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Alexander Gronsky
Alexander Gronsky
Alexander Gronsky

Alexander Gronsky

Country: Estonia
Birth: 1980

Alexander Gronsky was born in 1980 in Tallinn, Estonia. He moved to Russia in 2006 and he became member of the Photographer.Ru agency in 2004. His works have been published in numerous international newspapers and magazines, such as The Sunday Times, Esquire, Le Monde 2, Vanity Fair, Spiegel, Bolshoy Gorod, Ojode Pez. He was awarded the Aperture Portfolio Prize in 2009, the Foam Paul Huf Award in 2010 and the World Press Photo 3rd place for Daily Life stories in 2012. Alexander Gronsky is represented by Agency.Photographer.Ru and Gallery.Photographer.Ru.
Alexander Gronsky has joined INSTITUTE for Artist Management in 2012.

About Pastoral
In his photographic account Pastoral, Alexander Gronsky portrays the outskirts of Moscow: the places where humanity takes refuge to find solace far from the cities, colliding with urban expansion and frailty of nature. The space explored lives “in between”, suspended in the nothingness of the unknown and what stands “on the other side”. Gronsky is a landscape photographer with an incredibile ability to capture natural scenes with an allegorical meaning: expanses and hills, spectacular lights, broad horizons. His skilful use of perspective and his ability in composition, lead the observer’s eye deeply into the landscape, generating a sense of astonishment for every place portrayed in photo. In the images, human presence is constant, Gronsky looks for infrequent but precious moments of relief and diversion in woody areas and open beaches, in remote corners and common meeting places. Meanwhile, he always bears in mind the proximity of the big city: glimpses of skyscrapers and industrial parks can be seen in the distance between the trees or, sometimes, surprisingly close to the people “surrounded by nature”. (Source: www.contrastobooks.com)
 

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Jerry Uelsmann
United States
1934 | † 2022
Jerry N. Uelsmann (born June 11, 1934) is an American photographer, and was the forerunner of photomontage in the 20th century in America. Uelsmann was born in Detroit, Michigan. While attending public schools, at the age of fourteen, there sparked an interest in photography. He believed that through photography he could exist outside of himself, to live in a world captured through the lens. Despite poor grades, he managed to land a few jobs, primarily photographs of models. Eventually Uelsmann went on to earn a BA from the Rochester Institute of Technology and M.S. and M.F.A. degrees from Indiana University. Soon after, he began teaching photography at the University of Florida in 1960. In 1967, Uelsmann had his first solo exhibit at The Museum of Modern Art which opened doors for his photography career. Uelsmann is a master printer, producing composite photographs with multiple negatives and extensive darkroom work. He uses up to a dozen enlargers at a time to produce his final images, and has a large archive of negatives that he has shot over the years. The negatives that Uelsmann uses are known to reappear within his work, acting as a focal point in one work, and background as another. Similar in technique to Rejlander, Uelsmann is a champion of the idea that the final image need not be tied to a single negative, but may be composed of many. During the mid-twentieth century, when photography was still being defined, Uelsmann didn't care about the boundaries given by the Photo Secessionists or other realists at the time, he simply wished to share with the viewer the images from his imagination and saw photomontage as the means by which to do so. Unlike Rejlander, though, he does not seek to create narratives, but rather "allegorical surrealist imagery of the unfathomable". Uelsmann is able to subsist on grants and teaching salary, rather than commercial work. Today, with the advent of digital cameras and Photoshop, photographers are able to create a work somewhat resembling Uelsmann's in less than a day, however, at the time Uelsmann was considered to have almost "magical skill" with his completely analog tools. At the time Uelsmann's work first came to popular attention, photos were still widely regarded as unfalsifiable documentary evidence of events. However, Uelsmann, along with Lucas Samaras, was considered an avant garde shatterer of this popular mindset and help to expand the artistic boundaries of photography. Despite his works' affinity with digital techniques, Uelsmann continues to use traditional equipment. “I am sympathetic to the current digital revolution and excited by the visual options created by the computer. However, I feel my creative process remains intrinsically linked to the alchemy of the darkroom.”[3] Today he is retired from teaching and currently lives in Gainesville, Florida with his third wife, Maggie Taylor.[4] Uelsmann has one son, Andrew, who is a graduate student at the University of Florida. But to this day, Uelsmann still produces photos, sometimes creating more than a hundred in a single year. Out of these images, he likes to sit back and select the ten he likes the most, which is not an easy process. (Source: en.wikipedia.org)
Mitch Epstein
United States
1952
Mitchell Epstein (born 1952) is an American fine-art photographer, among the first to make significant use of color. Epstein's books include Sunshine Hotel (2019), Rocks and Clouds (2018), New York Arbor, (2013) Berlin (2011); American Power (2009); Mitch Epstein: Work ( 2006); Recreation: American Photographs 1973-1988 (2005); and Family Business (2003), which won the 2004 Kraszna-Krausz Photography Book Award. Epstein's work has been exhibited and published extensively in the United States and Europe, and collected by numerous major museums, including New York's Museum of Modern Art and Whitney Museum of Art, The J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Tate Modern in London. He has also worked as a director, cinematographer, and production designer on several films, including Dad, Salaam Bombay!, and Mississippi Masala. Epstein was born and raised in a Jewish family in Holyoke, Massachusetts. He graduated from Williston Academy, where he studied with artist and bookmaker Barry Moser. In the early 1970s he studied at Union College, New York; Rhode Island School of Design, Rhode Island, and the Cooper Union, New York, where he was a student of photographer Garry Winogrand. By the mid-1970s, Epstein had abandoned his academic studies and begun to travel, embarking on a photographic exploration of the United States. Ten of the photographs he made during this period were in a 1977 group exhibition at Light Gallery in New York. In 1978, he journeyed to India with his future wife, director Mira Nair, where he was a producer, set designer, and cinematographer on several films, including Salaam Bombay! and India Cabaret. His book In Pursuit of India is a compilation of his Indian photographs from this period. From 1992 to 1995, Epstein photographed in Vietnam, which resulted in an exhibition of this work at Wooster Gardens in New York, along with a book titled Vietnam: A Book of Changes. “I don’t know that Mitch Epstein’s glorious photographs record all of what is salient in end-of-the-twentieth century Vietnam,” wrote Susan Sontag for his book jacket, “for it’s been more than two decades since my two stays there. I can testify that his images confirm what moved and troubled me then… and offer shrewd and poignant glimpses into the costs of imposing a certain modernity. This is beautiful, authoritative work by an extremely intelligent and gifted photographer.” Reviewing an exhibition of the Vietnam pictures for Art in America, Peter Von Ziegesar writes, “In a show full of small pleasures, little prepares one for the stunning epiphany contained in Perfume Pagoda… Few photographers have managed to make an image so loaded and so beautiful at once.” Having lived and traveled beyond the United States for over a decade, Epstein began to spend more time in his adopted home of New York City. His 1999 series The City investigated the relationship between public and private life in New York. Reviewing The City exhibition at Sikkema Jenkins in New York, Vince Aletti wrote that the pictures “[are] as assured as they are ambitious.” In 1999, Epstein returned to his hometown of Holyoke, Massachusetts, to record the demise of his father's two businesses—a retail furniture store and a low-rent real estate empire. The resulting project assembled large-format photographs, video, archival materials, interviews and writing by the artist. The book Family Business, which combined all of these elements, won the 2004 Krazna-Kraus Best Photography Book of the Year award. In 2004, his work was exhibited during evening screenings at Rencontres d'Arles festival, France. From 2004 to 2009, Epstein investigated energy production and consumption in the United States, photographing in and around various energy production sites. This series, titled American Power, questions the meaning and make-up of power—electrical and political. Epstein made a monograph of the American Power pictures (2009), in which he wrote that he was often stopped by corporate security guards and once interrogated by the FBI for standing on public streets and pointing his camera at energy infrastructure. The large-scale prints from this series have been exhibited worldwide. In his Art in America review, Dave Coggins wrote that Epstein “grounds his images… in the human condition, combining empathy with sharp social observation, politics with sheer beauty.” In the New York Times, Martha Schwendener wrote: “What is interesting, beyond the haunting, complicated beauty and precision of these images, is Mr. Epstein's ability to merge what have long been considered opposing terms: photo-conceptualism and so-called documentary photography. He utilizes the supersize scale and saturated color of conceptualism, and his odd, implied narratives strongly recall the work of artists like Jeff Wall.” In 2008, Epstein won the Berlin Prize in Arts and Letters from the American Academy in Berlin. Awarded a 6-month residency, he moved to Berlin with his wife and daughter from January to June 2008. The photographs he made of significant historical sites were published in the monograph Berlin (Steidl and The American Academy in Berlin, 2011).Source: Wikipedia In 2013, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis commissioned and premiered a theatrical rendition of Epstein’s American Power photographic series. A collaboration between Epstein and cellist Eric Friedlander, the performance combined original live music, storytelling, video, and projected photographs and archival material. Epstein and Friedlander also performed at the Wexner Center for the Arts, Ohio (2014), and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London (2015). His new series, Property Rights, was exhibited at Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York and Galerie Thomas Zander, Cologne in the fall of 2019 and at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art in Fort Worth, Texas in 2020-2021. Recent solo exhibitions include: Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow (2020), Museum Helmond, Netherlands (2019), Andreas Murkudis, Berlin; Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York; Galerie Les Filles du Calvaire, Paris (2016-17); as well as Fondation A Stichting in Brussels (2013); Sikkema Jenkins & Co., NY (2012); Galerie Thomas Zander, Cologne (2012); Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson, Paris (2011); Kunstmuseum Bonn (2011); and Musee de l'Elysee in Lausanne (2011). In 2020, Mitch Epstein was inducted as an Academician to the National Academy of Design. In 2011, Epstein won the Prix Pictet for American Power. Among his other awards are the Berlin Prize in Arts and Letters from the American Academy in Berlin (2008), and a Guggenheim Fellowship (2003).Source: mitchepstein.net At Cooper Union, Epstein was a student of photographer Garry Winogrand and was influenced both by Winogrand and William Eggleston's use of color. Epstein helped pioneer the redefinition of color photography as art form, as he was one of the earlier practitioners of fine-art color photography. He is well known for documenting his projects as books, which he feels allows him to form a narrative structure for his photographs. Epstein shoots film, as he believes he would not get the tonal rendering and detail for his large prints if he were to use digital.Source: International Center of Photography
John Rankin
United Kingdom
1966
Synonymous with compelling portraiture, Rankin's lens captures, creates and unveils icons. Rankin made his name in publishing, founding the seminal monthly magazine Dazed & Confused with Jefferson Hack in 1992. It provided a platform for innovation for emerging stylists, designers, photographers and writers. The magazine went on to forge a distinctive mark in the arts and publishing spheres, and developed a cult status by forming and moulding trends, and bringing some of the brightest lights in fashion to the foreground. Rankin has created landmark editorial and advertising campaigns. His body of work features some of the most celebrated publications, biggest brands and pioneering charities, including Nike, Swatch, Dove, Pantene, Diageo, Women's Aid, and Breakthrough Breast Cancer. He has shot covers for Elle, German Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, Esquire, GQ, Rolling Stone and Wonderland. His work has always endeavoured to question social norms and ideas of beauty and, in late 2000, Rankin published the heteroclite quarterly Rank, an experimental anti-fashion magazine celebrating the unconventional. In 2001, Jefferson and Rankin launched AnOther Magazine. With a focus on fashion, originality, and distinction. In response to the expanding menswear market, in 2005 AnOther Man was introduced, combining intelligent editorial with groundbreaking design and style. More recently, the Dazed Group has established itself as an online authority, via AnOthermag.com, Dazeddigital.com and Dazedtv.com. Rankin celebrated Dazed & Confused's 20th anniversary, shooting 20 front covers of Dazed favourites and 20 inside covers of the next generation of talent, for the December 2011 issue. Tapping into the consciousness of the 90s and 00s with his intimate approach and playful sense of humour, Rankin became known for his portraiture of bands, artists, supermodels and politicians. Having photographed everyone from the Queen of England to the Queen of Pop, Rankin is often seen as a celebrity photographer. However, his plethora of campaigns and projects featuring 'real women' marked him out as a genuinely passionate portrait photographer, no matter who the subject. Always pursuing personal projects which push his limits, high impact charity projects, and groundbreaking commercial campaigns, Rankin has stood out for his creative fearlessness. His first major worldwide and award-winning campaign - Dove's 'Real Women' - epitomised his approach: to reveal the honesty of the connection and collaborative process between photographer and subject. Personal or commercial, Rankin's images have become part of contemporary iconography, evidence of his frankness and passion for all aspects of modern culture, and its representation in the photographed image. Rankin has published over 30 books, is regularly exhibited in galleries around the world, as well as his own London gallery. His museum-scale exhibition Show Off opened at NRW Dusseldorf in September 2012, pulling in over 30,000 visitors in 3 months. In the last few years, he has frequently turned his hand to studies of photography through TV presenting. Working with the BBC, he has featured in a number of seminal documentaries - The Seven Photographs that Changed Fashion, South Africa in Pictures, Shooting the Stars, The Life Magazine Photographers and most recently, an in-depth documentary into the modern approach to death in, Alive: In the Face of Death. His affiliation with charities has seen Rankin travel the world, creating powerful campaigns both as a photographer and a director. With Oxfam, he visited the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Kenya, and in 2011 hosted an Oxglam exhibition, featuring work from some of the world's most talented emerging young photographers, and raising money for the charity. 2013 sees a planned trip to Jordan and Lebanon with Oxfam. In 2009, Rankin undertook the biggest project of his career - Rankin Live, a mammoth, interactive spectacle and exhibition. Always interested in the democratisation of the image, and also a keen advocate of the amazing digital advances of the photographic industry, Rankin Live was the culmination of the accessibility and speed of modern photography. Rankin proved that everyone can look like a magazine cover star as, for 7 straight weeks, he photographed people off the street, one every 15 minutes - retouching, printing and hanging the image within half an hour of the shutter being fired. Rankin photographed over 1600 Londoners, before then taking Rankin Live on tour in Mexico and New York. In 2011, Rankin Film Productions was born. Rankin developed a taste for film directing music videos, commercials, and short films with co-director Chris Cottam between 2002 and 2009, including their debut feature film, The Lives of Saints. Written by Toni Grisoni (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas), it won the grand jury prize at the Salento International Film Festival. Since 2009, Rankin has continued to direct independently on both commercial and personal projects. Taking on the new role of Executive Producer, Rankin recently founded Collabor8te, in association with The Bureau and Dazed TV. Collabor8te calls on scriptwriters and directors to submit their ideas for narrative film, promising to turn a selection of these dreams into a reality, producing them, featuring them on Dazed TV, and running them on the international film festival circuit. In November 2011, Rankin returned to magazine publishing with a fresh offering - The Hunger. A biannual fashion, culture and lifestyle magazine, The Hunger and its associated Hunger TV website - a video-based digital platform featuring in-depth interviews, fashion films, blogs, updates, and previews - marked Rankin's return to the fashion world with an understanding that the future is not only printed but digital too. Rankin lives in London with his wife, Tuuli, and son, Lyle.
Harvey Stein
United States
Harvey Stein is a professional photographer, teacher, lecturer, author and curator based in New York City. He currently teaches at the International Center of Photography. Stein is a frequent lecturer on photography both in the United States and abroad. He was the Director of Photography at Umbrella Arts Gallery, located in the East Village of Manhattan from 2009 until 2019 when it lost its lease and closed.. He has also been a member of the faculty of the School of Visual Arts, New School University, Drew University, Rochester Institute of Technology and the University of Bridgeport. A recipient of a Creative Arts Public Service (CAPS) fellowship and numerous artist in residency grants, Stein's eighth and latest book, Mexico Between Life and Death, was published in the fall of 2018 by Kehrer Verlag (Germany). A new book, Then and There: Mardi Gras 1979 will be published by Zatara Press in the Spring of 2020. Other books of Stein's photographs are Parallels: A Look at Twins, E.P. Dutton (1978); Artists Observed, Harry Abrams, Inc. (1986); Coney Island, W.W. Norton, Inc. (1998); Movimento: Glimpses of Italian Street Life, Gangemi Editore, Rome (2006); Coney Island 40 Years, Schiffer Publishing, (2011); Harlem Street Portraits, Schiffer Publishing (2013); and Briefly Seen New York Street Life, Schiffer Publishing (2015). Stein's photographs and portfolios have been published in such periodicals as The New Yorker, Time, Life, Esquire, American Heritage, Smithsonian, The New York Times, Reader's Digest, Glamour, GQ Magazine (Mexico), Forbes, Psychology Today, Playboy, Harpers, Connoisseur, Art News, American Artist, New York, People, Der Spiegel, Die Zeit, The Hopkins Review (cover), Sun Magazine (cover) and all the major photo magazines, including Camera Arts, Black & White Magazine (cover), Shutterbug, Popular Photography, American Photo, Camera, Afterimage, PDN, Zoom, Rangefinder, Photo Metro, fotoMagazine (Germany), photo technique, Zeke and View Camera. Stein's photographs have been widely exhibited in the United States and Europe — 86 one-person and over 165 group shows to date. He has curated 64 exhibits since 2007. His photographs are in more than 57 permanent collections, including the George Eastman Museum, Bibliotheque Nationale, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the New Orleans Museum of Art, the International Center of Photography, the Denver Museum of Art, the Carnegie Museum of Art (Pittsburgh), the Portland (Oregon) Museum of Art, the Museum of the City of New York, Museet for Fotokunst (Odense, Denmark), Musee De La Photographie (Charleroi, Belguim), the Portland (Maine) Museum of Art, the American Museum of Natural History, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, the Addison Gallery of American Art, The New York Historical Society and Museum, The Brooklyn Historical Society, and among others, the corporate collections of Johnson & Johnson, Hewlett Packard, LaSalle Bank (Chicago), Barclay Bank and Credit Suisse. Stein's work is represented by Sous Les Etoiles Gallery, New York City. Statement What do our photos say? That is an important question that we all wrestle with. I have always wanted to do strong and meaningful images. Not all our photos can be that, some are what I call "throwaways", fun and silly and not too serious. But basically I want to say something through my work. I think the best way to do this is through long term projects shot over time that gives us a deeper understanding of the subject. I love single images and they should also be strong, but I think more meaning comes from in depth studies of a subject, not one or a few photos of the subject. And I always want my images to be a reflection of how I think, behave, believe in. Remember: portraiture becomes self portraiture. As a writer usually reveals herself through her work, so does any artist, and as photographers, we are artists. I wish to convey a sense of life glimpsed, a sense of contingency and ephemerality. In experiencing these glimpses of life, I hope in turn to become more aware and knowing of my own life. I believe photographs speak to us; they are reminders of the past. To look at a family album is to recall a vanished memory or to see old friends materialize before our eyes. In making photographs, the photographer is simultaneously a witness to the moment and a recorder of its demise; this is the camera's power. Photography's magic is its ability to touch, inspire, and to connect to each viewer according to that person's unique sensibility and history. Exclusive Interview with Harvey Stein
Dayanita Singh
Dayanita Singh is an Indian photographer whose primary format is the book. She has published fourteen books. Singh's art reflects and expands on the ways in which people relate to photographic images. Her later works, drawn from her extensive photographic oeuvre, are a series of mobile museums allowing her images to be endlessly edited, sequenced, archived and displayed. Stemming from her interest in the archive, the museums present her photographs as interconnected bodies of work that are full of both poetic and narrative possibilities. Singh's first foray into photography and bookmaking came through a chance encounter with tabla player Zakir Hussain, when he invited her to photograph him in rehearsal after she was shoved by an aggressive official while attempting to shoot him in concert. For the six winters following, Singh documented several Hussain tours and, in 1986, finally published the images in her first book, Zakir Hussain. Referring to him as her first "true guru", Singh believes that Hussain taught her the most important of all skills: focus. "Read, read, read. Forget studying photography – just go and study literature. Then you will bring something to the photography." -- Dayanita Singh, The Guardian, 2014 Singh's second book, Myself Mona Ahmed was published in 2001, after more than a decade spent on assignment as a photojournalist. A mix of photobook, biography, autobiography and fiction, this 'visual novel' emerged as a result of her refusal to be the subject of what could have been a routine but problematic photojournalistic project as well as her discomfort with the West's tendency to view India through simplistic, exotic lenses. In the years following, publishing has been a significant part of Singh's career. She has created multiple "book-objects" – works that are concurrently books, art objects, exhibitions, and catalogues—often in collaboration with the publisher Gerhard Steidl in Göttingen, Germany. These include Privacy, Chairs, the direction-changing Go Away Closer, the seven-volume Sent a Letter, Blue Book, Dream Villa, Fileroom and Museum of Chance. Sent a Letter was included in the 2011 Phaidon Press book Defining Contemporary Art: 25 years in 200 Pivotal Artworks. Steidl said in a 2013 interview on Deutsche Welle television, "She is the genius of book making". Dream Villa was produced during her Robert Gardner Fellowship in Photography given annually by the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology at Harvard University; Singh was its second recipient in 2008. The "book-object" medium has allowed Singh to explore her interest in the poetic and narrative possibility of sequence and re-sequence, allowing her to create photographic patterns while simultaneously disrupting them. Her books rarely include text; instead she lets the photographs speak for themselves. These ideas are furthered through her experimentation with alternate ways of producing and viewing photographs to explore how people relate to photographic images. Singh has created and displayed a series of mobile museums, giving her the space to constantly sequence, edit, and archive her images. These mobile museums stemmed in large part from Singh's interest in archives and the archival process. Her mobile museums are displayed in large wooden architectural structures that can be rearranged and opened or closed in various ways. Each holds 70 to 140 photographs that Singh rearranges for each show so that only a portion of the photos or parts of each image are visible at any given time, capitalizing on the interconnected and fluid capacity of her work while allowing ample opportunity for evolving narratives and interpretations.Source: Wikipedia Dayanita Singh’s art uses photography to reflect and expand on the ways in which we relate to photographic images. Her recent work, drawn from her extensive photographic oeuvre, is a series of mobile museums that allow her images to be endlessly edited, sequenced, archived and displayed. Stemming from Singh’s interest in the archive, the museums present her photographs as interconnected bodies of work that are replete with both poetic and narrative possibilities. Publishing is also a significant part of the artist’s practice: in her books, often made in collaboration with Gerhard Steidl, she experiments with alternate forms of producing and viewing photographs. Here, Singh’s latest is the “book-object,” a work that is concurrently a book, an art object, an exhibition and a catalogue. This work, also developing from the artist’s interest in the poetic and narrative possibility of sequence and re-sequence, allows Singh to both create photographic sequence and also simultaneously disrupt it.Source: dayanitasingh.net
Dianne Yudelson
United States
Dianne Yudelson is an award winning photographic artist and master of the New Eclecticism Photography. Her work has been exhibited in Malaysia, France, Thailand, and throughout the USA. Dianne is a 2013 Critical Mass Finalist and a Julia Margaret Cameron Award winner in documentary, as well as street photography. Recent 2013 exhibitions include the Natural History Museum in San Diego California, National Geographic Museum as part of FOTODC, The FENCE 2013 and 2014 in Boston as part of the Magenta Flash Forward Festival, The FENCE 2013 and 2014 in Brooklyn as part of Photoville, the 2014 FENCE in Atlanta as part the ACP festival, and The Center for Fine Art Photography as part of 2013 and 2014 Center Forward. Dianne graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of California, Berkeley. “My fascination with photography began upon the realization that, in addition to being a wonderful means of documentation, photography can also be used as a fine art medium. My style is eclectic. In the fine tradition of eclectic artists of our past, from DaVinci to Duchamp to Calder, I embrace the challenge of exploring varied subjects and forms of expression. By that I mean, neither subject matter nor genre solely defines my images; they are defined by my artistic esthetic." Dianne’s 2013-2014 top honors include "Photographer of the Year" titles from three acclaimed international competitions; Black and White Spider Awards, Photography Masters Cup, and World Photography Gala Awards. In 2013 Dianne received: First Place in the International Photography Awards (IPA) in Fine Art and Collage, GOLD overall category PX3, Grand Prize Winner in the New York Center for Photographic Arts, Gold medalist in San Francisco International Exhibition, First Place Professional Women Photographers, First Place WPGA Black & White Awards, First Place Texas Photographic Society, and advertising honors in the LICC for a third consecutive year. "Throughout my life art has been the one true common thread, the stitches that bind my chapters together. As a photographic artist, I embrace the ability to spotlight my point of view and give a voice to my imagination." Interview With Dianne Yudelson AAP: When did you realize you wanted to be a photographer?I realized I wanted to be a photographer when I discovered that, in addition to being a wonderful means of documentation, photography can be used as a fine art medium.AAP: Where did you study photography?I am a self-taught photographer.AAP: How long have you been a photographer?In the summer of 2009 I came across an article in the Rangefinder magazine regarding the Black and White Spider Awards. This article reported that the competition was for amateurs as well as professional photographers. I researched online and discovered that the deadline for entries was in 2 days. During the next two days I photographed and created my composite image entitled “Vessels,” and entered it in the competition. The following February, “Vessels” won a nomination in the Abstract category at the 5th Spider Awards. Since 2010 I have considered myself a photographer and I have dedicated myself to photography from that point on, initially creating single images and then moving forward to create whole portfolios of work. Within two years, at the 7th Black and White Spider Awards, I was named Photographer of the Year, Honor of Distinction.AAP: Do you remember your first shot? What was it?I was about 10 years old when I took my first snapshot. Although I have always enjoyed taking pictures, I remember people commenting, “Why are you wasting film taking a photo of a lollipop discarded in the street or a chair off in the corner?” I do remember the first photograph that elicited the response “Whoa… you could sell this shot!” The comment came from a friend of mine, who was a commercial photographer. I had taken an adventurous trip to England, receiving a camera as a going away gift. Because I was traveling alone, my photos captured my personal vision of the landscape: rowboats near a river’s edge at dawn, silhouettes of statuary at sunset and the delicate curvature of wildflowers as they blew in the autumn breeze. Capturing these photographs sparked my artistic curiosity; consequently, taking the photos became one of the most exciting aspects of my journey abroad.AAP: Do you have a mentor?My mentors are all the eclectic artists who have preceded me. I have honored some of these artists in my series “Fusions” and “Monarchs in Art.” In these two series I have utilized stylistic elements of the artists who were important contributors to their artistic movements, “monarchs” of their medium, while interpreting the subject matter and creating an image truly representative of my own modern artistic style.AAP: What inspires you?I am generally inspired by all things visual, from grand vistas to the reflection of light on a teardrop. Sometimes I am immediately compelled to take a photo and at other times the visual moment triggers a thought process that leads to the creation of a photo or photo series. Every now and then, as an avid reader, I will come across a pairing of words that peak my interest. For example, I created an image to symbolize a concept I had studied in graduate school, “Synaptic Euphoria.”AAP: How could you describe your style?My style is eclectic. By that I mean I embrace the challenge of exploring varied subjects and forms of artistic expression. As part of this philosophy, I created a new art movement that I call the “New Eclecticism.” Neither subject matter nor genre solely defines my images; they are defined by my artistic esthetic.As a teen, I performed in musicals. I remember saying, “I wish I could sing like Barbara Streisand.” My mother pointed out that the world already has a Barbara Streisand. We love Barbara because she is unique. To be unique you must be yourself as the world only has one of you.” From that day forward, I have understood that to be original, you must remain true to yourself and your vision.AAP: What kind of gear do you use?I am a Nikon girl -- camera, lenses and speedlights.AAP: Do you spend a lot of time editing your images?Sometimes yes and other times no. I will say that, when I am in the process of editing or creating images, time seems to disappear; I am in my own world. When I am not shooting or creating, I am thinking about what needs to be taken care of, so that I can get back to my art.AAP: What advice would you give a young photographer?I teach a photography group and I always advise them to keep the elements of composition in mind, photograph what inspires them and, if an idea hits you out of the blue, take a second to notate it for use later. Above all else, allow your images to serve as self-expression.AAP: Do you have an idea or project you would like to share?Recently, I have focused on my nature and wildlife photography. I have always loved birds and will sit in a field, by a stream or in a ditch along the side of a road for an hour or more to capture an elusive species or to wait for that moment of interaction. As a very young girl my fondest memory was sitting on my grandmother’s porch while she showed me tintypes of my great grandmother and other loved ones. Holding these tintypes in my hand and gazing into the eyes of my ancestors while hearing stories of my grandmother’s childhood was an experience I hold dear to my heart. Those tintypes were my first exposure to the art of photography. My series "Antique Aviary" is a melding of my lifelong passion for birds, my wildlife photography and my deep appreciation of the tintype image.AAP: What was your worst memory as a photographer?In April of this year I drove 400 miles to hand deliver my framed image “Great Horned Owl” from my “Antique Aviary” to the SMASHBOX exhibition during MOPLA (Month of Photography Los Angeles). Upon exiting my rental car, I took two steps and tripped into a 12inch pothole in the parking lot across the street from the Smashbox Studios in Hollywood and broke my foot.AAP: What is your best memory as a photographer?One day I was taking a drive with my 9 year old son. We were driving down a country road appreciating the tall mustard grass. Suddenly I spotted a 6 foot fence pole that was literally covered with bees. I pulled over, jumped out of the car and grabbed my camera from the trunk as well as a jacket to throw over my head. I told my son to stay in the car and take some photos with his little camera, but not to roll down the window. Bees were flying over my head and around my body to get to the pole. As I attempted to focus on the bees I realized that all these bees were vibrating up and down the pole. In order to get the shot, I was going to have to move in very close. At a couple of feet away I took the photos in my series “A Gathering of Bees.” When I returned to the car my son was a bit distraught. I said "I’m sorry if I took too long" and he said, “But Mommy, you’re allergic to bees. What if they swarmed you? What would I do?” I shall always remember the look on his face when I told him that if they swarmed me, “Take the Shot!”
Yann Arthus-Bertrand
Yann Arthus-Bertrand, born in 1946, has always had a passion for the animal world and the natural environment. At the age of 20, he settled in central France and became the director of a nature reserve. When he was 30, he travelled to Kenya with his wife with whom he carried out a three-year study on the behaviour of a family of lions in the Massaï Mara reserve. He quickly started using a camera as a visual aid to capture his observations and enhance the written reports they compiled. While in Africa, he earned his living as a hot-air balloon pilot. This was when he really discovered the earth from above and the advantages of viewing what he was studying from afar to gain an overall picture of an area and its resources. He discovered his calling: to demonstrate the Earth’s beauty and show the impact of mankind on the Planet. His first book, Lions, was born of this adventure – he likes to call these lions his "first photography teachers." Little by little, Yann became a reporter focusing on environmental issues, and collaborating with Geo, National Geographic, Life, Paris Match, Figaro Magazine etc. He then started a personal work on the relationship mankind/ animal, which led to the books Good Breeding and Horses. In 1991, he founded the first aerial photography agency in the world. For the First Rio Conference in 1992, Yann decided to prepare a big work for the year 2000 on the state of the planet: it is The Earth From the Air. This book encountered a great success and over 3 million copies were sold. The outdoor exhibitions have been seen so far by about 200 Million people. Yann then created the Goodplanet Foundation that aims to raise public awareness of environmental issues, implement carbon offset programmes and fight deforestation with local NGOs. Within the Foundation, he developed the 6 billion Others project, that has just changed names and become 7 billion Others. More than 6000 interviews were filmed in 84 countries. From a Brazilian fisherman to a Chinese shopkeeper, from a German performer to an Afghan farmer, all answered the same questions about their fears, dreams, ordeals, hopes: "What have you learned from your parents? What do you want to pass on to your children? What difficult circumstances have you been through? What does love mean to you?" Forty or so questions that help us to find out what separates and what unites us. Due to this involvement, Yann Arthus-Bertrand is today considered more an environmentalist and activist than a photographer. It is because of this commitment that Yann Arthus-Bertrand was designated Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Environment Programme on Earth Day (April 22nd, 2009). In 2006, Yann started the series Vu Du Ciel, a television documentary series of several one-and-a-half hour episodes, each dealing with a particular environmental problem. It was shown on French public television and is currently being distributed for broadcast in 49 countries. Encouraged by his television experiment, Yann Arthus-Bertrand undertook the production of a full-length feature film, HOME, that deals with the state of our planet. The film was released on the 5th of June 2009 on television, on the Internet, on DVD and in cinemas simultaneously worldwide, almost entirely free of charge to the public. More than 600 million people have seen it so far. In 2011, Yann directed two films for the United Nations : the film Forest, official film of the 2011 International Year of the Forest, and the film Desertification. Both were screened during UN General Assemblies. Yann founded a non-profit production company, Hope. For the World Water Forum in March 2012, Yann, Thierry Piantanida and Baptiste Rouget-Luchaire directed a film narrating the history of water and reminding us that reasoned management of water is a crucial challenge for our century. This documentary was broadcast on French national television on the 20 th of March 2012. For Rio + 20, Yann directed the film Planet Ocean with Michael Pitiot. This film aims to promote understanding of the importance of oceans in the ecosystem. In the same time, the GoodPlanet Foundation initiated a “Ocean Programme”, to raise awareness of the importance of marine ecosystems. At the heart of this programme, the publication of the book “L’Homme et la Mer” by the Editions de la Martinière, available in bookstores from the 18 th of October 2012.All the films produced by HOPE are available free of charge to NGOs, nonprofits and schools in the frame work of environmental education. Source: www.yannarthusbertrand.org
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