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Pierre De Vallombreuse
Pierre De Vallombreuse

Pierre De Vallombreuse

Country: France
Birth: 1962

Pierre de Vallombreuse was born in Bayonne in 1962. In twenty-five years of travel to all continents, he made a photographic collection of 41 indigenous peoples, with more than 130,000 photographs, paying tribute to their diversity.

In contact with Joseph Kessel, a French author and traveler, de Vallombreuse felt a very early desire to be a witness of his time. In 1984, he entered the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs in Paris with the idea of becoming a cartoonist. A trip to Borneo the next year, though, changed the course of his life. He shared his daily life with the Punans, the last nomads of the jungle. Normally a sedentary artist, de Vallombreuse decided to become a nomadic witness, and photography became his mode of expression. While still a student at the Arts Décoratifs in Paris, he took multiple trips to the Philippine jungle to stay with the Palawan people. In total, he lived with them for over two years. The first part of his work on this tribe was presented at the photographic festival Les Rencontres internationales de la photographie in Arles.

De Vallombreuse was Secretary General of the Association of Anthropology and Photography (association Anthropologie et Photographie, Paris Diderot University). Since then, he has regularly collaborated with leading international magazines: GEO (France, Russia, Germany, Spain, South Korea, Japan), Sciences et Avenir, Le Monde 2, Le Figaro Magazine, Newsweek, El Mundo, El País, and La Stampa.

About The Origins of Man (Hommes Racines)
Encompassing five years of work, this project represents the commitment of a photographer with eleven indigenous peoples spread across the globe. Its main purpose is to show the intimate relationship between man and his environment. De Vallombreuse presented his work as a testament to the diversity of lifestyles, practices, and traditional knowledge that are embedded in very different environments. These cultures are repositories of knowledge essential to the preservation of biodiversity. De Vallombreuse aimed to promote a reflection on humanity sustainable whose corollary is the protection of nature.

Whenever linked to a specific people, the project emphasizes the multiplicity of responses to living conditions imposed by nature and history. It is in this context that de Vallombreuse addresses this root concept. By meeting people entrenched in their territory and those who have been subjected to the test of uprooting, de Vallombreuse analyzed changes in life affecting our modernity. He worked to show how indigenous peoples are often the first victims of environmental disasters: food shortages, deforestation, global warming, pollution, and water war, crucial questions that, far from being local concerns, affect our mutual humanity.

Since 2007, this project has resulted in 12 exhibitions and numerous publications.
Souce Wikipedia

About Souveraines
In the West, feminists fight for equality with men. But elsewhere?
In some traditional societies, women have a predominant social and spiritual part to play. There is equality, mutual respect and freedom for both genders. Amongst these people, women are recognized for their uniqueness and their skills.

Pierre de Vallombreuse traveled to four South East Asian cultures where women play a crucial part in the family and in governance itself.

In the matrilineal and matrilocal tribe of Khasi in the North-East part of India, children are given at birth the name of their mother and the youngest daughter inherits all the land and family properties.

In the nonhierarchical tribe Palawan in the Philippines, men and women live in perfect equality, while emphasizing values such as goodwill, generosity and mutual assistance.

In the southwestern part of China, status of women is unique in Moso, a population that practices all forms of matriarchy as children's education is entrusted with their maternal uncles.
Finally in Malaysia, the Badjao abolish all forms of hierarchy and advocate for an egalitarian and libertarian civilization that is prominently in favor of women.
 

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Toby Old
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1945
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David Seymour (Chim)
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David Seymour, also known as Chim, was a Polish-born photographer who is best known for his work as a member of the photographic cooperative Magnum Photos. He was born in 1911 in Warsaw, Poland and spent his early years studying in Germany before moving to France in 1933. Seymour's interest in photography began at a young age, and he quickly became skilled in the art of photography. He began his professional career as a photographer in Paris, working for various newspapers and magazines. In 1936, he joined the photographic cooperative Magnum Photos, which was founded by photographers Robert Capa, Henri Cartier-Bresson, and George Rodger. Chim told me not to follow too closely the advice of Capa, and Capa told me not to take any notice of Henri’s advice. So I was a bit mixed up and went to see George Rodger... and he said, “Don’t listen to any of them, only to me.” -- Marc Riboud, on joining the Magnum photo agency in 1953 As a member of Magnum Photos, David Seymour traveled extensively, capturing powerful images of people and events from around the world. He covered a wide range of subjects, including politics, war, and social issues. He was particularly known for his ability to capture the humanity of his subjects, and his images often conveyed a sense of empathy and compassion. Seymour's work as a war photographer began during World War II, when he covered the Spanish Civil War and the Second World War. He was one of the first photographers to document the horrors of the Holocaust, and his images of concentration camps and Jewish ghettos are among his most powerful and moving works. In 1948, David Seymour traveled to Palestine to cover the Arab-Israeli conflict, and his images of the fighting and the suffering of the Palestinian people helped to raise awareness of the issue around the world. He also covered the Korean War, the Suez Crisis, and the Hungarian Revolution, and his images of these conflicts were widely published in newspapers and magazines. In addition to his work as a war photographer, Seymour also documented social issues and political events. He covered the civil rights movement in the United States, and his images of the struggles of African Americans helped to raise awareness of the issue. He also covered the Cuban Revolution and the rise of Fidel Castro, and his images of the revolution and its aftermath helped to shape the way that the world viewed Cuba and its leader. Seymour's work as a photographer was widely recognized and respected during his lifetime, and he received numerous awards and honors for his contributions to the field of photography. He was a member of the French Legion of Honor, and in 1957 he was awarded the prestigious Robert Capa Gold Medal for his contributions to photojournalism. Despite his success as a photographer, Seymour's life was cut short when he was killed in 1956 while covering the Suez Crisis in Egypt. He was only 45 years old at the time of his death, but his legacy as a photographer lives on through his powerful images and his influence on the field of photojournalism. Today, Seymour's work continues to be widely admired and studied, and his images are considered to be some of the most powerful and important photographs of the 20th century. His work has been featured in numerous exhibitions and publications, and his images continue to inspire and influence photographers around the world. David Seymour Chim was a remarkable photographer who was able to capture the essence of humanity and the complexities of human nature. His photographs are moving and powerful, and his ability to document the world's most significant events and moments in history is a testament to his skill and dedication to his craft. His legacy as a photographer lives on, and his work will continue to be appreciated for generations to come.
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His ability to capture fleeting moments in life through powerful compositions was already apparent, and he would use this skill for decades to come. Eiffel Tower Painter, Paris, 1953© Marc Riboud Riboud traveled around the world for the next several decades. He was one of the first European photographers to visit China in 1957, and he documented North Vietnam in 1968, 1972, and 1976. Later in life, he traveled extensively throughout the world, primarily in Asia, Africa, the United States, and Japan. Marc Riboud has witnessed war atrocities (photographing from both the Vietnamese and American sides of the Vietnam War) as well as the apparent degeneration of a culture suppressed from within (China during Chairman Mao Zedong's Cultural Revolution). In contrast, he has captured the graces of everyday life in sun-drenched corners of the world (Fès, Angkor, Acapulco, Niger, Bénarès, Shaanxi), as well as the lyricism of child's play in everyday Paris. 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Nobuyoshi Araki
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John Kenny
United Kingdom
In 2006 I developed my style of portrait photography within traditional communities, heavily influenced by the dramatic pictures of chiaroscuro artists. Chiaroscuro is an Italian term which literally means light-dark. Back then, at the very start of my Africa journey, I was buzzing with energy having met people of real magnetism just days into my trip. I was excited by extraordinary people and fascinating cultures and wondered how I could possibly communicate and express these feelings of excitement to friends and family back home.The solution, I imagined, would involve abstracting the remarkable from the not so remarkable: put simply, I felt that the vibrant and intense individuals that I had met in traditional communities would best show their magnetism on camera when they were removed from the (often) dull and dusty backgrounds of their immediate environment. After a few days I started to imagine each of these people in front of me emerging from the nothingness of darkness, with no distractions, hoping that this would provide a real feeling of proximity between the viewer and the person in the picture. I made a conscious decision at that time to leave a more documentary style of environmental portraiture to others. Practicing this new technique in remote African villages in 2006 I had nothing but sunshine and a hut available as a great ‘open studio': so I used these parameters and started experimenting (I've never really liked flash anyway). So it's simply the illumination of natural sunlight, and sun on dry earth, that reaches into the darkness of huts and lights up these remarkable people. Sun and dry earth are the only ingredients required for the lighting in my prints. And of course, you also need to find exceptional people!Falling in love with photography, and the origins of this series:I first fell in love with photography around 2003. I had not been fortunate enough to receive an art or photography education, but I knew back then, when I picked up my first SLR camera, that I had found the perfect way to express myself. Every time I had the camera in my hand I was looking to improve, needing to know what everything and anything looked like once it had been through the photographic process. It was a bit like a mad pursuit of alchemy - throwing everything into the mix to see if any magic came out of the other side. The process of photographic learning is very rarely a simple one, but to me it remains beautiful: discoveries, experimentation and seeing for the first time how a camera distorts and enhances the world.In Africa I seem to have made it my goal to travel through some of the remotest areas of the continent where the reaches of urbanisation and 21st century living are barely detectable. Looking back, this wasn’t my intention when I first arrived there in 2006, but somehow I keep returning to Africa to photograph because I'm fascinated to encounter societies that are able to survive in some of the most arid, isolated and difficult environments that people have settled in. If you haven’t visited these places then the reality of living is not nearly as romantic or idealised as one might imagine. Life takes place against a backdrop of very uncertain resources and enormous hardships, but traditions and hospitality towards outsiders remain intact.I specifically chose to photograph the individuals that you see in these galleries because I had a very real sense of wonder when I met them. Each one of these people had something that attracted me, sometimes a piercing intensity, or an uncommon beauty, that I felt compelled to try and capture. It’s true that I photograph for myself, first and foremost, but a close second is my desire to show others this magnetism that draws one into the eyes of these fascinating people.I have usually travelled alone or with a guide on these journeys, along the way walking and hopping onto overloaded vehicles of every kind to head to remote settlements. Often the destination is a transient, weekly market where hundreds of vibrant, colourful people assemble somewhat incongruously against a dull, dusty backdrop for a few hours. Later in the day they will all melt away with their animals and traded possessions, until the location is again a patch of bone-dry ground with almost nothing to separate it from the rest of the featureless land that typifies much of the African Sahel. It is fascinating to observe this process play out in almost exactly the same way across countless African countries, many of which are separated by hundreds or thousands of miles across this huge continent’s surface.My favourite tools are sharp prime lenses and cameras that let you capture the tiniest pieces of detail: whilst these details may be insignificant alone, when aggregated I feel they help paint the picture of the environment and how each person adapts to theirs.My favourite series of work remains the Northern Kenya series which involved 6 weeks of intense travelling with my guide, Mo, across remote areas without a vehicle and often without any semblance of an idea how to get to the next tiny settlement. The trip was full of unique encounters in locations that seemed to be famous, to me at least, as places where no transport seemed to be heading. On one particular occasion we came across a lone Moran (warrior) emerge into the dawn light, miles from anywhere. He seemed like a mirage: a vibrant vision in pink cloth and bright colourful jewellery, and more acutely so when set against the hazy yellow monotone of land that he emerged from. Even for Northern Kenya, I thought he seemed to be in a remote, featureless location: devoid of any water, and within an hour it would again be blistering hot. Despite these uncomfortable realities - which clearly weighed more heavily on my mind than his - the warrior seemed confident of his bearings and stopped for a moment to exchange pleasantries with Mo and I. A couple of minutes later, after sharing cigarette with my guide, he purposefully set off walking again, to God knows where. This place that looked barren and foreboding, to me at least, was clearly his home.
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
Martin Stranka
Martin Stranka was born on Friday April 13, 1984 in Most, Czech Republic, where he lived with his parents and older sister until the age of three. For the next twenty years, family then moves to Litoměřice, where he attends elementary school and the Josef Jungmann Gymnasium. He went on to study economics in Prague, where he has lived and worked ever since. He never studied art, but after the loss of a close friend in 2007 he turned to photography as therapy to regain his balance in life. After completing his university studies, he worked as a human resources manager while continuing in his pursuit of photography which later became his passion. In December 2010 his passion became his profession when he accepted commissions from New York publishing houses Sterling Publishing and HarperCollins. In his seventeen-year career, Stranka won more than 90 international awards, and honorary mentions in photography, of which the most significant include Special Photographer of the Year from the International photography Awards in New York in 2022, and 1st place in the Sony World Photography Awards that he won in 2018 and 2019 in London. His works were exhibited and auctioned at Christie’s in London in early 2023. Martin Stranka exhibited his work in New York, Miami, London, Paris, Prague, and Shanghai, in galleries including Christie’s London, Saatchi Gallery, SNAP! Orlando, Somerset House in London, or the exhibition hall of Prague’s Mánes. His works already attract the attention of art collectors and can be seen on the covers of books published by HarperCollins, Sterling Publishing, and Penguin Random House. Martin has also created several photographic visuals for the National Theater, the National Theater Ballet, and the National Theater Opera. He has published four monographic books the last of which was published the retrospective book for the exhibition at the Danubiana Meulensteen Art Museum. Statement Martin wrote about his work: ''I’m always searching for beauty, but to me, the sort of beauty that is obvious seems uninteresting and empty. To the contrary, a flaw in something that is seemingly perfect adds vital meaning to the captured scene and catches my often-distracted attention. At least a small wobble of emotion to contrast the calmness of mind in a piece of art makes sense to me. As an artist, I need to strip both myself and the viewer of certainty in order to create space for the necessary multitude of questions. I look for form and content that harmonizes with people and provides them with a quiet visual refuge. At first glance, the images I capture are calm, yet under the surface, they rage and roar. I plant a sense of dismay into the same artwork, be it only with the slightest hint of something sinister lurking beneath the surface. And it never ceases to amaze me that such seemingly incompatible contrasts can be combined into one image. I constantly return to the narrative of the relationship between mankind and nature, as well as the exploration of human existence itself. Loneliness and isolation – such relevant topics today – seem to me like an endless line of poetry that I stitch through every photograph, even if only marginally. I can’t let go of the feeling that it is in isolation that I find a much-needed dialogue. A dialogue with myself, within myself, into myself. The visible silence in a photograph is contrasted by hectic thoughts that I’m unable to resist. And after all, I don’t want to defy them, I just need to accept everything as an observer. Observation and voyeurism become the best ways to learn. I repeatedly try to discover the connection between visual beauty and dramatic reality. What connects the state of oversaturation of human relationships and the state of one’s own loneliness? I need to know the answer. In my work, I continue to experiment with the portrayal of personally experienced intimacy contrasted against the more ephemeral feelings of closeness between strangers. I try to give meaning to situations and objects beyond how they are perceived. I’m driven to tear down traditional contexts, to give states and objects different meanings, and thus place ordinary experiences in extraordinary contexts. Although this process may seem complicated, to me it comes completely spontaneously every step of the way. The medium of photography allows me to materialize all these external happenings and flickering events onto paper.''
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Seth Dickerman is a master manipulator of the wide spectrum of light densities that reflect off the surface of a photographic print and enter into our field of vision. His singular intent in making prints is to bring out the best an image has to offer, which means giving an image the ability to hold our attention, to engage us, and to allow us to discover something about an image that is meaningful and significant.
Exclusive Interview with Michel Haddi
Photographer and film director, Michel Haddi has photographed many high-profile celebrities while living in the USA including, Clint Eastwood, Martin Scorsese, David Bowie, Uma Thurman, Francis Ford Coppola, Cameron Diaz, Faye Dunaway, Nicholas Cage, Johnny Depp, Heath Ledger, Angelina Jolie, Janet Jackson, Jennifer Lopez, and many others. He also manages a publishing house, MHS publishing, which publishes his own books. Currently based in London we have asked him a few questions about his life and work
Exclusive Interview with Sebastien Sardi
In 2008, Swedish photographer Sebastian Sardi, inspired by an article exposing hidden mining-related incidents, embarked on a photography journey. Without formal training, he explored mines and ventured to India's Jharkhand state to document coal miners in Dhanbad, known as the "coal capital." His project, "Black Diamond," captured the lives of people, including men, women, and children, dedicated to coal extraction in grueling conditions.
Exclusive Interview with Debra Achen
Monterey-based photographer Debra Achen was born and raised near Pittsburgh, PA, where she developed a passion for both nature and art. She studied a variety of studio arts, including drawing, painting, and printmaking in addition to her training in traditional film and darkroom photography. Her project 'Folding and Mending' won the September 2022 Solo Exhibition. We asked here a few questions about her life and work.
Exclusive Interview with Steve Hoffman
Steve Hoffman is a documentary photographer who has who spent the last dozen years working with and photographing the people that live the housing projects in Coney Island. He was the winner of the July and August 2022 Solo Exhibition. We asked him a few questions about his life and work.
Exclusive Interview with Aya Okawa
Aya is passionate about exploring the natural world and protecting ecosystems and wild landsAll about Photo: Tell us about your first introduction to photography. What drew you into this world? Her project The Systems That Shape Us'won the February 2022 Solo Exhibition. We asked her a few questions about her life and her work.
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