for photographers like Irving Penn who I loved and was inspired by.

AAP: How long have you been a photographer?
I’ve been a photographer for 30 years.

AAP: Do you remember your first shot? What was it?
My first shot was of my friends who were in a band. I had other friends who were actors and comedians, so I started taking lots of portraits for peoples publicity shots.

AAP: What or who inspires you?
I am inspired creatively by many different kinds of artists, but my biggest inspiration is the natural world. Rarely do I go in search of photographs; rather things just appear to me when I spend enough time outdoors. Gardening is my biggest obsession next to art.

AAP: How could you describe your style?
I have lots of styles but my most well know work is done in macro. I guess the one common thing in all my work is a simple graphic composition.

AAP: Do you have a favorite photograph or series?
I love Matt Mahurin, especially his portraits of Tom Waits.

AAP: What kind of gear do you use?
I shoot with a Hasselblad on 120 film.

AAP: Do you spend a lot of time editing your images?
Although I shoot on film, I edit my images on the computer. It helps me group images in a series or arrange them for exhibition.

AAP: Favorite(s) photographer(s)?
My favorite photographer is Irving Penn.

AAP: What advice would you give a young photographer?
I would tell young photographers to shoot a lot of images, do a lot of experiments, and try to learn some different printing processes.

AAP: What mistake should a young photographer avoid?
Don’t try and shoot photos of things you think others would like but shoot subjects you are most interested in. Every subject has been done before, so try and put your own spin on it.

AAP: What are your projects?
The project I’m working on is close-ups of natural textures.

AAP: Your best memory as a photographer?
My best memory is of shooting the pyramid at Chichen Itsa. It was at the solstice and I wanted a photo of the serpent shadow on the steps, but it was a cloudy, rainy day. Suddenly, right before closing, the sun burst out and I got some great shots.

AAP: Your worst souvenir as a photographer?
Don’t know

AAP: The compliment that touched you most?
“Every time I look at your photograph I see something different”.

AAP: If you were someone else who would it be?
No one else.

AAP: Your favorite photo book?
Irving Penn: Passages
 

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Annick Donkers
Annick Donkers is a documentary photographer from Antwerp, Belgium. After obtaining a Master’s degree in Psychology, she decided to specialize in photography. She has received a grant from the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs and was selected to participate in the Seminar on Contemporary Photography at the Centro de la Imagen in Mexico City (2008). Her work has been exhibited and published internationally. She was one of the winners at the Survival International Competition (2015), won an award at the San José Photo Festival in Uruguay (2016), the Sony Awards in UK (2016), the MIFA awards in Russia (2016), the IPA awards in USA (2016), the TIFA awards in Tokyo (2016), received an honorable mention at the Px3 Prix de la Photo in Paris(2016), was selected at Latin American Photography vol.5 (2016), on the cover of Dodho magazine (2016), shortlisted for the Kolga Tbilisi Awards and Athens Photo Festival (2017). She currently lives and works as a freelance photographer in Mexico City.About Lucha Libre Extrema The Lucha Libre Extrema series emerged from a growing interest I had in Mexican professional wrestling. I was soon drawn towards sub-genres of the sport such as Lucha Libre Exótica and Lucha Extrema. This semi-clandestine hardcore genre is currently prohibited in Mexico City because of how dangerous it is, but events still take place outside the capital, notably at a car wash-turned-arena in Tulancingo, the village where El Santo, Mexico’s most famous pro wrestler, was born. The participants receive professional training and are paid a little bit more because of the risks they take. They perform with a variety of weapons: chairs, thumbtacks, wire, and fluorescent lights, turning the ring into a war zone. Yet the community of luchadores “extremos” is closely knit and few outsiders have gained access. Mexico has been a very violent place in recent years. As such, I found it fascinating that people were drawn to the dangerous world of Lucha Libre Extrema and turned my camera to the audience in an attempt to understand their reasons. About Afromexican HealersAt the end of last year my attention was drawn to the coastal region of Guerrero known as Costa Chica, located to the south of Acapulco. This region is home to Mexicans descended from African slaves that identify themselves as being “black”. But outside this region they are little-known and they are currently fighting to be officially recognized by the Mexican State. The Costa Chica is also a place rooted in traditional beliefs that include appearances of trolls, the devil and spirit animals. The legend tells that when a baby is born, a member of the family brings the child to a crossroads up in the mountains where lots of wild animals pass by. The first creature to approach the child will be the child's spirit animal, or tono in Spanish, since there is now a dependency created between child and animal. This means that when the animal is hurt, wounded or dies, the person is too. In the Afromexican communities there are healers that will cure these "animal"-related illnesses, since conventional medicine will not work in these cases. The person is cured with herbs selected by the healers and also according to the needs of the animal. They call these healers curanderos del tono and there are only a small number of them left. I went to the Costa Chica region in an attempt to capture what remains of this Afromexican tradition.
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Attar Abbas, better known as Abbas, was an Iranian photographer known for his photojournalism in Biafra, Vietnam and South Africa in the 1970s, and for his extensive essays on religions in later years. He was a member of Sipa Press from 1971 to 1973, a member of Gamma from 1974 to 1980, and joined Magnum Photos in 1981. Attar, an Iranian transplanted to Paris, dedicated his photographic work to the political and social coverage of the developing southern nations. Since 1970, his major works have been published in world magazines and include wars and revolutions in Biafra, Bangladesh, Ulster, Vietnam, the Middle East, Chile, Cuba, and South Africa with an essay on apartheid. From 1978 to 1980, he photographed the revolution in Iran, and returned in 1997 after a 17-year voluntary exile. His book Iran Diary: 1971– 2002 (2002) is a critical interpretation of its history, photographed and written as a personal diary. 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In our world defined by science and technology, the work looked at why irrational rituals make a strong come-back. He abandoned this project on the first anniversary of the September 11 attacks. His book, In Whose Name? The Islamic World after 9/11 (2009), is a seven-year quest within 16 countries : opposed by governments who hunt them mercilessly, the jihadists lose many battles, but are they not winning the war to control the mind of the people, with the "creeping islamisation of all Muslim societies?" From 2008 to 2010 Abbas travelled the world of Buddhism, photographing with the same skeptical eye for his book Les Enfants du lotus, voyage chez les bouddhistes (2011). In 2013, he concluded a similar long-term project on Hinduism with the publication of Gods I've Seen: Travels Among Hindus (2016). Most recently, before his death, Abbas was working on documenting Judaism around the world. Before his death, Abbas was working on documenting Judaism around the world. 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