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Matthew O'Brien
Matthew O'Brien
Matthew O'Brien

Matthew O'Brien

Country: United States

Matthew James O’Brien is a photographer from San Francisco whose work celebrates humanity and the natural world. He studied zoology at the University of California at Berkeley. His understanding of the natural world informs his photography and his understanding of humanity.

Across all of his work, regardless of the medium, there is one unifying theme— finding beauty, in any circumstance. That could be in the inner-city schools of Oakland, rural Sinaloa, Mexico caught up in narco violence, the dying ranching community across the bay from San Francisco, or war-ravaged Colombia.

His work has been exhibited and collected by various institutions including the Library of Congress, the Houston Museum of Fine Arts, the California Museum of Photography, the Fries Museum (Netherlands), the Art Science Museum (Singapore) and el Museo de Arte Moderno de Cartagena (Colombia). Among the awards he has received are a Mother Jones International Fund for Documentary Photography Award, a Community Heritage Grant from the California Council for the Humanities, and a Fulbright Fellowship.

He was a Creative Uses Consultant for Polaroid, and has worked extensively with Polaroid films, including No Dar Papaya, his eleven-year exploration of Colombia, which became a book (Icono Editorial/Placer Press).

O’Brien also works with video, and teaches photography in English and Spanish. He has taught at UC Berkeley, the Universidad de Antioquia and the Universidad de Medellín in Colombia, among other places. His work has appeared in publications from The Washington Post to Camera Arts. His favorite clients to work with are NGO’s that work to make the world a better place.

www.nodarpapaya.com
 

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More Great Photographers To Discover

Richard Murai
United States
1952
"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but seeing with new eyes." Marcel Proust, 1923, La Prisonierre The world's sacred sites are visually rich and historically significant and provide sanctuary for spiritual reflection and creative exploration and discovery. They're striking archeological sites but first and foremost, they serve as vital and revered centers of pilgrimage, prayer and meditation. These images are excerpts of my visits to these sacred spaces and are evidence of an ongoing journey that examines intense spiritual devotion and religious fervor, past and present, within unique and distinctive cultures. They are multi-dimensional and compelling for both the photographer and the viewer and document golden ages of past millennia and cultures seeking to reconcile ancient traditions with conflicting modern values. Devotees seek serenity and escape from centuries of conquest and political upheaval, or the effects of poverty, global climate change and modernization. As we confront a perplexing, irrational and precarious world situation ongoing geo-political unrest and violence has caused fractious dissension and a difficult emotional time for all. Reluctance to accept diverse cultural, political, religious attitudes both here and abroad adds to the fear, cynicism and confusion. Becoming sensitive to unfamiliar cultures can quell much of this anxiety and may encourage tolerance and compassion. After transitioning from thirty-five rewarding years in photographic education, Richard lives in Monterey, CA, and continues to passionately pursue his creative artmaking. His ongoing fascination with world religion and culture has generated repeated visits to locations within India, Asia, South America, the Middle East, Russia and Europe. His work has been exhibited widely, has garnered awards from All About Photo, Center for Photographic Art, Spider Awards, and Travel Photographer of the Year, and have been featured in respected publications including B&W Magazine, Silver Shots International, Shots, Photographer's Forum and multiple issues of Lenswork print and special editions. His photographs are included in various private and corporate collections and is represented by the Weston Gallery, Carmel, CA
Klavdij Sluban
France
1963
Winner of the European Publishers Award for Photography 2009, of the Leica Prize (2004) and of the Niépce Prize (2000), main French prize in photography, Klavdij Sluban is a French photographer of Slovenian origin born in Paris in 1963. He develops a rigorous and coherent body of work, nourished by literature, never inspired by immediate and sensational current affairs, making him one of the most interesting photographers of his generation. The Balkans, the Black Sea, the Baltic Sea, the Caribbean, Central America, Russia, China and the Antarctic (first artistic mission in the Kerguelen islands) can be read as many successive steps of an in-depth study of a patient proximity to the encountered real. His images have been shown in such leading institutions as the Metropolitan Museum of Photography of Tokyo, the Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris, the Rencontres d'Arles, the Museum of Photography in Helsinki, the Fine Arts Museum in Canton, the Musée Beaubourg, the Museum of Texas Tech University… His many books include East to East (published simultaneously by Actes Sud, Dewi Lewis, Petliti, Braus, Apeiron & Lunwerg with a text by Erri de Luca), Entre Parenthèses, (Photo Poche, Actes Sud), Transverses, (Maison Européenne de la Photographie) and Balkans - Transit, with a text by François Maspero (Seuil). Since 1995, Sluban has been photographing teenagers in jails. In each prison he organizes workshops with the young offenders to share his passion. First originated in France, in the prison of Fleury-Mérogis with support from Henri Cartier-Bresson during 7 years, as well as Marc Riboud and William Klein punctually. This commitment was pursued in the disciplinary camps of Eastern Europe –Serbia, Slovenia, Ukraine, Georgia, Moldavia, Latvia – and in the disciplinary centres of Moscow and St Petersburg as well as in Ireland. From 2007 to 2012, Sluban has been working in Central America with imprisoned youngsters belonging to maras (gangs) in Guatemala and Salvador. In 2015, he started photogrphing imprisoned teenagers in Brazil. In 2013, the musée Niépce showed a retrospective of K.Sluban's work, After Darkness, 1995-2012. In 2015/16, he was awarded the Villa Kujoyama Residence in Kyoto, Japan.
Khanh Phan Thi
Vietnam
1985
Hi I'm Khanh Phan, I'm 34 and I'm from Vietnam. I was born in 1985. I was born in Quỳnh Phụ, Thái Bình, a mainly agricultural land. My parents were farmers. I currently work at the bank and I am a bank teller. Photography is my passion. After a broken marriage in 2017, I was heartbroken and desperated and losing faith in life. Then I thought, I couldn't be like this forever, I needed to get over it and I bought a camera. First I went to take photos of flowers in a park near my house, then I realized that Vietnam, my beloved country, has so many hidden fabulous natural and cultural scenes that only few places in the world have. I have been to many places, met and learned about the different regional customs and practices. I then took those pictures, posted them on social media, and became popular with my friends. Photography has changed my life, got me through difficult times and is now my only personal joy today. At first I received strong opposition from my family. My mother thinks photography is too dangerous. I often have to go to the sunrise photograph from 4 am, come home after sunset. There are nights when I wait for the night dew, or milkyway, I have to be outside all night. My mother worried that I would be in danger of being robbed because women who go out late at night are very dangerous. And with my income, my mother is afraid that I will not be able to take care of my son and maintain a stable life if i pursues photography because photographic equipment is very expensive. I have never taken a class in photography and photoshop, I myself researched and practiced on photoshop and learned the experience for myself. I have been taking pictures for 2 years. Finally, with my own efforts, I received some small awards in photography, my mother believed in me and she supported my work. Vietnam is a country with many feudal dynasties. The Vietnamese family is mainly patriarchal. Today Vietnamese women know how to fight for gender equality, a few participate in politics and hold important positions in the state, but the gender discrimination is still quite clear. In addition to working for a living as a man does, we also hold the maternity role, take care of childeren and family, do the houseworks and rarely have the time to do the things we love. In order to persue my passion for photography, I have to sacrifice my happiness. I could not get married again. My income is about 15 million VND per month (about 600$ per month). With that income, it is enough to raise my son and still has a small part of it for photography enthusiasts including equipments and travel expenses. I often had to take pictures alone, and experienced many life-threatening things like staying in the cemetery alone at night when waiting for the sunrise at the churchs in Thanh Xa, Bao Loc, Lam Dong, wrestling with waves at Hang Rai, Phan Rang seashores, climbing mountains, or wading into swamps. Sometimes I forget I'm a woman. I have won a number of awards such as Sonyworld award 2019, Skypixel 2019, Drone award of Siena 2019 but some people do not recognize my ability and efforts. They think I'm lucky and for the reason that I am a woman. Vietnam from Above Vietnam is a beautiful country with a diverse culture. Each region will have many unique cultural features with traditional villages that are hundreds of years old. The Vietnamese people stick to the traditional profession and take it as a way of gratitude to their ancestors. Although the traditional profession is very hard and low-income compared to other modern jobs, the artisans still stick to the profession as flesh and blood and want to pass it on to future generations. The daily lives and jobs of Vietnamese workers are recorded from above.
Chris Anthony
Chris Anthony's world is wonderful collection of object symbols, set design, and character development. His photographs are an intersection of Renaissance set and costume design, melted with a process that employs both antique photographic equipment and technology through post-production. His work is lush and painterly guided by deep hues of color, muted and apart in time. He creates an image that is akin to filmwork in its narrative, both cinematic and containing all the elements of a story left open-ended. His characters linger in a loosely draped studio space, a century gone by, waiting, wandering, lost in thought, casting challenge to unravel the mystery of the objects that accompany. Chris Anthony’s work has been exhibited in Los Angeles, Stockholm, Brooklyn, Hong Kong, Washington D.C., London, Bath, San Francisco and is included in many private and public collections around the world. Publications that have featured Anthony and his work include the Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, Photo District News, Eyemazing, Art News, American Photo, Blink, Paper, Photo+, GUP, Fraction Magazine, Nylon, Black Book, Juxtapoz, Zoom, Angeleno, The Huffington Post, Corrierre della Serra and LA Weekly. Clients include Chiat/Day, Sony Playstation, Sony Music, Universal Music Group, Republic Records, Warner Music, Los Angeles Magazine, Hollywood Records, Reprise, Stuttgart City Ballet, Myspace Records, Dell and USC. Born in Sweden, Anthony currently lives and works in Los Angeles, California. Source: Randall Scott Projects Chris Anthony is an artist from Stockholm, Sweden, primarily known for his macabre and Victorian Gothic-inspired photographs. Anthony has also directed commercials for companies such as Deutsche Telekom and music videos for groups such as The Dandy Warhols. Anthony currently specializes in photography. He often uses vintage lenses produced between 1860 and 1910 to help create an "otherworldly atmosphere.". Antony uses 5x7 and 8x10 formats in conjunction with digital scanners in order to manipulate the images in Photoshop. Anthony is currently based in Los Angeles, California. Anthony has won several prestigious awards including: Black Book Raw - 50 Photographers 2008 Go Indie Photo Contest/PDN Stock Photo Guide 2008 - Professional Grand Prize Winner & Category Winner for "I'm the Most Normal Person I Know" The 2007 Grand Prize in the American Photo Images of the Year competition for "Victims and Avengers" First place in the music advertising category in the International Photography Awards 2007's Professional Photographer of the Year Competition. American Photography 23rd Annual 2007, My Chemical Romance "The Black Parade". Source: Wikipedia
Dorte Verner
Dorte Verner was born in Denmark and lives in Washington, D.C, USA. She holds a Ph.D. in economics and a passion for bringing change and attention to vulnerable people and voiceless people. Dorte's expertise in international development allows her to understand the reality in the environments she photographs. Dorte has won numerous prizes and awards for her photographs, e.g. she won the Nikon-100-Year Photo Contest 2016-2017, specifically the Most Popular Entry: Disappearing Fishing Method by Moken out of 80,000 submitted photographs. In the 2017, Dorte received first and third prize in Culture and Traditions, respectively in prestigious International Photo Award (IPA) by the Lucie Foundation and the Silver Prize in PX3. Dorte has photographed since 2011 and is a self-taught photographer. Dorte's photography focuses on people that has little voice and never make the news, but who have important knowledge and experiences to share. She captures their strength and beauty through intimate moments. She has focused on nomads, refugees, indigenous people, and people affected by climate change, among other changes. Dorte's portfolio centers on environmental portraits, with images inspired by the lives and livelihoods of people living in extreme situations. These people live in remote geographical locations, including: rural areas in Africa such as refugee camps; the Arabian Desert; Latin America's Amazon and drylands; and Asia's plains and mountains. Dorte's photographs are featured in many shows and galleries in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the USA. Currently her photographs are exhibited in The Silk Road, Photography Biennial of Tianshui, China; and in two solo exhibitor shows: The Sahel, The World Bank, USA and Beyond Borders, Henry Luce III Center for Arts and Religion, Washington D.C., USA. They are also on permanent display in International Organizations and published in magazines such as GEO and Vanity Fair and on the cover of books and publications.
Quentin Shih
China
1975
QUENTIN SHIH (a.k.a. SHI XIAOFAN), born in Tianjin, China in 1975, lives and works as a camera artist, film maker between New York and Beijing.A self-taught photographer, he began to shoot photos in college for local underground musicians and artists. After graduation, he came to Beijing to develop his career as a professional photographer/artist. From 2000 to 2002, he participated in exhibitions in China and America with his fine art photographic works and his works have been collected by American museums, such as the Danforth Museum of Art and the Worcester Art Museum. During the last few years, he has been producing work for top commercial clients and international publications such as Adidas, Microsoft, Sony, Siemens, Vogue, Harper's Bazaar and Esquire. His advertising campaigns work have won numerous prestigious international advertising and photography awards. In 2007, Quentin was named 'Photographer of the Year' by Esquire Magazine (China). In the following years, he joined lots group exhibitions and solo exhibitions in China, Europe, Southeast Asia and United States. As one of the leading Chinese photographers, Quentin Shih is well recognized for his individual artistic style which utilizes vast sets and dramatic lighting to engage in emotional narratives. Now, he is returning to his roots in fine art photography and challenging its techniques and concepts into his commercial and fashion photography in order to achieve a unique symbiosis. At the same time, he is also working on his film projects, A Parisian Movie (2011) was his first short movie shot in Paris, France.
William Castellana
United States
1968
William Castellana is an award-winning photographer whose images have been published internationally in periodicals such as Silvershotz (The International Journal of Contemporary Photography), Rangefinder, Creative Quarterly (The Journal of Art & Design), Newsweek, Time, New York, and others. His photographs reside in the permanent collections of over 40 museums in the US including the Hood Museum of Art, Museum of the City of New York, Museum of Modern Art Library, Yale University Library, New Britain Museum of American Art, Southeast Museum of Photography, and the Hunter Museum of American Art. About the Series Street photography, in terms of the "unposed," is a practice that serves the compelling need to distill the ebb and flow of visually complex interactions into static form - forever fixed and with meaning. It is this desire to understand more deeply the rhythms of humanity that takes me to the streets in search of clarity. In their simplest sense, the images in this series form a social document of a people and a place; namely, a sect of Hasidic Jews known as the Satmars. This sect of Hasidic Jews was founded in Satu Mare, Romania by Rabbi Joel Teitelbaum in the early 20th century. After WWII, Teitelbaum settled in Williamsburg, Brooklyn to lay the groundwork for a religious ideology that would launch one of the largest Hasidic movements in the world. Since Teitelbaum's death, the Satmar community has grown exponentially and continues to thrive economically and spiritually through closely observed traditions and social mechanisms. Between the fall of 2013 and 2014, I set out to photograph my neighbors in the one-half square mile area below Division Avenue, which demarcates the religious from the secular communities of Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The photographs in this book are constrained to the "neighborhood view," since my outsider status made access to a more privileged look impossible. As an outsider, what I witnessed through my camera during that period was forever new and unique compared to my everyday routine and what the rest of the city's inhabitants were pulsing to. For me, street photography is about the preservation of time and place - a kind of poetry that distills both in equal measure.
Steve Schapiro
United States
1934
Steve Schapiro discovered photography at the age of nine at summer camp. Excited by the camera's potential, Schapiro spent the next decades prowling the streets of his native New York City trying to emulate the work of French photographer Henri Cartier Bresson, whom he greatly admired. His first formal education in photography came when he studied under the photojournalist W. Eugene Smith. Smith's influence on Schapiro was far-reaching. He taught him the technical skills he need to succeed as a photographer, but also informed his personal outlook and world-view. Schapiro's lifelong interest in social documentary, and his consistently empathetic portrayal of his subjects, is an outgrowth of his days spent with Smith and the development of a concerned humanistic approach to photography. Beginning in 1961, Schapiro worked as a freelance photojournalist. His photographs have appeared internationally in the pages and on the covers of magazines, including Life, Look, Time, Newsweek, Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, Sports Illustrated, People and Paris Match. During the decade of the 1960s in America, called the "golden age in photojournalism," Schapiro produced photo-essays on subjects as varied as narcotics addition, Easter in Harlem, the Apollo Theater, Haight-Ashbury, political protest, the presidential campaign of Robert Kennedy, poodles and presidents. A particularly poignant story about the lives of migrant workers in Arkansas, produced in 1961 for Jubilee and picked up by the New York Times Magazine, both informed readers about the migrant workers' difficult living conditions and brought about tangible change-the installation of electricity in their camps. An activist as well as documentarian, Schapiro covered many stories related the Civil Rights movement, including the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, the push for voter registration and the Selma to Montgomery march. Called by Life to Memphis after Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination, Schapiro produced some of the most iconic images of that tragic event. In the 1970s, as picture magazines like Life folded, Schapiro shifted attention to film. With major motion picture companies as his clients, Schapiro produced advertising materials, publicity stills and posters for films as varied as the Godfather, the Way We Were, Taxi Driver, Midnight Cowboy, Rambo, Risky Business and Billy Madison. He also collaborated on projects with musicians, such as Barbra Streisand and David Bowie, for record covers and related art. Schapiro's photographs have been widely reproduced in magazines and books related to American cultural history from the 1960s forward, civil rights, and motion picture film. Monographs of Schapiro's work include American Edge (2000); a book about the spirit of the turbulent decade of the 1960s in America, and Schapiro's Heroes (2007), which offers long intimate profiles of ten iconic figures: Muhammad Ali, Andy Warhol, Martin Luther King Jr., Robert Kennedy, Ray Charles, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, James Baldwin, Samuel Beckett, Barbra Streisand and Truman Capote. Schapiro's Heroes was the winner of an Art Directors Club Cube Award. Taschen released The Godfather Family Album: Photographs by Steve Schapiro in 2008, followed by Taxi Driver (2010), both initially in signed limited editions. This was followed by Then And Now (2012), Bliss, about the changing Hippie Generation (2015), BOWIE (2016), Mercicordia (20126) an amazing facility for people with developmental problems, and in 2017 books about Muhammad Ali and Taschen's The Fire Next Time with James Baldwin's text and Schapiro's Civil Rights photos from 1963 to 1968. Since the Metropolitan Museum of Art's seminal 1969 exhibition, Harlem on my Mind, which included a number of his images, Schapiro's photographs have appeared in museum and gallery exhibitions world-wide. The High Museum of Art's Road to Freedom, which traveled widely in the United States, includes numerous of his photographs from the civil rights movement and Martin Luther King Jr. Recent one-man shows have been mounted in Los Angeles, London, Santa Fe, Amsterdam, Paris. And Berlin. Steve has had large museum retrospective exhibitions in the United States, Spain, Russia, and Germany. Schapiro continues to work in a documentary vein. His recent series' of photographs have been about India, Music Festivals, and Black Lives Matter. Schapiro's work is represented in many private and public collections, including the Smithsonian Museum, the High Museum of Art, the New York Metropolitan Museum and the Getty Museum. He has just Received the James Joyce Award and fellowship to University College in Dublin/ Previous recipients included Bishop Tutu, Jesse Jackson and J.K. Rowling Discover Steve Schapiro's Interview
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