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Juan Cristóbal Cobo
Juan Cristóbal Cobo
Juan Cristóbal Cobo

Juan Cristóbal Cobo

Country: Colombia/United States
Birth: 1963

After 30 years as a cinematographer and commercial director, I find myself being strongly drawn to the art of still photography. Unlike the controlled chaos of a film set, I find peace in getting lost among strangers, immersed in diverse surroundings, ready to capture spontaneous moments with a solitary click of my shutter.
 

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More Great Photographers To Discover

Roger Ballen
United States
1950
One of the most influential and important photographic artists of the 21st century, Roger Ballen's photographs span over forty years. His strange and extreme works confront the viewer and challenge them to come with him on a journey into their own minds as he explores the deeper recesses of his own. Roger Ballen was born in New York in 1950 but for over 30 years he has lived and worked in South Africa. His work as a geologist took him out into the countryside and led him to take up his camera and explore the hidden world of small South African towns. At first he explored the empty streets in the glare of the midday sun but, once he had made the step of knocking on people's doors, he discovered a world inside these houses which was to have a profound effect on his work. These interiors with their distinctive collections of objects and the occupants within these closed worlds took his unique vision on a path from social critique to the creation of metaphors for the inner mind. After 1994 he no longer looked to the countryside for his subject matter finding it closer to home in Johannesburg. Over the past thirty five years his distinctive style of photography has evolved using a simple square format in stark and beautiful black and white. In the earlier works in the exhibition his connection to the tradition of documentary photography is clear but through the 1990s he developed a style he describes as 'documentary fiction'. After 2000 the people he first discovered and documented living on the margins of South African society increasingly became a cast of actors working with Ballen in the series' Outland (2000, revised in 2015) and Shadow Chamber (2005) collaborating to create powerful psychodramas. The line between fantasy and reality in his subsequent series' Boarding House (2009) and Asylum of the Birds (2014) became increasingly blurred and in these series he employed drawings, painting, collage and sculptural techniques to create elaborate sets. There was an absence of people altogether, replaced by photographs of individuals now used as props, by doll or dummy parts or where people did appear it was as disembodied hands, feet and mouths poking disturbingly through walls and pieces of rag. The often improvised scenarios were now completed by the unpredictable behaviour of animals whose ambiguous behaviour became crucial to the overall meaning of the photographs. In this phase Ballen invented a new hybrid aesthetic, but one still rooted firmly in black and white photography. In his artistic practice Ballen has increasingly been won over by the possibilities of integrating photography and drawing. He has expanded his repertoire and extended his visual language. By integrating drawing into his photographic and video works, the artist has not only made a lasting contribution to the field of art, but equally has made a powerful commentary about the human condition and its creative potential. His contribution has not been limited to stills photography and Ballen has been the creator of a number of acclaimed and exhibited short films that dovetail with his photographic series'. The collaborative film I Fink You Freeky, created for the cult band Die Antwoord in 2012, has garnered over 125-million hits on YouTube. He has taken his work into the realms of sculpture and installation, at Paris' Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature (2017), Australia's Sydney College of the Arts (2016) and at the Serlachius Museum in Finland (2015) is to name but a few. The spectacular installation at Les Rencontres d'Arles 2017, "House of the Ballenesque" was voted as one of the best exhibitions for 2017. In 2018 at the Wiesbaden Biennale, Germany, another installation "Roger Ballen's Bazaar/Bizarre" was created in an abandoned shopping centre. Ballen's series, The Theatre of Apparitions (2016), is inspired by the sight of these hand-drawn carvings on blacked-out windows in an abandoned women's prison. Ballen started to experiment using different spray paints on glass and then 'drawing on' or removing the paint with a sharp object to let natural light through. The results have been likened prehistoric cave-paintings: the black, dimensionless spaces on the glass are canvases onto which Ballen has carved his thoughts and emotions. He also released a related animated film, Theatre of Apparitions, which has been nominated for various awards. In September 2017 Thames & Hudson published a large volume of the collected photography with extended commentary by Ballen titled Ballenesque Roger Ballen: A Retrospective.
Ragnar Axelsson
Iceland
1958
For over 40 years, Ragnar Axelsson, Rax, has been photographing the people, animals, and landscape of the most remote regions of the Arctic, including Iceland, Siberia, and Greenland. In stark black-and-white images, he captures the elemental, human experience of nature at the edge of the liveable world, making visible the extraordinary relationships between the people of the Arctic and their extreme environment – relationships now being altered in profound and complex ways by the unprecedented changes in climate. A photojournalist at Morgunbladid since 1976, Ragnar has also worked on free-lance assignment in Latvia, Lithuania, Mozambique, South Africa, China, and Ukraine. His photographs have been featured in LIFE, Newsweek, Stern, GEO, National Geographic, Time, and Polka, and have been exhibited widely. Ragnar has published 7 books in various international editions. His most recent, Jökull (Glacier) was published in 2018, with a foreword by Olafur Eliasson. Andlit Nordursins (The Face of The North), was published in 2016, with a foreword by Mary Ellen Mark, and won the 2016 Icelandic Literary Prize for non-fiction. Other awards for Ragnar's work include numerous Icelandic Photojournalist Awards; The Leica Oskar Barnack Award (Honorable Mention); The Grand Prize, Photo de Mer, Vannes; and Iceland's highest honor, the Order of the Falcon, Knight's Cross. Ragnar is currently working on a 3-year project documenting people's lives in all 8 countries of the Arctic. At this pivotal time, as climate change irrevocably disrupts the physical and traditional realities of their world, Ragnar is bearing witness to the immediate and direct threat global warming poses to their survival.
José Ramón Bas
In 1979 José Ramón Bas was teaching himself photography when he met photographer Florencio García Méndez, who gave him a helping hand. In 1985 he began formal studies at the Escuela de la Imagen y el Diseño (IDEP) in Barcelona, where he was quickly attracted to contemporary forms of expression and the theme of travel memories. In 1989 he moved definitively to Barcelona and in 1997 he won the La Caixa Foundation’s Fotopress Award for young artists. He began working with the Berini Gallery in Barcelona and in 1998 moved into a studio in the Centro de Arte Contemporáneo Piramidón. After joining Galerie VU’ in 2001, he won the Federico Vender Prize in Italy in 2003, followed by the Arena Foundation Prize in 2004. In 2005 he began teaching the Masters in Creative Photography at EFTI in Madrid. He has exhibited in Holland, Boston, Lisbon and elsewhere.Source: www.rencontres-arles.com "He is an incurable traveller. He is a poet; to him it's like breathing. He is unclassifiable and, being in love with spaces and people, he invents objets that preserve the memory of his experiences and his emotions. He is not concerned about building a body of work but rather endeavors to reproduce times spent traveling in Africa, Cuba or Brazil. During his travels, he photographs, in a playful, compulsive way. Then, when he gets back to Barcelona, he looks at his contact sheets and decides to transform the images that he has recorded into objets. He prints them, with little interest for technique, and then he works on them: he may write on the proof, scratch it, or mistreat it, depending on the mood or inspiration of the moment, before setting it in a resin inclusion and dedicating it, between imagery and sculpture, to its status as an objet. For him, each negative is an opening onto infinite possibilities, which he will realize in various formats, from the square to the panoramic, and which are to convey his memory of the travel experience. Then, his parallelepipeds, which are lighter than air, occupy the wall with subtlety and encourage us to dream and be at peace."-- Christian Caujolle, Agence VU’ Galerie Source: Galerie VU
Willy Ronis
France
1910 | † 2009
Willy Ronis was a French photographer, the best-known of whose work shows life in post-war Paris and Provence. Ronis was born in Paris; his father was a Jewish refugee from Odessa, and his mother was a refugee from Lithuania, both escaped from the pogroms. His father opened a photography studio in Montmartre, and his mother gave piano lessons. The boy's early interest was music and he hoped to become a composer. Returning from compulsory military service in 1932, his violin studies were put on hold because his father's cancer required Ronis to take over the family portrait business; Ronis' passion for music has been observed in his photographs. His father died in 1936, whereupon the business collapsed and Ronis went freelance, his first photographs being published in Regards. In 1937 he met David Szymin and Robert Capa, and did his first work for Plaisir de France; in 1938–39 he reported on a strike at Citroën and traveled in the Balkans. With Cartier-Bresson, Ronis belonged to Association des Écrivains et Artistes Révolutionnaires, and remained a man of the left. The work of photographers, Alfred Stieglitz and Ansel Adams inspired Ronis to begin exploring photography. After his father's death, in 1936, Ronis closed the studio and joined the photo agency Rapho, with Brassaï, Robert Doisneau and Ergy Landau. Ronis became the first French photographer to work for Life. In 1953, Edward Steichen included Ronis, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Doisneau, Izis, and Brassaï in an exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art titled Five French Photographers. In 1955, Ronis was included in the Family of Man exhibition. The Venice Biennale awarded him its Gold Medal in 1957. Ronis began teaching in the 1950s, and taught at the School of Fine Arts in Avignon, Aix-en-Provence and Saint Charles, Marseilles. In 1979 he was awarded the Grand Prix des Arts et Lettres for Photography by the Minister for Culture. Ronis won the Prix Nadar in 1981 for his photobook, Sur le fil du hasard. (Source: en.wikipedia.org)
Shoji Ueda
Japan
1913 | † 2000
Shoji Ueda was a photographer of Tottori, Japan, who combined surrealist compositional elements with realistic depiction. Most of the work for which Ueda is widely known was photographed within a strip of about 350 km running from Igumi (on the border of Tottori and Hyogo) to Hagi (Yamaguchi). Ueda was born on 27 March 1913 in Sakai (now Sakaiminato), Tottori. His father was a manufacturer and seller of geta; Shoji was the only child who survived infancy. The boy received a camera from his father in 1930 and quickly became very involved in photography, submitting his photographs to magazines; his photograph Child on the Beach, Hama no kodomo) appeared in the December issue of Camera. In 1930 Ueda formed the photographic group Chugoku Shashinka Shudan with Ryosuke Ishizu, Kunio Masaoka, and Akira Nomura; from 1932 till 1937 the group exhibited its works four times at Konishiroku Hall in Nihonbashi, Tokyo. Ueda studied at the Oriental School of Photography in Tokyo in 1932 and returned to Sakai, opening a studio, Ueda Shashinjo, when only nineteen. Ueda married in 1935, and his wife helped him to run his photographic studio. His marriage was a happy one; his wife and their three children are recurring models in his works. Ueda was active as an amateur as well as a professional photographer, participating in various groups. In 1941 Ueda gave up photography, not wanting to become a military photographer. (Toward the end of the war, he was forced to photograph the result of a fire.) He resumed shortly after the war, and in 1947 he joined the Tokyo-based group Ginryusha. Ueda found the sand dunes of Tottori excellent backdrops for single and group portraits, typically in square format and until relatively late all in black and white. In 1949, inspired by Kineo Kuwabara, then the editor of Camera, Ueda photographed the dunes with Ken Domon and Yoichi Midorikawa. Some of these have Domon as a model, far from his gruff image. The photographs were first published in the September and October 1949 issues of Camera and have been frequently anthologized. Ueda started photographing nudes on the dunes in 1951, and from 1970 he used them as the backdrop for fashion photography. The postwar concentration on realism led by Domon, followed by the rejection of realism led by Shomei Tomatsu, sidelined Ueda's cool vision. Ueda participated in "Japanese Photography" at the New York Museum of Modern Art in 1960 and had solo exhibitions in Japan, but had to wait till a 1974 retrospective held in the Nikon Salon in Tokyo and Osaka before his return to popularity. Ueda remained based in Tottori, opening a studio and camera shop in Yonago in 1965, and in 1972 moving to a new three-storey building in Yonago. The building served as a base for local photographic life. From 1975 until 1994, Ueda was a professor at Kyushu Sangyo University. Critical and popular recognition came from the mid seventies. A succession of book-length collections of new and old appeared. Ueda weathered the death in 1983 of his wife, and continued working well into the 1990s. He died of a heart attack on 4 July 2000. The Shoji Ueda Museum of Photography (Ueda Shoji Shashin Bijutsukan), devoted to his works, opened in Kishimoto (now Hoki, near Yonago) Tottori Prefecture in 1995. Source: Wikipedia
Francesca Woodman
United States
1958 | † 1981
Francesca Woodman was an American photographer best known for her black and white pictures featuring herself and female models. Many of her photographs show young women who are nude, blurred (due to movement and long exposure times), merging with their surroundings, or whose faces are obscured. Woodman attended public school in Boulder, Colorado, between 1963 and 1971 except for second grade, which she attended in Italy. She began high school in 1972 at the private Massachusetts boarding school Abbot Academy, where she began to develop her photographic skills and became interested in the art form. Abbot Academy merged with Phillips Academy in 1973; Woodman graduated from the public Boulder High School in 1975. Through 1975, she spent summers with her family in Italy. She spent her time in Italy in the Florentine countryside, where she lived on an old farm with her parents. Beginning in 1975, Woodman attended the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) in Providence, Rhode Island. She studied in Rome between 1977 and 1978 in a RISD honors program. As she spoke fluent Italian, she was able to befriend Italian intellectuals and artists. She went back to Rhode Island in late 1978 to graduate from RISD. Woodman moved to New York City in 1979. After spending the summer of 1979 in Stanwood, Seattle whilst visiting her boyfriend at Pilchuck Glass School, she returned to New York "to make a career in photography." She sent portfolios of her work to fashion photographers, but "her solicitations did not lead anywhere. In the summer of 1980 she was an artist-in-residence at the MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, New Hampshire. In late 1980 Woodman became depressed due to the failure of her work to attract attention and to a broken relationship. She survived a suicide attempt, after which she lived with her parents in Manhattan. On January 19, 1981, she committed suicide by jumping out a loft window in New York. An acquaintance wrote, "things had been bad, there had been therapy, things had gotten better, guard had been let down." Her father has suggested that Woodman's suicide was related to an unsuccessful application for funding from the National Endowment for the Arts. Source Wikipedia
Yuyang Liu
China
1991
Yuyang Liu, b.1991, graduated from Department of History, East China Normal University. He is a freelancer photographer based in Guangzhou, China. When he was a high school student, he started to love taking photos and decided to be a photographer. His images focus on the change and connection of people in the changing society. He had won Magnum Foundation Human Rights & Photography Fellowship, Abigail Cohen Fellowship in Documentary Photography and Ian Parry Scholarship. His work was published on TIME, New York Times, the Guardian, NPR and BBC World Service. Awards Ian Parry Scholarship, 2015 Abigail Cohen Fellowship in Documentary Photography (Magnum Foundation/ChinaFile, 2015 National Geographic Photo Contest China, Honorable Mention, 2014 Magnum Foundation: The Human Rights & Photography Fellowship, 2014 ND Scholarship, 3rd Prize, 2014 2013 Shanghai Youth Art Exhibition, Shortlisted, 2013 5th Foundation of OFPiX Photo Agency, Shortlisted, 2012 Exhibitions & Events Magnum Foundation Human Rights & Photography Fellowship Program Forum: Inter Art Center and Gallery, Beijing, China, 2014 Home of Youth: High School No.7 Chengdu (multimedia):PhotoChina Original International Photographic Exhibition, Confucius’ Hall, Guiyang, China, 2014 Neither Here Nor There (multimedia): LOOKbetween 2014, Virginia, USA, 2014 Auspicious Things: Lishui International Photography Festival Hand-made Books Workshop, Pump Factory, Lishui, China, 2013 Auspicious Things: 2013 Shanghai Youth Art Exhibition, China Art Museum, Shanghai, China, 2013 About the project: At home with mental illness: In 2014 there were reportedly 16 million people in China living with severe mental illness. 80% of patients diagnosed did not receive sufficient or necessary treatment due to China’s flawed health care system. Most people who suffer from these illnesses are forced to live at home with their families or on their own. They are overlooked or often not recognized at all within society, they are invisible. So I decide to film these patients and families who have mental illness such as psychosis or dysgnosia. I’ve been to several towns and villages in Guangdong Province which is the richest region in southern China and filmed some mental illness at home. This project aims to explore the unique relationship between the mentally ill, their families, and society at large.
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Call for Entries
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