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Marcel Van Balken
Marcel Van Balken
Marcel Van Balken

Marcel Van Balken

Country: Netherlands

Marcel van Balken is a self-taught photographer from the Netherlands for about 40 years. As a photographer he is interested in specific themes and conceptual photography. He believes in working thematically with an absolute preference for surrealistic and creative photography. He gives himself a kind of theme or assignment and will not stop making photographs unless he thinks he got everything out of this assignment.

Marcel moves as a photographer ideally in the field of surrealism and magic realism. He prefers to create photographic images inspired by everyday reality combined with his own imagination. He strives to carefully compose photographic compositions of realistic looking scenes in unreal and sometimes magical spheres.

With his pictures he wants to tell a story with some level of abstraction: the image is not an explicit example of the concept, but a general expression of the idea. His goal in conceptual photography is to create a concrete image of abstract definition; to take a concept or idea and create a visual representation of it. A way of looking at the world in a completely different, sometimes surrealistic, manner.
 

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Doris Ulmann
United States
1882 | † 1934
Doris Ulmann was an American photographer, best known for her portraits of the people of Appalachia, particularly craftsmen and musicians, made between 1928 and 1934. Doris Ulmann was a native of New York City, the daughter of Bernhard and Gertrude (Mass) Ulmann. Educated at the Ethical Culture Fieldston School, a socially liberal organization that championed individual worth regardless of ethnic background or economic condition and Columbia University, she intended to become a teacher of psychology. Her interest in photography was at first a hobby but after 1918 she devoted herself to the art professionally. She practiced Pictorialism and was a member of the Pictorial Photographers of America. Ulmann documented the rural people of the South, particularly the mountain peoples of Appalachia and the Gullahs of the Sea Islands, with a profound respect for her sitters and an ethnographer's eye for culture. Ulmann was trained as a pictorialist and graduated from the Clarence H. White School of Modern Photography. Other students of the school who went on to become notable photographers include Margaret Bourke-White, Anne Brigman, Dorothea Lange, Paul Outerbridge, and Karl Struss. Her work was exhibited in various New York galleries, and published in Theatre Arts Monthly, Mentor, Scribner's Magazine, and Survey Graphic. Ulmann was married for a time to Dr. Charles H. Jaeger, a fellow Pictorialist photographer and an orthopedic surgeon on the staff of Columbia University Medical School and a likely connection for her 1920 Hoeber publication The Faculty of the College of Physicians & Surgeons, Columbia University in the City of New York: Twenty-Four Portraits. This was followed in 1922 by the publication of her Book of Portraits of the Medical Faculty of the Johns Hopkins University; the 1925 A Portrait Gallery of American Editors, and in 1933, Roll, Jordan Roll, the text by Julia Peterkin. The fine art edition of Roll, Jordan Roll is considered to be one of the more beautiful books ever produced. In an interview with Dale Warren of Bookman, Doris Ulmann referred to her particular interest in portraits. "The faces of men and women in the street are probably as interesting as literary faces, but my particular human angle leads me to men and women who write. I am not interested exclusively in literary faces, because I have been more deeply moved by some of my mountaineers than by any literary person. A face that has the marks of having lived intensely, that expresses some phase of life, some dominant quality or intellectual power, constitutes for me an interesting face. For this reason the face of an older person, perhaps not beautiful in the strictest sense, is usually more appealing than the face of a younger person who has scarcely been touched by life." Ulmann's early work includes a series of portraits of prominent intellectuals, artists and writers: William Butler Yeats, John Dewey, Max Eastman, Sinclair Lewis, Lewis Mumford, Joseph Wood Krutch, Martha Graham, Anna Pavlova, Paul Robeson, and Lillian Gish. From 1927, Ulmann was assisted on her rural travels by John Jacob Niles, a musician and folklorist who collected ballads while Ulmann photographed. In 1932 Ulmann began her most important series, assembling documentation of Appalachian folk arts and crafts for Allen Eaton's landmark 1937 book, Handicrafts of the Southern Highlands. In failing health, she collapsed in August 1934 while working near Asheville, North Carolina, and returned to New York. Ulmann died August 28, 1934. Upon Ulmann's death, a foundation she had established took custody of her images. Allen Eaton, John Jacob Niles, Olive Dame Campbell (of the John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, North Carolina), Ulmann's brother-in-law Henry L. Necarsulmer, and Berea schoolteacher Helen Dingman were named trustees. Samuel H. Lifshey, a New York commercial photographer, developed the negatives Ulmann had exposed during her final trip, and then made proof prints from the vast archive of more than 10,000 glass plate negatives. (Lifshey also developed the 2,000 exposed negatives from Ulmann's last expedition, and produced the prints for Eaton's book.) The proof prints were mounted into albums, which were annotated by John Jacob Niles and Allen Eaton, chair of the foundation and another noted folklorist, to indicate names of the sitters and dates of capture. The Georgia Museum of Art at the University of Georgia organized a major retrospective of her work in 2018 and published the largest book on her work to date. The Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division holds more than 150 photographic prints by Ulmann.Source: Wikipedia
Milos Nejezchleb
Czech Republic
1978
The Czech photographer Miloš Nejezchleb was born in 1978. He lives in the Czech Republic and has got three children. He has only been involved in conceptual photography since 2016; however, he has already won several prestigious international awards. He is the absolute winner of the Fine Art Photography Award in London (2021), where he won the FINE ART PHOTOGRAHER OF THE YEAR title. He is the winner of the Malta International Photo Award (2020), two-time gold medalist in the Trierenberg Super Circuit competition in Linz and he is also, among others, silver medalist in IPA 2021 - International Photography Award. The most characteristic features of his photographs are noticeably colorful elements with a clear focus on the art of photography. Miloš often chooses current social topics, which he processes as stories using photographic series. These stories are narrated by people. He works on such series on his own and ensures the entire Art direction. He himself designs styling, looks for locations and carries out post-production. Besides conceptual art, where he points out currently discussed topics, Miloš has 2long-term thematic photographic cycles which document stories of real people. The most famous of them is photographic cycle "Stronger", in which Milos takes photos of people who have gone through hard times in their lives, and thanks to this experience they have become stronger personalities. Milos is at the beginning of his photographic career. He was fascinated by art photography when he bought his first camera. It happened before the birth of his first daughter. He is currently working on other production-intensive projects.
Julia Margaret Cameron
United Kingdom
1815 | † 1879
Julia Margaret Cameron (née Pattle; 11 June 1815 – 26 January 1879) was a British photographer. She became known for her portraits of celebrities of the time, and for photographs with Arthurian and other legendary themes. Cameron's photographic career was short, spanning eleven years of her life (1864–1875). She took up photography at the relatively late age of 48, when she was given a camera as a present. Although her style was not widely appreciated in her own day, her work has had an impact on modern photographers, especially her closely cropped portraits. Her house, Dimbola Lodge, on the Isle of Wight is open to the public. Julia Margaret Cameron was born Julia Margaret Pattle in Calcutta, India, to James Pattle, a British official of the East India Company, and Adeline de l'Etang. Adeline de l'Etang was the daughter of Chevalier Antoine de l'Etang, who had been a page and probable lover of Marie Antoinette and an officer in the Garde du Corps of King Louis XVI. He had married the Indian-born Therese Blin de Grincourt a daughter of French aristocrats. Julia was from a family of celebrated beauties, and was considered an ugly duckling among her sisters. As her great-niece Virginia Woolf wrote in the 1926 introduction to the Hogarth Press collection of Cameron's photographs, "In the trio [of sisters] where...[one] was Beauty; and [one] Dash; Mrs. Cameron was undoubtedly Talent". Cameron's sister Virginia was the mother of the temperance leader Lady Henry Somerset. Cameron was educated in France, but returned to India, and in 1838 married Charles Hay Cameron, a jurist and member of the Law Commission stationed in Calcutta, who was twenty years her senior. In 1848, Charles Hay Cameron retired, and the family moved to London, England. Cameron's sister, Sarah Prinsep, had been living in London and hosted a salon at Little Holland House, the dower house of Holland House in Kensington, where famous artists and writers regularly visited. In 1860, Cameron visited the estate of poet Alfred Lord Tennyson on the Isle of Wight. Julia was taken with the location, and the Cameron family purchased a property on the island soon after. They called it Dimbola Lodge after the family's Ceylon estate. In 1863, when Cameron was 48 years old, her daughter gave her a camera as a present, thereby starting her career as a photographer. Within a year, Cameron became a member of the Photographic Societies of London and Scotland. In her photography, Cameron strove to capture beauty. She wrote, "I longed to arrest all the beauty that came before me and at length the longing has been satisfied." The basic techniques of soft-focus "fancy portraits", which she later developed, were taught to her by David Wilkie Wynfield. She later wrote that "to my feeling about his beautiful photography I owed all my attempts and indeed consequently all my success". Lord Tennyson, her neighbour on the Isle of Wight, often brought friends to see the photographer. Cameron was sometimes obsessive about her new occupation, with subjects sitting for countless exposures in the blinding light as she laboriously coated, exposed, and processed each wet plate. The results were, in fact, unconventional in their intimacy and their particular visual habit of created blur through both long exposures, where the subject moved and by leaving the lens intentionally out of focus. This led some of her contemporaries to complain and even ridicule the work, but her friends and family were supportive, and she was one of the most prolific and advanced of amateurs in her time. Her enthusiasm for her craft meant that her children and others sometimes tired of her endless photographing, but it also means that we are left with some of the best of records of her children and of the many notable figures of the time who visited her. During her career, Cameron registered each of her photographs with the copyright office and kept detailed records. Her shrewd business sense is one reason that so many of her works survive today. Another reason that many of Cameron's portraits are significant is because they are often the only existing photograph of historical figures. Many paintings and drawings exist, but, at the time, photography was still a new and challenging medium for someone outside a typical portrait studio. The bulk of Cameron's photographs fit into two categories – closely framed portraits and illustrative allegories based on religious and literary works. In the allegorical works in particular, her artistic influence was clearly Pre-Raphaelite, with far-away looks and limp poses and soft lighting. Cameron's sister ran the artistic scene at Little Holland House, which gave her many famous subjects for her portraits. Some of her famous subjects include: Charles Darwin, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Robert Browning, John Everett Millais, William Michael Rossetti, Edward Burne-Jones, Ellen Terry and George Frederic Watts. Most of these distinctive portraits are cropped closely around the subject's face and are in soft focus. Cameron was often friends with these Victorian celebrities, and tried to capture their personalities in her photos. Among Cameron's lesser-known images are those she took of Mary Emily ('May') Prinsep, wife of Hallam Tennyson, 2nd Baron Tennyson, the elder son of Alfred Tennyson and a British colonial administrator. Cameron's portraits of May Prinsep, taken on the Isle of Wight, show a somewhat plain woman shot head-on and without affect. Cameron's posed photographic illustrations represent the other half of her work. In these illustrations, she frequently photographed historical scenes or literary works, which often took the quality of oil paintings. However, she made no attempt in hiding the backgrounds. Cameron's friendship with Tennyson led to him asking her to photograph illustrations for his Idylls of the King. These photographs are designed to look like oil paintings from the same time period, including rich details like historical costumes and intricate draperies. Today, these posed works are sometimes dismissed by art critics. Nevertheless, Cameron saw these photographs as art, just like the oil paintings they imitated. In 1875, the Camerons moved back to Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). Julia continued to practice photography but complained in letters about the difficulties of getting chemicals and pure water to develop and print photographs. Also, in India, she did not have access to Little Holland House's artistic community. She also did not have a market to distribute her photographs as she had in England. Because of this, Cameron took fewer pictures in India. These pictures were of posed Indian people, paralleling the posed pictures that Cameron had taken of neighbours in England. Almost none of Cameron's work from India survives. Cameron caught a bad chill and died in Kalutara, Ceylon in 1879. Cameron's niece Julia Prinsep Stephen (née Jackson; 1846–1895) wrote the biography of Cameron, which appeared in the first edition of the Dictionary of National Biography, 1886. Julia Stephen was the mother of Virginia Woolf, who wrote a comic portrayal of the "Freshwater circle" in her only play Freshwater. Woolf edited, with Roger Fry, a collection of Cameron's photographs. However, it was not until 1948 that her photography became more widely known when Helmut Gernsheim wrote a book on her work. In 1977 Gernsheim noted that although a great photographer, Cameron had "left no mark" on the aesthetic history of photography because her work was not appreciated by her contemporaries and thus not imitated. But this situation was evidently already changing by then thanks to his popularisation of her work, for instance in 1975 Imogen Cunningham had commented "I'd like to see portrait photography go right back to Julia Margaret Cameron. I don't think there's anyone better." In 2013, Getty Images says in its caption of a portrait of Alice Liddell (whom Cameron photographed as Alethea, Pomona, Ceres, and St. Agnes in 1872) that "Cameron's photographic portraits are considered among the finest in the early history of photography". Source: Wikipedia
Sam Abell
United States
1945
Sam Abell is an American photographer known for his frequent publication of photographs in National Geographic. His love of photography began due to the influence of his father who was a geography teacher who ran a photography club. In his book The Photographic Life, Abell mentions a photograph he made while on an outing with his father, a photograph that subsequently won a small prize in a photo contest. He credits that prize as being a major influence on the direction his life would take. Abell was the photographer and co-editor for his high school yearbook and newspaper. Abell graduated from the University of Kentucky in Lexington where he majored in English, minored in Journalism, and was the editor of the Kentuckian Yearbook. He is also a teacher, an artist and an author. He received an honorary Doctor of Letters degree from the University of Toledo in 2009. Sam Abell's book The Life of a Photograph is one of three volumes begun in 2000 with Seeing Gardens, followed in 2002 with The Photographic Life and Sam Abell Library in 2013.Source: Wikipedia Photography, alone of the arts, seems perfected to serve the desire humans have for a moment—this very moment—to stay. -- Sam Abell National Geographic photographer Sam Abell has defined his career with patience. There is no dull section of a Sam Abell photograph, the frame is layered from back to front with compelling imagery. This can be a slow process, it can take days, weeks, or in some cases months for the right opportunity to present itself. His photographs are considered to be amongst some of the best images to have appeared in the esteemed publication. Somehow, Sam agreed to sit down with us and have a chat about his life, work and photographic philosophy.Source: The Adventure Handbook Above all, it’s hard learning to live with vivid mental images of scenes I cared for and failed to photograph. It is the edgy existence within me of these unmade images that is the only assurance that the best photographs are yet to be made. -- Sam Abell
Frieke Janssens
Belgium
1980
Frieke janssens was born in bruges, belgium, in 1980. after starting with evening classes in photography at an age of 15, she skipped the pilot or police on a horse option. photography was her future. while studying photography at sint-lukas brussels she was mainly interested in lifestyle, sociology and stereotypes, because she felt like she was living in two worlds. now she's a brussels-based photographer. After graduating in 2002, frieke immediately started working as a photographer, where she tries to tell a story that’s fascinating and mostly avoids the clichés, or use them very consciously. she's inspired by different things from paintings, comics or even a real estate website, and works with an eye for detail, humour and surrealism. her pictures are how she imagines subjects in her head. It is often shown in the details: the clothes, the furniture and so on. a picture has succeeded, when you can look at it for a while. it can not only just be beautiful neither only interesting. it needs both. This has brought her not only gold, silver and bronze medals in creative competitions, but also commissions from successful agencies that include ddb, duval guillaume, famous, leo burnett, tbwa, saatchi & saatchi, ogilvy & mather, mortierbrigade for customers like brussels airlines, ing, mtv networks, volkswagen, red cross, senseo, signal and many more.AWARDS: 2008 shortlist cannes, 2007 gold & bronze new york festival, 2006 silver & bronze eurobest, 2005 gold new york festival, 2005 shortlist cannes Source: www.bransch.net
Sandro Miller
United States
1958
Born in 1958 in Elgin, Illinois, Sandro Miller is an American photographer (working professionally as "Sandro") known for his expressive images and his close work with actor John Malkovich and the other ensemble members of Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre Company. Sandro is married to multi-media artist Claude-Aline Nazaire and is the father of two children, Nathan and Natalia. As a young teen, Sandro embraced the idea of making photographic portraits after seeing the portrait imagery of Irving Penn. He began photographing in Chicago at the age of sixteen and has since devoted his thirty-plus-years career to creating expressive images from his elegant Ukrainian Village studio. With numerous award-winning commercial campaigns to his credit, Sandro is one of today's most respected commercial and fine art photographers. He has photographed many national advertising campaigns for a long alphabetical list of clients including: Adidas, Allstate Insurance, American Express, Anheuser-Busch, BMW, Champion, Coca-Cola, Dove, Gatorade, Honda, Milk, Microsoft, Miller/Coors, Motorola, Nike, Nikon, Pepsi, Pony, UPS, and the US Army. In 2001 Sandro was invited by the Cuban government to photograph that country's greatest national treasure – its athletes. This project was the first US‑Cuban collaboration since the diplomatic and trade embargo was imposed in 1960. Sandro's editorial work has been featured in Communication Arts, Details, Esquire, ESPN Magazine, Eyemazing, Forbes, GQ, Graphis, Newsweek, The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, Russian Esquire, Stern, TIME Magazine, Vibe, Wired and has been exhibited worldwide. Sandro has a working relationship with the camera giant Nikon and is responsible for introducing their latest technology to the professional photographic world. He has worked on many award-winning projects with Nikon: a portrait session with actor John Malkovich in Croatia; a series of motorcycles racing in Brainerd, Minnesota; a still and video shoot of the roller derby team The Windy City Rollers; a video of the world-renowned high-wire artist Philippe Petit; and most recently, a short cinematic video entitled "Joy Ride”, featuring a motorcyclist racing through the early morning streets of Chicago on a mysterious mission. Throughout his career, Sandro has contributed his talents and staffed studio time to community-based and national charitable organizations by creating compelling campaigns that solicit contributions for such organizations as the AIDS Chicago, AIDS New Jersey, American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, Arts for Life, Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Milwaukee, Dance for Life, Evans Life Foundation, Food Depository of Chicago, The Good City, Marwen Foundation, The Maestro Cares Foundation and Off The Street Club. At the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity in France, in July 2011, Sandro was presented a Saatchi & Saatchi Best New Director Award for his short video "Butterflies" featuring John Malkovich. Sandro traveled to Morocco in November 2013 and shot portraits of two hundred thirty tradesmen, nomadic people, snake charmers, fossil diggers, and Gnawa musicians. In 2014 Sandro re-created forty-one hallowed photographs in homage to the world’s greatest photographers. The project, titled Malkovich, Malkovich, Malkovich: Homage to Photographic Masters, has a costumed John Malkovich as the subject in each image. On November 2, 2014, in New York’s Carnegie Hall, the Lucie Foundation honored Sandro with the International Photographer of the Year award for his achievements in photography. On October 27, 2015, for the 2nd year in a row, Sandro was honored with the Lucie Foundation’s International Photographer of the Year award for his photography of the Malkovich, Malkovich, Malkovich: Homage to Photographic Masters images. For the past five years, in juried competitions within the industry, Sandro has been voted one of the top 200 advertising photographers in the world.Source: www.sandrofilm.com
Laura Berson
France
1987
Laura Gwenaëlle Berson was born in Paris in 1987. She studies Applied Arts, then comedy,script-wrinting and cinema. It is a few years later that she is moving towards a more intuitive photographic, plastic and writing work, enabling her to express everything she doesn't know just as much as the others, with the aim of finding the essence of something. Her conceptualized artistic practice allows her to play on forms, bodies whatever they are, by diving into the heart of the infinitely large and the infinitely small, to try to connect the sensitive but not palpable part that binds the two . Her work oscillates between everything and nothing, here and there, where she moves, like an atom (or electron it depends) free, among others. It is through her raw and spontaneous hypersensitivity that she directs her work towards an intimate questioning, playing on the different strata of reality that accompany it to identify a multi-variable essence. She exhibited solo in 2015 at the Maison de la Mixité in Paris and was present at Fotofever Emerging Talent in November 2016. She got an honorable mention for the Chromatics Photography awards in the landscape section. In 2018, she appeared publicly in a Science Shakers - Mixology session - around the imaging of science, organized by the Institute of Complex Systems in partnership with the CNRS, and won the Moscow Foto awards silver price for her serie Some Seeds. In her series The Intolerante, she tries to highlight the effect of food intolerance on the body, its destructuring of the body see its modification, via its own body damaged and tired by daily pain. Through the Myth of the Endometrium, she traces the course of the disease of endometriosis from which it is reached, passing painful menstruation and infertility to the possibilities of operations in order to be able to transmit life. In her series Silentium, she tries to transcribe relationships to others, difficult, tempestuous, whose links fade or weave over time, in a carnal and organic way.
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