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David Vasilev
David Vasilev
David Vasilev

David Vasilev

Country: Bulgary

David Vasilev was born in Stara Zagora, Bulgaria in 1981, where he spent his early years. Ever since he was a little kid, he was always surrounded by photojournalists, his dad being one of them. This had a great impact on his perception of the world, thus photography become a necessary tool for self-expression. After he moved to the United States he begun his extensive journey to find inspiration in the cultural contrasts of North America.

To observe is to spend more time looking through the lens than photographing. That is how I catch elusive moments of reality in a single frame.

Growing up in a culturally mixed neighborhood in Stara Zagora, Bulgaria, defined me as a person and as a photographer. I’ve captured the raw human spirit in people distanced from society—the joy and sadness they feel just by surviving, alongside the simplicity we lack.

I follow my instincts without looking back, which has led me to fascinating places. I’ve visited forgotten parts of the United States, time capsules filled with pure instinct and the most archaic traces of human nature still intact.

In one excursion I visited the Hutterites—a German-speaking colony located in the prairies of the Dakotas. I felt their sincere hospitality instantly, even when they couldn't understand why I was there to begin with or what photography even was. They maintained a humble existence that I wanted to preserve on film. With time, they got used to me being there, and my presence was gradually ignored. Only then did I witness and photograph their essence: the realness of their daily lives, creating a visual memory of this time and place.

I will never forget the children. One day a girl with curious eyes approached me quietly and asked, "Have you seen the ocean?"

David Vasilev
 

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Gabriele Viertel
German fine art photographer, born near Cologne, Gabriele Viertel now lives and works in Eindhoven, Netherlands. She grew up as the youngest of 3 children in a rural area with an extended family of aunts, uncles and cousins. Inspired by her father, an avid filmmaker and amateur photographer, she took for the first time at the age of 14 his analogue camera to photograph the children of the family. During the education in technical design, she worked as a model to fund the studie. Completed the degree, Gabriele decided to move on to pursue the international career as a model and worked more than a decade for designers such as Dior and Karl Lagerfeld. Since 2008 she dedicated herself entirely to the art of photography as a freelance artist. Conceptually, Viertel's images play with the dialog between the mediums of painting and photography. The magical, often surreal pictorial language and the chiaroscuro light are characteristic means of expression. The major part of her works is staged underwater. Gabriele has received numerous awards, most recently the platin award of Graphis New York, the gold medal of the International Color Award, the silver medal of Prix de la Photographie Paris as well as the Merit Award of Best of Contemporary Photography, Fort Wayne Museum of Art. Her work has been featured in international exhibitions and publications in Europe and North America, notably the Museum of Art Fort Wayne and the Heritage Municipal Museum Malaga. One book on her work has been published by Associazione Artistico Culturale Cameraraw.it. Gabriele's works are in the public collections of the Fort Wayne Museum of Art, Indiana USA and the University of Art, Rotterdam NL as well as in various private collections.
Sandrine Hermand-Grisel
Sandrine Hermand-Grisel grew up in Paris, France and in London, UK. She studied International Law before deciding to dedicate her life to photography in 1997. Influenced by her late mother's sculptures and her husbands paintings and films, she worked on several personal projects before her series Nocturnes was recognized in 2005 by Harry Gruyaert, Bertrand Despres and John Batho for the Prix Kodak de la Critique Photographique. In 2006 she moved with her family to the United States and began experimenting landscape photography with her series Somewhere and On the road. Despite the diversity of her projects she has a unique, very intimate, relationship with her subjects. Photography provides her with a way to express her feelings, like in the series ''Nocturnes'' where she photographed only close friends and family members peacefully abandoning themselves in front of her camera. ''Somewhere'' is her dream of America, a road trip through her adopted country. And ''Waterlilies'' is full of joy and love for her two children as she watched them jumping and playing in pools over and over again. Sandrine Hermand-Grisel not only photographs what she loves, she breaks free from her own reality in her poetic vision of the world. In 2013, she created the acclaimed website All About Photo and now spends most of her time discovering new talents while still working on personal projects. All about Sea Sketches Since I was a little girl my parents insisted that my brother and I accompany them almost every weekend to see an exhibition, a museum or an historic house. What was excruciating at first slowly became a real pleasure. Thanks to them, I had the privilege to see incredible exhibitions both in Paris and London where I grew up. Depending on my age and moods at the time, I favored a century, a movement, a painter... It was love at first sight when I discovered "Wanderer above the Sea of Fog" by Caspar David Friedrich. In the foreground, a young man stands upon a rocky precipice with his back to the viewer. He overlooks a landscape covered in a thick sea of fog. I was overwhelmed by the beauty of nature, the subtle colors, the calm and yet the movement that came from the wind. I perceived the character as content and in harmony with nature and I wondered if one day I would find my perfect place... and many years later, I did. On the west coast of Florida lies Anna Maria, a quaint barrier island nestled in the Gulf of Mexico. The water is warm and turquoise, the sand is white. Well preserved, the birds and turtles come here to nest while the respectful tourists lie on the sand every night to witness the incredible sunsets. Time is suspended. With the romantic painters Turner and Friedrich in mind, I captured a glimpse of Anna Maria, its light, its beaches, its movement, its unleashed elements... I hope you will immerse yourself in my Sea Sketches "paintings" and escape with me, even for the length of a sigh, from the harsh realities of life and share my happy place.
Stephen Wicks
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Larry Louie
Canada
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International award winning documentary photographer Larry Louie leads a dual career. In his optometry clinic, he is Dr. Larry Louie, working to enhance the vision of people from all walks of life in the urban core of a North American city. On his travels, he is a humanitarian documentary photographer, exploring the lives of remote indigenous people, and documenting social issues around the world. As an optometrist, Larry adjusts people’s visual perception. As a photographer, he seeks to adjust people’s view of the world. Either way, he is interested in things that exist outside the regular field of vision. Larry’s photographs have often been described as realism at its best. There is a story waiting to be told in every image. 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As an optometrist and photographer, Larry is avid supporter of Seva Canada, an international non-profit organization who is a part of VISION 2020, the global initiative for the elimination of preventable and avoidable blindness in the world by year 2020. Source: www.larrylouie.com Interview with Larry Louie All About Photo: When did you realize you wanted to be a photographer? Larry Louie: I knew when I was about 16 when I received my first real camera and I was experimenting exposures. AAP: Where did you study photography? LL: Self taught. AAP: Do you have a mentor or role model? LL: I do not have a mentor, but I have master photographers whose work I greatly admire and I study their amazing portfolio of works: Josef Koudelka, Sebastiao Salgado, James Natchwey. AAP: How long have you been a photographer? LL: I have been regularly photographing since 18 years of age but in regards to the documentary work, only for the last 8 years. AAP: Do you remember your first shot? What was it? LL: My first shot that I liked was the color image of 2 women taken in Jodphur, India. I call it the Blue City image because of the predominating blue color of the city. This image was placed second in a National Geographic Traveler magazine photo competition. AAP: What or who inspires you? LL: Great work that has passion in the subject. That is why I like the works of the above artists I mentioned. AAP: How could you describe your style? LL: I like B&W documentary work that evokes one's curiosity about mankind and his struggle with the surrounding environment. AAP: Do you have a favorite photograph or series? LL: I like 2 of my latest series: "A Working Day in Dhaka" and my latest series "Tondo, Manila" (will be up on the web within this month). AAP: What kind of gear do you use? Camera, lens, digital, film? LL: I use Canon 5D Mark3 bodies, 24mm f1.4 prime lens, 85mm f/1.2 prime lens, and 24-105mm f/4 zoom lens. AAP: Do you spend a lot of time editing your images? For what purpose? LL: I don't do too much editing. I do not crop my images and very minimal photoshop besides converting it into black and white and some burning and dodging. I do most of my editing the week after I return on a trip. The images are used for my website, to produce prints, calendars for fund raising purposes. AAP: What are your projects? LL: Please go to my website. My latest projects have been concentrated on the working poor and people who are stuck in the bonds of poverty, especially children born into poverty and child laborers. AAP: Favorite(s) photographer(s)? LL: Josef Koudelka, Sebastiao Salgado, James Natchwey. AAP: What advice would you give a young photographer? LL: Photograph what gives you passion. The best work will come through. Shoot, shoot, shoot. AAP: What mistake should a young photographer avoid? LL: Being cliché. One should be original. AAP: An idea, a sentence, a project you would like to share? 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Michal Cala
Poland
1948
Michal Cala was born in Toruń, Poland in 1948 and studied aircraft construction in Warsaw at the University of Technology in the early 1970's. From 1974 to 1983 he worked as an engineer in various companies in Silesia, and began photographing in the area. In 1977, he moved to Tychy in Upper Silesia, where he co-founded the photographers' association KRON and become a member of the ZPAF – the Union of Polish Art Photographers. Relatively unknown outside of his native country, his work is in several museum collections in Poland; in the Silesian Museum of Katowice, the Silesian Library in Katowice, the Upper Silesian Museum in Bytom, the Coal Mining Museum in Zabrze as well as local government building in Duisburg in the Ruhr (Germany) and various private collections. His work has received much acclaim and won numerus awards; among which are the Grand Prix at the Polish Landscape Biennale in Kielce twice, 1979 and 1983 and won the first prise at the Pilsner International Photo Awards in the Industrial category in 2007. His work from Galicia series and the Paysages de Pologne exhibition was shown in France in 1980's. The Silesia exhibition was shown widely in Katowice (1984, 2002, 2008), Krakow (1986, 2006), Warsaw (1986, 2009), in Enschede, the Netherlands, (2012), at the Photo Biennale Mannheim – Ludwigshafen – Heidelberg (2007) and part of group project at the Noorderlicht Photo Festival in the Netherlands (2008). In 2007 he was classified as one of most important Polish photographers in last century and participated in the group exhibition Polish Photography in XX Century (Warsaw, Poland and Vilnius, Lithuania). In the same year, Cala's photography was featured in British Journal of Photography and Foto8 magazine. Publications on his work include The Anthology of Polish Photography 1839 – 1989, The Masters of Polish Landscape and The Polish Photography in the 20th Century. His past exhibition Metropolis on Silesian urban landscapes was held at the Silesian Museum in Katowice in 2013 and a solo show Silesia and Galicia in the Museum of History of Photography in 2016 in Krakow (Poland). His photo book based on the same series was recently selected in the Open Submission at Belfast and Athens Photo Festivals respectively (2017). The latest solo exhibition at MMX Gallery; SILESIA 1975-1985, was the first time his work has been shown in UK.MMX Gallery about the exhibition Silesia 1975-1985 Michal Cala is regarded as one of the most important Polish photographers of the last century. Cala started taking pictures in his youth and has been working professionally as a photographer for nearly 40 years. Silesia is an industrial district in Poland which at the time of 1970's and early 1980's was experiencing its peak of development and activity. Although providing massive employment for the area, the environmental issues were ignored. Stepping off the train, Cala encountered the other-worldly landscape for the first time and decided this is what he wanted to make of photographic record of. Fascinated by the subject matter, he devoted himself to photographing the Silesian landscape between 1975 – 1992, which resulted in the series entitled Silesia (Śląsk in Polish). Cala's photography took on various influences ranging from surrealism, which inspired a movement in Poland called "fotografia kreacyjna" (creative photography), and the realism of British New Wave cinema of the late 1950's and early 1960's. Poland's isolation during the Cold War made it very difficult for photographers to obtain artistic publications. However, some Czech and Polish magazines were publishing Western photographers work such as Edward Weston, Bill Brandt, Robert Frank and Diane Arbus who acted as a window for inspiration. Cala was influenced by landscape, reportage and social documentary photography, which he always portrayed in his personally stylised images. In Poland, political and material conditions were harsh under Soviet influence. Using a basic 35mm Exa 500 camera, he managed to produce images of such a lyrical beauty only to be emphasised again with a dark graphic printing style, to further enhance his vision of the sometimes-apocalyptic looking landscape before him. A single house surrounded by huge cooling towers, majestic slagheaps, lonely figures microscopic when compared to the massive scale of industrial surroundings are subtle metaphors of living in a communist reality. The majority of photographs in the exhibition are vintage silver gelatin prints, made by Cala at the time they were taken.Source: MMX Gallery
Tariq Zaidi
United Kingdom
In Jan 2014, Tariq Zaidi gave up a senior corporate position, to pursue his passion of capturing the dignity, purity and soul of people, within their environment. His work focuses on documenting social issues, inequality, endangered communities and traditions from around the world. In Feb 2018, Tariq was awarded one of the top Premier Awards in POY75 (Pictures of the Year International Competition) - "Photographer of the Year" Award of Excellence for his work from North Korea, Congo and Brazil and also 2nd place News Division/Feature Category in the same year. Since Aug 2015, Tariq's stories, images and videos from Angola, Brazil, Cambodia, Chad, Congo, Ethiopia, Georgia, Indonesia, Mongolia, North Korea & South Sudan have been featured internationally in over 700 magazines/newspapers/websites (in more than 60 countries) including: The Guardian, BBC News, CNN, National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, Der Spiegel Magazine, El Pais, GEO Magazine, The Independent On Sunday Magazine, Marie Claire, Esquire Magazine, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, The Telegraph, El Mundo Spain, Khaleej Times UAE, ITV News, MSN News, LensCulture, L'Oeil De La Photographie, Internazionale Magazine, The Times of London and many more. He has won many major international photography awards, shown his work in over 45 international exhibitions and completed commissions in Sierra Leone, Cuba, Russia, Cambodia, Uganda, UAE, Japan and Indonesia. Tariq works as a freelance photographer based out of London, UK. He is currently working on a long-term personal project developing a visual anthology capturing the dignity of humankind in some of the poorest communities in the world. His work is represented by Zuma Press (USA), Caters News Agency (UK) and Getty Images (UK). Tariq is All About Photo's 2018 Photographer of the Year. Discover Tariq Zaidi's Interview Cattle of Kings - The Mundari of South Sudan
Marcin Owczarek
Poland
1985
My art has always been focusing on condition of our globe and the condition of man. My antiutopian, critical photography is based on the anthropological research. I focus on exploring and interpreting the impact of: new technologies, bio-science, unconscious, fears, morals, social situations, behaviors, habits, rituals, biological changes, the use of animals, depression in urban envi...ronments, destruction of the soil, overpopulation, deforestation, universal famine and - over human life. As a result, I create the image of the 21 century and the image of our current society. In this way, by commenting behaviour of human individuals I want to indicate that: Man is imperfect. Man is a savage, greedy rebel of Nature, living between the insanity and lunacy, away from his true nature. Man live in the play cage because he was captured by Illusions of this world: welfare tyranny, desire of possessing material things, consumption, jealousy, hate...what all in all led him to the broken relationship with the globe and other human beings. As a result I stress the present process of dehumanization, mechanization and standardization of human race, false norms and illusional values that was given for the truth to the society by religion, governments,laws,propaganda, false mirror of the television...etc. In my opinion, nowadays it is essential to articulate this kind of behavior, because the way which the present world run, might guide the human species: firstly- into a total slavery, then to new nuclear era, and finally to the total extinction...There is number of potential scenarios, but one of them is definitely Total Extinction... I admire the way of dadaism as well as surrealism. My spirit flies with counterculture and the idea of transgression. I regard my critical collages as the prediction of human degradation, and as a consequence - 'Apocalypse'....... Many wise people said that before but I will repeat: we are responsible for this world and for other human beings, and in our hands is decision: Do we want to live in coexistence or do want to reproduce another monsters to this world who will fight against each other in another nuclear war... What are the crucial implications of this? - The world's Future. "You pays your money and you takes your choice".Marcin Owczarek, Lier 2011
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