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John Armstrong
John Armstrong
John Armstrong

John Armstrong

Country: United States

John Armstrong is a Seattle-based photographer who shoots a broad range of subjects with both "normal" and toy cameras. While he photographs just about anything, a sense of irony, mystery and the bizarre are common in much of his work. He has won numerous photographic awards and his work is held in many public and private collections. John has been an active member of the Photographic Center Northwest in Seattle for many years, as both a student and as a volunteer. His photographs are available through the Seattle Art Museum's Rental/Sales Gallery. In addition, he has published several books of photographs through Blurb.com.
 

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William Eggleston
United States
1939
William Eggleston was born in Memphis, Tennessee and raised in Sumner, Mississippi. His father was an engineer and his mother was the daughter of a prominent local judge. As a boy, Eggleston was introverted; he enjoyed playing the piano, drawing, and working with electronics. From an early age, he was also drawn to visual media, and reportedly enjoyed buying postcards and cutting out pictures from magazines. At the age of 15, Eggleston was sent to the Webb School, a boarding establishment. Eggleston later recalled few fond memories of the school, telling a reporter, "It had a kind of Spartan routine to 'build character'. I never knew what that was supposed to mean. It was so callous and dumb. It was the kind of place where it was considered effeminate to like music and painting." Eggleston was unusual among his peers in eschewing the traditional Southern male pursuits of hunting and sports, in favor of artistic pursuits and observation of the world. Nevertheless, Eggleston noted that he never felt like an outsider. "I never had the feeling that I didn't fit in," he told a reporter, "But probably I didn't." Eggleston attended Vanderbilt University for a year, Delta State College for a semester, and the University of Mississippi for about five years, but did not complete any degree. Nonetheless, his interest in photography took root when a friend at Vanderbilt gave Eggleston a Leica camera. He was introduced to abstract expressionism at Ole Miss by visiting painter Tom Young. Eggleston's early photographic efforts were inspired by the work of Swiss-born photographer Robert Frank, and by French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson's book, The Decisive Moment. Eggleston later recalled that the book was "the first serious book I found, from many awful books...I didn't understand it a bit, and then it sank in, and I realized, my God, this is a great one." First photographing in black-and-white, Eggleston began experimenting with color in 1965 and 1966 after being introduced to the medium by William Christenberry. Color transparency film became his dominant medium in the later 1960s. Eggleston's development as a photographer seems to have taken place in relative isolation from other artists. In an interview, John Szarkowski describes his first encounter with the young Eggleston in 1969 as being "absolutely out of the blue". After reviewing Eggleston's work (which he recalled as a suitcase full of "drugstore" color prints) Szarkowski prevailed upon the Photography Committee of MoMA to buy one of Eggleston's photographs. In 1970, Eggleston's friend William Christenberry introduced him to Walter Hopps, director of Washington, D.C.'s Corcoran Gallery. Hopps later reported being "stunned" by Eggleston's work: "I had never seen anything like it." Eggleston taught at Harvard in 1973 and 1974, and it was during these years that he discovered dye-transfer printing; he was examining the price list of a photographic lab in Chicago when he read about the process. As Eggleston later recalled: "It advertised 'from the cheapest to the ultimate print.' The ultimate print was a dye-transfer. I went straight up there to look and everything I saw was commercial work like pictures of cigarette packs or perfume bottles but the colour saturation and the quality of the ink was overwhelming. I couldn't wait to see what a plain Eggleston picture would look like with the same process. Every photograph I subsequently printed with the process seemed fantastic and each one seemed better than the previous one." The dye-transfer process resulted in some of Eggleston's most striking and famous work, such as his 1973 photograph entitled The Red Ceiling, of which Eggleston said, "The Red Ceiling is so powerful, that in fact I've never seen it reproduced on the page to my satisfaction. When you look at the dye it is like red blood that's wet on the wall.... A little red is usually enough, but to work with an entire red surface was a challenge." At Harvard, Eggleston prepared his first portfolio, entitled 14 Pictures (1974). Eggleston's work was exhibited at MoMA in 1976. Although this was over three decades after MoMa had mounted a solo exhibition of color photographs by Eliot Porter, and a decade after MoMA had exhibited color photographs by Ernst Haas, the tale that the Eggleston exhibition was MoMA's first exhibition of color photography is frequently repeated, and the 1976 show is regarded as a watershed moment in the history of photography, by marking "the acceptance of colour photography by the highest validating institution" (in the words of Mark Holborn). Around the time of his 1976 MoMA exhibition, Eggleston was introduced to Viva, the Andy Warhol "superstar", with whom he began a long relationship. During this period Eggleston became familiar with Andy Warhol's circle, a connection that may have helped foster Eggleston's idea of the "democratic camera", Mark Holborn suggests. Also in the 1970s Eggleston experimented with video, producing several hours of roughly edited footage Eggleston calls Stranded in Canton. Writer Richard Woodward, who has viewed the footage, likens it to a "demented home movie", mixing tender shots of his children at home with shots of drunken parties, public urination and a man biting off a chicken's head before a cheering crowd in New Orleans. Woodward suggests that the film is reflective of Eggleston's "fearless naturalism—a belief that by looking patiently at what others ignore or look away from, interesting things can be seen." Eggleston's published books and portfolios include Los Alamos (completed in 1974, but published much later), William Eggleston's Guide (the catalog of the 1976 MoMa exhibit), the massive Election Eve (1977; a portfolio of photographs taken around Plains, Georgia, the rural seat of Jimmy Carter before the 1976 presidential election), The Morals of Vision (1978), Flowers (1978), Wedgwood Blue (1979), Seven (1979), Troubled Waters (1980), The Louisiana Project (1980), William Eggleston's Graceland (1984; a series of commissioned photographs of Elvis Presley's Graceland, depicting the singer's home as an airless, windowless tomb in custom-made bad taste), The Democratic Forest (1989), Faulkner's Mississippi (1990), and Ancient and Modern(1992). Some of his early series have not been shown until the late 2000s. The Nightclub Portraits (1973), a series of large black-and-white portraits in bars and clubs around Memphis was, for the most part, not shown until 2005. Lost and Found, part of Eggleston's Los Alamos series, is a body of photographs that have remained unseen for decades because until 2008 no one knew that they belonged to Walter Hopps; the works from this series chronicle road trips the artist took with Hopps, leaving from Memphis and traveling as far as the West Coast. Eggleston's Election Eve photographs were not editioned until 2011. Eggleston also worked with filmmakers, photographing the set of John Huston's film Annie (1982) and documenting the making of David Byrne's film True Stories (1986). In 2017 an album of Eggleston's music was released, Musik. It comprises 13 "experimental electronic soundscapes", "often dramatic improvisations on compositions by Bach (his hero) and Haendel as well as his singular takes on a Gilbert and Sullivan tune and the jazz standard On the Street Where You Live." Musik was made entirely on a 1980s Korg synthesiser, and recorded to floppy disks. The 2017 compilation Musik was produced by Tom Lunt, and released on Secretly Canadian. In 2018, Áine O'Dwyer performed the music on a pipe organ at the Big Ears music festival in Knoxville. Source: Wikipedia William Eggleston assumes a neutral gaze and creates his art from commonplace subjects: a farmer's muddy Ford truck, a red ceiling in a friend's house, the contents of his own refrigerator. In his work, Eggleston photographs "democratically"--literally photographing the world around him. His large-format prints monumentalize everyday subjects, everything is equally important; every detail deserves attention. A native Southerner raised on a cotton plantation in the Mississippi Delta, Eggleston has created a singular portrait of his native South since the late 1960s. After discovering photography in the early 1960s, he abandoned a traditional education and instead learned from photographically illustrated books by Walker Evans, Henri Cartier-Bresson, and Robert Frank. Although he began his career making black-and-white images, he soon abandoned them to experiment with color technology to record experiences in more sensual and accurate terms at a time when color photography was largely confined to commercial advertising. In 1976 with the support of John Szarkowski, the influential photography historian, critic, and curator, Eggleston mounted "Color Photographs" a now famous exhibition of his work at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. William Eggleston's Guide , in which Szarkowski called Eggleston's photographs "perfect," accompanied this groundbreaking one-person show that established his reputation as a pioneer of color photography. His subjects were mundane, everyday, often trivial, so that the real subject was seen to be color itself. These images helped establish Eggleston as one of the first non-commercial photographers working in color and inspired a new generation of photographers, as well as filmmakers. Eggleston has published his work extensively. He continues to live and work in Memphis, and travels considerably for photographic projects. Source: The Getty Museum
Axel Breutigam
Germany/Canada
Axel Breutigam is a German-born Canadian Fine Art Black and White Photographer, located in Vancouver, BC, Canada. Breutigam started photography at an early age, with an Agfa Box Camera, gifted to him by his father. His interest in photography developed into a serious practice around the age of sixteen, when he purchased his first SLR camera and turned his bathroom into a darkroom to self-develop his b&w photos. However, his photographic practice was cut short as his career as an attorney and CPA as well as family took precedence for much of his adult life. Although he practiced photography during any spare moment available, from family vacations to business trips around the world, it was not until he sold his law firm in 2002 and moved with his family to Vancouver, BC that he was able to devote his time fully to his art. In 2013/14 Breutigam got the chance to study with Alan Ross (Ansel Adams' former assistant and the exclusive printer of Adams' Yosemite Special Edition Negatives). Under Ross Breutigam enhanced his technical skill and was taught how best to use digital processing techniques that emulate the darkroom prints of earlier decades. Both Ansel Adams and Alan Ross have been influential artists for Breutigam, and although he emphasizes that he deliberately does not replicate their styles, he is inspired by the exquisite tonality and quality of their works. Breutigam shoots in black & white exclusively; rather than dictate the colors of a particular image to his audience, monochrome encourages them to imagine, from their own unique perspective, how the scene may have appeared at the time of the photograph; also, monochrome photographs give room for the viewers' own interpretations of his photographs. Breutigam, meanwhile an award-winning photographer, hopes that his compositions inspire people to reflect upon their surroundings, and enable them to appreciate the often overlooked beauty found in urban environments and nature. His attention to detail, visual aesthetics, and unique perspective indeed empowers his viewers with this opportunity. Since 2014 Breutigam's work has been exhibited at seven Solo- and eight Group-Shows. Breutigam has published three Photography Books.
Giacomo Brunelli
Giacomo Brunelli (b. Perugia, Italy, 1977) graduated with a degree in International Communications in 2002. His series on animals has been exhibited widely with shows at The Photographers’Gallery, London (Uk), Galerie Camera Obscura, Paris (France), Format Festival, Derby (Uk), Robert Morat Galerie, Hamburg (Germany), Noorderlicht Photofestival (The Netherlands), Athens Photo Festival (Greece), Daegu PhotoBiennal (South Korea), Angkor PhotoFestival (Cambodia), BlueSky Gallery, Portland (Usa), The New Art Gallery Walsall (Uk), Griffin Museum ,Boston (Usa), StreetLevel Glasgow (Uk), Photofusion, London (Uk), Arden & Anstruther Petworth (Uk), Galleria Belvedere Milan (Italy), Fotofestiwal Lodz (Poland) and Boutographies, Montepellier (France). The work has won the Sony World Photography Award, the Gran Prix Lodz, Poland and the Magenta Foundation “Flash Forward 2009”. It has also been featured widely in the art and photography press including The Guardian (Uk), Harper’s Magazine (Usa), Eyemazing (Holland), European Photography (Germany), B&W Magazine (Usa), Creative Review (Uk), Foto&Video (Russia), Images Magazine (France) Photographie (Germany), Katalog (Denmark), AdBusters (Canada), FOTO (Sweden) and FOTOGRAFI (Norway). His work is in the collection of Museum of Fine Arts Houston, The New Art Gallery Walsall, Uk Kiyosato Museum of Photographic Arts and Portland Art Museum, Usa. “The Animals”, his first monograph, was published by Dewi Lewis Publishing in 2008. In 2012, he was commissioned by The Photographers’Gallery to do a project on London that will be shown there in March 2014. Interview with Giacomo Brunelli: All About Photo: When did you realize you wanted to be a photographer? I remember when more that 10 years ago, I found my father's camera in a drawer and immediately wanted to be able to use it. Did't know exactly to do what but since then I have been using it to shoot my ideas." Where did you study photography? "I graduated in Communications in 2002 and attended a six month course in photojournalism in Rome." Do you remember your first shot? What was it? "I don't remember my first shot but I started shooting people, lanscapes and animals since the beginning. I have been soon fascinated by the idea of being outside taking pictures of what you like." What or who inspires you? I take inspiration from exhibitions, books, walks, stories and music." How could you describe your style? Street Photography." What kind of gear do you use? Camera, lens, digital, film? "Since the very beginning, I have been using a Miranda Sensomat 35mm, a japanese film camera from the '60. Although I have tried the 28mm and 135mm when I started, I use the 50mm lens only and 1.8 1/500 as combination diaphragm/shutter speed. For a recent commission I got from The Photographers'Gallery two years ago on London, I started using 1/1000 also. Regarding the film, I like Kodak Tri-x 400 and I print the images myself in my darkroom on Agfa Fiber Based paper." Do you spend a lot of time editing your images? For what purpose? "Editing is crucial and I love spending time looking at my images as a body of work and select the ones I feel are the strongest to communicate my vision." AFavorite(s) photographer(s)? "I grew up looking at the great masters such as Lartigue, Muybridge, Giacomelli, Frank, Klein and Winogrand so I think I have been deeply influenced by the way they managed to express their own ideas through photography." What advice would you give a young photographer? "Developing a coherent body of work takes time and energy; I would say just be prepared to work hard." What mistake should a young photographer avoid? "Not to be patient." Your best memory as a photographer? Publishing "The Animals" (Dewi Lewis Publishing, 2008) has been great, seeing your pictures taking the form of a book is fantastic." Your worst souvenir as a photographer? "In 2005 I left my camera and my own things in a taxi in Bratislava."
Monia Merlo
Italy
1970
She was born in Bassano del Grappa, Italy, 1970. After finishing her studies in Venice, she teamed her work as an architect with her passion for Photography, making it her main expression medium. Monia currently works as a freelance photographer, her work is focused on fashion, including prestigious collaborations with famous brands. Her photos find inspiration in literature, poetry and her most inner feelings. They are means of creation, research and development of a work which undergoes a constant evolution, as well as being a way to represent, through fragile feminine bodies, the artist's search of herself.Source: www.moniamerlophotographer.com All the work of Italian photographer Monia Merlo (45) is a feast for the eye: magical lighting, vulnerable intensely pale female bodies in a silent floral dreamscape. Sensuous and physical, yet innocent. Mystical femininity which verges on the sacred. It’s so beautiful you could almost drown in it. A view shared by many, since she has now collaborated with a number of prestigious fashion labels. Her work has been published in various international magazines including Italian Vogue, and has been displayed in leading galleries such as Art + Commerce in New York and Sakura Gallery in Paris. This is all the more remarkable when you consider that Monia only started working as a photographer 5 years ago. Monia’s work focuses on fashion and flowers. She uses only natural light, bringing out the contours and detail more beautifully and making her photographs resemble paintings. She finds her inspiration in literature, poetry and the idealised femininity of the Pre-Raphaelite movement. A period which is currently enjoying increasing popularity amongst the creative elite and trendsetters. She likes to use romantic flowers in delicate colours with an air of vulnerability, such as blossom, fragile roses and daisies.Source: The Green Gallery
 Nadar
France
1820 | † 1910
Nadar was the pseudonym of Gaspard-Félix Tournachon. Nadar was born in April 1820 in Paris (though some sources state Lyon). He was a caricaturist for Le Charivari in 1848. In 1849 he created the Revue comique and the Petit journal pour rire. He took his first photographs in 1853 and in 1858 became the first person to take aerial photographs. He also pioneered the use of artificial lighting in photography, working in the catacombs of Paris. Around 1863, Nadar built a huge (6000 m³) balloon named Le Géant ("The Giant"), thereby inspiring Jules Verne's Five Weeks in a Balloon. Although the "Géant" project was initially unsuccessful Nadar was still convinced that the future belonged to heavier-than-air machines. Later, "The Society for the Encouragement of Aerial Locomotion by Means of Heavier than Air Machines" was established, with Nadar as president and Verne as secretary. Nadar was also the inspiration for the character of Michael Ardan in Verne's From the Earth to the Moon. On his visit to Brussels with the Géant, on 26 September 1864, Nadar erected mobile barriers to keep the crowd at a safe distance. Up to this day, crowd control barriers are known in Belgium as Nadar barriers. In April 1874, he lent his photo studio to a group of painters, thus making the first exhibition of the Impressionists possible. He photographed Victor Hugo on his death-bed in 1885. He is credited with having published (in 1886) the first photo-interview (of famous chemist Michel Eugène Chevreul, then a centenarian), and also took erotic photographs. From 1895 until his return to Paris in 1909, the Nadar photo studio was in Marseilles (France). Nadar died in 1910, aged 89. He was buried in Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris. Source: Wikipedia
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