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Mo Verlaan
Mo Verlaan
Mo Verlaan

Mo Verlaan

Country: Netherlands
Birth: 1963

"After graduating from the Rietvelt Art Academy in Amsterdam, I started out in experimental theatre, creating sets on location as well as performing. In 1993, I founded De Drie Gezusters with my sisters catering to (inter)national film crews on location from a converted truck. Eight years ago, my love for photography made me enter the Photo Academy. The book and series titled Resonance was part of my graduation in 2016. In these photographs my fascination with light and luminance finds its expression. The Memory of Time is a study about the plasticity of time and light, to see time and light as something elastic. For me there is a strong correlation between the impermanence of light and the fluidity of time."

"In The Memory of Time I explore abstract spaces. What interests me most, are architectural structures where light can fleet in and out, creating a new space. To me light is both a tangible and evanescent medium, if not a language. By fading, molding and carving the light in my photographs, I transform reality and move into an imaginative and intuitive realm. The process involves composing layered images that nearly look like drawings, scraping off the innate realism that is part of photography, thus creating a more sensorial and subliminal world."

Winner Single Image 9th Julia Margaret Cameron Award 2016, Category Architecture.
Works from the series Resonance received several Honorable Mentions: Tokyo International Foto Awards 2016 (2x), The Monochrome Awards 2016 (4x), The Monovision Photography Awards 2017 (6x), IPA 2017 (2x), IPA 2018 One Shot Harmony (1x). The series Resonance was exhibited at The Indian Photography Festival 2016.
The book Resonance was exhibited at: Scan Photobooks (Spain), The Griffin Museum (USA), RPSP (UK), Tripp Gallery (UK), Unveil'd (UK).

Publication in the NEW2017, 100 Best Emerging Dutch Photographers of the year 2017.
 

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Lewis Hine
United States
1874 | † 1940
Lewis Hine was an American sociologist and photographer known for using his camera as a tool for social reform. His photographs were instrumental in changing child labor laws in the United States. There were two things I wanted to do. I wanted to show the things that had to be corrected. I wanted to show the things that had to be appreciated. -- Lewis Hine Lewis Hine was born on September 26, 1874, in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. After his father was killed in an accident, Hine began working and saving for college. He attended the University of Chicago, Columbia University, and New York University to study sociology. He became a teacher at the Ethical Culture School in New York City, where he encouraged his students to embrace photography as an instructional tool. Hine took his sociology pupils to New York Harbor's Ellis Island, where he photographed the thousands of immigrants that landed each day. Between 1904 and 1909, he shot over 200 plates (photographs) and realized that documentary photography could be used to effect social change and reform. Hine joined the Russell Sage Foundation's staff photographer in 1907, photographing life in the steel-making regions and inhabitants of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, for the landmark sociological study The Pittsburgh Survey. The next year, he left his teaching post to work as a photographer for the National Child Labor Committee (NCLC). Lewis Hine recorded child labor during the next decade, with a concentration on the use of child labor in the Carolina Piedmont, to aid the NCLC's lobbying attempts to abolish the practice. In 1913, he chronicled juvenile laborers among cotton mill workers with a series of composite pictures by Francis Galton. Charlie Foster has a steady job in the Merrimack Mills. Huntsville, Alabama.© Lewis Hine / Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. Lewis Hine's work for the NCLC was frequently hazardous. Factory police and foremen routinely threatened him with violence or even death as a photographer. The immorality of child labor was intended to be hidden from the public at the time. Photography was not only forbidden, but it also posed a significant danger to the enterprise. Hine was compelled to disguise himself in order to gain access to the mills, mines, and factories. He worked as a fire inspector, postcard vendor, bible salesman, and even an industrial photographer documenting manufacturing technology. During and after World War I, he shot relief efforts for the American Red Cross in Europe. Hine created a series of work portraits in the 1920s and early 1930s that stressed the human contribution to modern industry. Lewis Hine was commissioned to photograph the Empire State Building's construction in 1930. He photographed the workers in perilous positions as they secured the structure's steel framework, taking many of the same hazards as the employees. He was hoisted out in a specially built basket 1,000 feet above Fifth Avenue to get the best views. He recalls hanging above the city at times, with nothing below but "a sheer drop of nearly a quarter-mile." Cherryville Mfg. Co., Cherryville, N.C. One of the smallest boys. Doffer. 1908© Lewis Hine / Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. During the Great Depression, Hine worked for the Red Cross, photographing drought relief in the American South, and for the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), documenting life in the mountains of eastern Tennessee. He was also the chief photographer for the Works Progress Administration's National Research Project, which investigated changes in the industry and their impact on employment. Hine was also on the faculty of the Ethical Culture Fieldston School. Lewis Hine was chosen as the photographer for the Works Projects Administration's National Research Project in 1936, but his work there was never completed. His final years were filled with professional struggles caused by the loss of government and corporate patronage. Hine hoped to participate in the Farm Security Administration photography project, but despite numerous letters to Roy Stryker, Stryker always declined. Hine lost his house and applied for welfare because few people were interested in his work, past or present. After an operation, he died on November 3, 1940, at Dobbs Ferry Hospital in Dobbs Ferry, New York. He was 66 years old at the time. Group of workers, including boys and girls, standing outdoors© Lewis Hine / Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. Hine's photographs aided the NCLC's campaign to end child labor, and the Children's Bureau was established in 1912. The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 eventually put an end to child labor in the United States. Corydon Hine, Hine's son, donated his father's prints and negatives to the Photo League, which was disbanded in 1951. The Museum of Modern Art declined to accept his photographs, but the George Eastman House did. Wendy Lamb Books published Elizabeth Winthrop Alsop's historical fiction middle-grade novel Counting on Grace in 2006. The final chapters focus on Grace, a 12-year-old girl, and her life-changing encounter with Lewis Hine during his 1910 visit to a Vermont cotton mill known to employ a large number of child laborers. The iconic photograph of Grace's real-life counterpart, Addie Card (1897-1993), taken during Hine's undercover visit to the Pownal Cotton Mill, graces the cover. In 2016, TIME Magazine published colorized versions of several of Hine's photographs of child labor in the US. In the early days of my child labor activities I was an investigator with a camera attachment... but the emphasis became reversed until the camera stole the whole show. -- Lewis Hine Lewis Hine was trained to be an educator in Chicago and New York. A project photographing on Ellis Island with students from the Ethical Culture School in New York galvanized his recognition of the value of documentary photography in education. Soon after, he became a sociological photographer, establishing a studio in upstate New York in 1912. For nearly ten years Hine was the photographer for the National Child Labor Committee, contributing to exhibitions and the organization's publication, The Survey. Declaring that he "wanted to show things that had to be corrected," he was one of the earliest photographers to use the photograph as a documentary tool. Around 1920, however, Hine changed his studio publicity from "Social Photography by Lewis W. Hine" to "Lewis Wickes Hine, Interpretive Photography," to emphasize a more artistic approach to his imagemaking. Having joined the American Red Cross briefly in 1918, he continued to freelance for them through the 1930s. In 1936 Hine was appointed head photographer for the National Research Project of the Works Projects Administration, but his work for them was never completed. His last years were marked by professional struggles due to diminishing government and corporate patronage, and he died in 1940 at age sixty-six.Source: The J. Paul Getty Museum Born in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, Lewis W. Hine studied sociology before moving to New York in 1901 to work at the Ethical Culture School, where he took up photography to enhance his teaching practices. By 1904 he had begun a series of photographs documenting the arrival of immigrants at Ellis Island; this project, along with his pictures of harsh labor conditions published in the Pittsburgh Survey, brought his work to the attention of the National Child Labor Committee. He served as its official photographer from 1911 to 1916, and later traveled with the Red Cross to Europe, where he documented the effects of World War I in France and the Balkans for Red Cross Magazine. After returning to the United States in 1922, he accepted commercial assignments, produced another series on Ellis Island immigrants, and photographed the construction of the Empire State Building. Several of these construction pictures were published in Men at Work (1932), a book celebrating the individual worker's interaction with machines in the modern world. Despite the success of this book, Hine's financial situation became desperate and his photography was virtually forgotten. Berenice Abbott and Elizabeth McCausland learned of his work through the New York City Photo League and mounted a traveling retrospective exhibition of his work to revive interest in it in 1939. Lewis Hine is best known for the documentary images of child labor practices that he produced under the aegis of the National Child Labor Committee from 1911 to 1916. These photographs not only have been credited as important in the passing of child labor laws, but also have been praised for their sympathetic depiction of individuals in abject working conditions. Hine labeled his pictures "photo-interpretations," emphasizing his subjective involvement with his subjects; this approach became the model for many later documentary photographers, such as Sid Grossman and Ben Shahn.Source: International Center of Photography
Dougie Wallace
Dougie Wallace, also known as 'Glasweegee', is a Scottish street photographer, based in east London. He was born and raised in Glasgow, lived in Blackpool for a couple of years in the 1980s before enlisting in the army, and has lived in Shoreditch, east London, for 15 years. For two-and-a-half years beginning in October 2010 Wallace made 30 trips to Blackpool to complete his first book Stags, Hens & Bunnies: A Blackpool Story (2014), photographs of the stag and hen parties that visit the town, "lads and lasses on their worst behaviour, partying away in a bawdy sea of L-plates, handcuffs, blow-up dolls and uniformed fancy dress in various states of undress and drunkenness; revelling in bars, puking in the street, refuelling at chip shops." Wallace spent 15 years photographing in the Shoreditch area of East London, a series published in his second book, Shoreditch Wild Life (2014). He photographed the disappearing Premier Padminis in Mumbai for his series Road Wallah.Source: Wikipedia Scottish photographer Dougie Wallace is internationally recognised for his long-term social documentary projects and a distinct direct style of expressive street photography. He has won prestigious awards, exhibited as a solo artist or in joint exhibits in world-renowned institutions and photographic festivals, authored a number of books, all critically acclaimed. London-based, his assignments and personal work take him around the world. To coincide with BBC Season of Photography, in March 2017, BBC4 broadcast a 30-minute programme about Dougie, as part of the What Artists Do All Day series, providing insights into the lives of outstanding artists. The programme follows Dougie on the streets of Knightsbridge, as he completes the photographs for the book Harrodsburg. Available here to watch. More recently, Dougie was commissioned by Sky Art 50 to create a film, which explored what it means to be British in the light of the EU referendum. It was showcased at The BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art and the Barbican. It was also broadcast on Sky Arts channel on the night of the original Brexit leaving date (March 29th, 2019). Dougie attributes his unique vision to his Glasgow up-bring and experiences lived or perceptively witnessed over two decades of residing in east London, from the uninhibited party days, when the area was a cultural wasteland through to its on-going urban regeneration, turning this district into a fashionable destination and tourist Mecca. "Living in Shoreditch has helped me develop an eye for the tragi-comic, messy side of uninhibited human behaviour. My Glasgow upbringing has shaped my style, which has been described as 'visually exaggerated' and 'hard-edged'. What motivates my pictures is human behaviour. People’s interactions and emotions fascinate me. My stories are thematic. They have similarities of expressions running through them. My work is informed by societies’ trends and incongruities and translating what I see through the lens into wit, criticism and humorous vignettes. I’d like to think that my photos convey a point of view that believable and absurd." This idiosyncratic point of view comes to life in his books, which have all equally generated critical attention and viral buzz. His books Stags, Hens and Bunnies: A Blackpool Story (Dewi Lewis Media, 2014) and Shoreditch Wild Life (Hoxton Mini Press, 2014), each a distinctive spin on hedonism and excess, turned Dougie into a household name among taste-makers. Road Wallah (Dewi Lewis, 2016), which offers a unique insight into the world of Bombay cab drivers has been exhibited at numerous photo festivals and gallery shows and was shortlisted for 2015 European Book Publisher’s Award. Followed Harrodsburg, which won the inaugural 'Magnum Photography Award 2016'. Well Heeled (Dewi Lewis, 2017) is an observation about the cultural shift among dog owners (Dewi Lewis, 2017). Goan to the Dogs is to be published by Dewi Lewis in 2020. East Ended is a reflection on gentrification and its ambiguous and fraught relationship with street art and local communities. Newly published by Dewi Lewis. Dougie is sought after for opinion, project assignments, editorial features and ad-hoc opportunities. His work has been featured in assignments and publications for magazines and newspapers, including, The Sunday Times Magazine, D Repubblica, The Economist, Le Monde, The New Yorker, Stern, The Guardian, New York Times, The Independent, International New York Times, Observer, GQ, Dazed, Hunger, Vice, BBC, CNN, Itsnicethat, Marie Claire, Die Zeit, Süddeutsche Zeitung, El País, Der Spiegel, Macleans, NZZ, Die Tageszeitung, Neon, dS Magazine - De Standaard. As well as numerous photography magazines, BJP, GUP, Amateur Photographer, Professional Photographer, F2, Fotografia Magazine, Lens Culture, Leica LFI, L’Oeil, Fotomagazine, European Photography and Photo International. Dougie continues to shoot fashion for the likes of Tatler, Balenciaga and Dazed. Dougie Wallace has conducted workshops both in the UK and overseas. He regularly donates his work to his chosen charities each year.Source: www.dougiewallace.com
Erika Zolli
Italy
1986
Erika Zolli is a photographer specialized in Fine Art. Currently she lives and works in Milan. She holds workshops of creative photography in Italy and in Spain. In her photos new worlds and new realities are created, in order to show and explore the invisible dreamlike dimension that lies in the human mind. Her works have been mentioned in several magazines and newspapers including: Fotografia Reflex, Il Fotografo, L'Espresso, L'OEil de la photographie, La Repubblica, ANSA.it, Creathead (VICE), Art Parasites, Click Blog, Bored Panda, Fubiz, Creative Boom etc. She won the first prize of the 'My City' competition organized by the European Environment Agency and the T2gE Conference award during the Transition to the Green Economy (T2gE) conference held in Bratislava. Metamorphosis of Self: The art of Erika Zolli's Self-Portrait Surreal, geometric and figurative photographic shots assemble the latest series by the Italian artist Erika Zolli. In this new project, Metamorphosis of Self, the photographer shows a representation of herself made of symbolism that acts as a bridge towards a deep observation of conscious and unconscious feelings. In these images, creativity intertwines with a dreamlike and surreal world: origamis that surround the subject, gears that move head and heart, crystal glasses that reflect a face, a silver metamorphosis taking place, and skies that connect with geometric shapes harmoniously. "In this project, I wanted to create thirteen representations of myself. Each image expresses a concept that is fundamental to me: strengths and weaknesses which, through photographic art, are laid bare to be observed by an eye that retracts. The self-portrait invites us to get out of ourselves. During this process, we become foreigners ourselves, and through this movement, we want to identify by creating a sort of zone of blindness. Here, the opposition between sensible and intelligible overcomes and acts as a bridge between the two sides, allowing a better knowledge of one's unconscious. These thirteen images are characterized by vivid and strong colors to further enhance the subject which, despite being immobile and posing, maintains stability imbued with dynamic force".
Liu Bolin
China
1973
Liu Bolin is an artist born in China’s Shandong province in 1973, and he earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Shandong College of Arts in 1995 and his Master of Fine Arts from the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing in 2001. His work has been exhibited in museums around the world. Also known as "The Invisible Man", Liu Bolin's most popular works are from his "Hiding in the City" series; photographic works that began as performance art in 2005. Liu belongs to the generation that came of age in the early 1990s, when China emerged from the rubble of the Cultural Revolution and was beginning to enjoy rapid economic growth and relative political stability. Since his first solo shows in Beijing in 1998, Liu Bolin’s work has received international recognition. Among other international venues, his distinctive photographs and sculptures have been shown at the major contemporary photography festival Les Rencontres d'Arles and he had solo shows at Dashanzi Art Zone in Beijing (2007), Galerie Bertin-Toublanc in Paris (2007), Eli Klein Fine Art in New York (2008), Galerie Paris-Beijing in Paris and Brussels (2013), Boxart Gallery in Verona (2008), Forma Foundation for Photography in Milan (2010). To celebrate US President Obama's visit to China, he made an effigy of Obama in his honor. He now lives and works in Beijing, China. Source: Wikipedia Born in 1973 in the northern province of Shandong, Liu Bolin trained at the prestigious Central Academy of Fine Arts, a student of the renowned artist Sui Jianguo, who mentored him at the beginning of his career. Liu belongs to the generation that came of age in the early 1990s, when China emerged from the rubble of the Cultural Revolution and was beginning to enjoy rapid economic growth and relative political stability. Liu Bolin is best known for his series of performance photography Hiding in the City. Since his first solo shows in Beijing in 1998, Liu Bolin’s work has received international recognition. Among other international venues, his distinctive photographs and sculptures have been shown at the major contemporary photography festival Les Recontres d'Arles and he had solo shows at Dashanzi Art Zone in Beijing (2007), Galerie Bertin-Toublanc in Paris (2007), Eli Klein Fine Art in New York (2008), Boxart Gallery in Verona (2008/2010). He now lives and works in Beijing. Source: Box Art Gallery Better known as The Invisible Man in media circles. He discusses the social concerns of his home country through his artistic practice, most prominently through his ‘camouflage’ installations. Traversing mediums such as performance, photography, Liu Bolin dissects the tense relationship between the individual and society by ‘disappearing’ into environments which are sites of contention and criticism. His “Hiding in the City” series has been displayed in numerous museums and institutions across the globe. Inspired by his powerful visual messages, artists and institutions and organizations such The Louvre (Paris, France), Harper’s Bazaar Magazine, JR, Carlos Cruz-Diez, Jon Bon Jovi and Kenny Scharf have invited Liu Bolin to collaborate on creative projects.Source: Liu Bolin Studio
Golnaz Abdoli
Iran/United States
1956
I was born in Iran and lived the first 18 years of my life there. The vivid memories of my homeland are its cold winters with snowcapped mountains, cars swerving on slippery roads, a small frozen pool, and me hoping that school would be cancelled; my mom preparing pomegranate for my siblings and I, and at the same time warming my hands with her warm breath. During the next forty years I enjoyed getting my degrees in Biology and Education in California, USA, raising my two children , and working in the field of education. I taught elementary school for 21 years. I picked up photography after I retired from teaching. I loved it immediately because it gave me a new voice to express myself and be creative. I found that photography and its many genres is a unique language with many dialects, and it can bring people from all over the world together. But now my love of photography has developed into a passion during the Covid-19 Pandemic. I appreciate it for helping me delve deep into my soul and understand myself better. During the lockdown photography has become my best friend and companion. Statement I approach photography of modern architecture as a visual puzzle that needs to be unravelled. My images are theatrical and mysterious. When I hold the camera, it awakens a sense of curiosity in me. I look up, ponder at the lines of steel coming together, light and shadow intertwining to form reflections, and I question how far into the space the lines travel, and the patterns repeat themselves. Reflections of outside buildings form mysterious forms and rhythms on the structural facade of modern architecture, inviting it to form a community with its surrounding. I appreciate the modern architecture for its beauty.
Colin Jones
United Kingdom
1936
Colin Jones is an English ballet dancer-turned-photographer and prolific photojournalist of post-war Britain. Jones documented facets of social history as diverse as the vanishing industrial working lives of the North East coalfields, Grafters, delinquent Afro-Caribbean youth in London, The Black House, hedonistic 1960s Swinging London with pictures of The Who early in their career, the 1963 race riots in Alabama, Soviet Leningrad, and remnants of a rural Britain now lost to history. Jones was born in 1936. He experienced a war childhood; his father, a Poplar, East End printer, went away as a soldier on the Burma campaign. Jones' family was evacuated to Essex and he attended a succession of thirteen schools whilst struggling with dyslexia, before the age of sixteen, when he took up ballet lessons. In 1960 Jones was called up for national service and served in the Queen's Royal Regiment. Fresh out of the army, Colin joined the Royal Opera House, later moving to the Touring Royal Ballet and embarked on a nine-month world tour. Jones met, and for four years was married to, the great ballerina Lynn Seymour. Whilst on tour and running an errand for Dame Margot Fonteyn, he purchased his first camera, a Leica 3C rangefinder, in 1958 and started taking photographs of the dancers and backstage life during the Australian leg of the circuit. Jones admired the available-light backstage photography of Michael Peto, a Hungarian émigré, who agreed to mentor him. Colin Jones took advantage of the ballet company's travel to photograph extensively in the streets of Tokyo, Hong Kong and the Gorbals, Glasgow in 1961. Driving with fellow dancers from Newcastle to Sunderland that year, he saw, north of Birmingham, coal searchers on the spoil-heaps. In 1962, having changed his career to become a photographer for The Observer he returned to produce a series of photographs recording the vanishing industrial working poor and mining communities in the North East of England, later publishing the essay as the book Grafters. At The Observer he worked alongside photographers Philip Jones Griffiths and Don McCullin. He worked in Fleet Street for several years before turning freelance. Commissioned assignments took him to New York City in 1962; Liverpool docks in 1963; the race riots in Birmingham, Alabama, USA, where he made portraits of both 'Bull' Connor, and Dr Martin Luther King in 1963; Leningrad, USSR in 1964. In 1966 he photographed the British rock band The Who at the beginning of their career, and Pete Townshend, then Mick Jagger in 1967. He travelled to the Philippines in 1969 where he photographed the sex trade. He portrayed significant dancers, including Rudolph Nureyev for several publications. Jones’ work has been published in major publications including Life, National Geographic, Geo and Nova as well as many supplements for major broadsheet newspapers, most prominently The Times, who dubbed Jones "The George Orwell of British photography". In his later career he covered assignments around the world, including Jamaica in 1978; the indigenes of the New Hebrides and Zaire in 1980; Tom Waits in New York, 1981; San Blas Islands in 1982; Ireland in 1984; Xian, China in 1985; Ladakh in northern India 1994 and Bunker Hill, Kansas in 1996. Solo exhibitions have been devoted to his work: The Black House: Colin Jones at The Photographers' Gallery in London, 4 May – 4 June 1977 as well as at many other galleries. Martin Harrison’s Young Meteors associated Jones with other important British photographers including Don McCullin and Terence Donovan. In 2013 the Victoria and Albert Museum acquired three of Jones' historic photographs from The Black House series, along with a photograph by Dennis Morris depicting the original Black House associated with Michael X, both acquired as part of Staying Power, a five year partnership between the V&A and Black Cultural Archives, preserving black British experience from the 1950s to the 1990s through photographs and oral histories. The Arts Council also purchased his work.Source: Wikipedia The art of photography remains so fascinating because of the individuals who arrive from unexpected places and take the medium through a lifetime of changes. The career of Colin Jones has a startling trajectory. He was born in 1936, in time to be a war child, a father away as a soldier, and 13 different schools. An element of chance, as well as talent, led to a scholarship at the Royal Ballet School. The moment that defined Jones's later life occurred as he was driving with fellow-dancers from Newcastle to Sunderland one day in 1961. Travelling north of Birmingham and seeing the winding gear of coalmines had always excited Jones, who was steeped in the books of George Orwell, but now he saw the extraordinary drama of spoil-heaps swarming with coal searchers - an epic of reality and survival. Colin Jones is one of the most celebrated and prolific photographers of post-war Britain. He has documented facets of social history over the years as diverse as the vanishing industrial working lives of the Northeast (Grafters), delinquent Afro-Caribbean youth in London (The Black House), and most recently, the high-octane hedonism of Swinging London with his famous pictures of The Who early in their career. His work has been published in every major publication with any regard for the image and photography. Such as Life, and National Geographic, as well as many supplements for the major broadsheets. He has had solo exhibitions at the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC and at the Photographers Gallery in London, as well as at many other venues internationally.Source: Michael Hoppen Gallery
Shannon Taggart
United States
Shannon Taggart is an artist and author based in St. Paul, MN. In a past life, she contributed to printed publications including TIME, Newsweek, New York Times Magazine, Discover, New York, Wall Street Journal and Reader’s Digest. Her work has been exhibited internationally and recognized by PDN, Nikon, Magnum Photos + Inge Morath Foundation, American Photography, International Photography Awards and the Alexia Foundation for World Peace. Her first monograph, SÉANCE (Fulgur Press), was published in 2019. Currently, she is working on an illustrated book about The Society for Research on Rapport and Telekinesis (SORRAT), one of the most exotic cases within the history of psychical research.Source: www.shannontaggart.com As a teenager, photographer Shannon Taggart was introduced to the world of spiritualism after a medium told her cousin details about her grandfather’s death that proved to be true. The reading had taken place at the Lily Dale Assembly in New York, the world’s largest spiritualist community. Curious but with reservations, Taggart headed to Lily Dale to delve into the history of spiritualism thinking she would learn what all the tricks of the trade were, but she didn’t end up getting the explanations she thought she would. Instead, she discovered a mysterious world she began to document with her camera. She certainly wasn’t the first photographer to do this, as spiritualism and spiritualist photography have long been connected. Both surfaced in the mid-1800s in Rochester, N.Y.,—home of Kodak. At the time, spiritualists naturally gravitated toward this new technology in hopes of recording what they had been experiencing. One of the most well-known spiritualist portraits of this era purports to show the ghost of President Abraham Lincoln with his hand placed nonchalantly on the shoulder of his wife, Mary Todd Lincoln. When Taggart first began taking photos at Lily Dale, she remained an observer. After the first year, she became involved as a student and a participant while continuing her photography. Although at first she had a hard time understanding spiritualism, Taggart was curious and said she has since experienced numerous mysterious experiences that have helped her tap into her own creative process. One of these inexplicable events occurred during one of her first visits to the Lily Dale Museum. Taggart said that a large purple orb appeared on the shoulder of a woman she was photographing, but she wasn’t shooting into the sun. “When I brought a copy back for her, she calmly said, ‘Oh, that’s Bob,’ her deceased husband. She was thrilled with the picture,” Taggart said. Taggart was also interested in physical mediumship, which claims to involve perceptible manifestations—such as loud raps or voices—and is practiced outside the New York community. While at Lily Dale, she met a medium who suggested she visit England, where, along with other parts of the United Kingdom and Europe, a “new age of physical mediumship” was happening. Taggart said one of the strangest things she witnessed happened during the mediumship of Gordon Garforth, a deep trance and physical medium in Stansted, England. Garforth told Taggart that his hands enlarge during his séances. About 20 minutes into one, Garforth’s wife, who operates as his “spirit control,” said that the spirits were going to work with his hands. While seated under a dim red light, Garforth held out his hand to Taggart. “Unbelievably to me, it seemed to effortlessly stretch, and the entire hand became large, instantly. I gasped and yelled ‘Oh my God!’ ” Taggart remembered. She said that the 30 other people in the room also reacted with amazement; she worried the experience was merely “hypnotic” and that her camera, set to one-second exposures, wouldn’t capture the growth. “The photographs made seem to confirm a distorted large hand … I was able to sit with Gordon on two additional occasions and I saw the same thing,” Taggart said. While some of her experiences struck Taggart as downright supernatural, some of her images were more straightforward, including her photo of bent spoons. It may not come as a surprise to learn the spiritualists bend them with their hands as a sort of symbolic connection to what they believe to be possible. “It is taught as an exercise of the power of the mind, a physical example of our ability to do things that seem impossible,” said Taggart of her most asked-about image.Source: Slate
Lola Álvarez Bravo
Mexico
1907 | † 1993
Lola Álvarez Bravo was a Mexican photographer. She was a key figure (along with Tina Modotti, Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera and her husband Manuel Álvarez Bravo) in Mexico's post-revolution renaissance. She was born Dolores Martinez de Anda to wealthy parents in the state of Jalisco. She moved to Mexico City as a young child, after her mother left the family under mysterious circumstances. Her father died when she was a young teenager, and she was then sent to live with the family of her half brother, living nearby in Mexico City. It was here that she met the young Manuel Álvarez Bravo, a neighbor. They married in 1925 and moved to Oaxaca where Manuel was an accountant for the federal government. Lola Álvarez Bravo became pregnant but before she gave birth, they returned to Mexico City. Manuel had taken up photography as an adolescent; he taught Lola and they took pictures together in Oaxaca. Manuel also taught her to develop film and make prints in the darkroom. As he became more serious about pursuing a career in photography, she acted as his assistant, although she also harbored a desire to become a photographer in her own right. The Álvarez Bravo's separated in 1934 but she decided to maintain the Álvarez Bravo name. Lola Álvarez Bravo needed to support herself and taught as well as worked in a government archives. She also continued to experiment with photography and in 1936 received her first real commission photographing the colonial choir stalls of a former church. She also worked in commercial photography, including advertising and fashion. She was the director of photography at the National Institute of Fine Arts. She opened an art gallery in 1951 and was the first person to exhibit the work of Frida Kahlo in Mexico City. She also taught photography at the Academia de San Carlos in Mexico City. Inspired by such photographers as Edward Weston and Tina Modotti, Álvarez Bravo established her own independent career. For 50 years, she photographed a wide variety of subjects, making documentary images of daily life in Mexico's villages and city streets and portraits of great leaders from various countries. She also experimented with photomontage.Source: Wikipedia Born Dolores Martínez in Jalisco, Mexico, Lola Álvarez Bravo was one of Mexico’s most important photographers. Like other women artists linked with famous male counterparts, her work has often been overshadowed by that of her husband, renowned photographer Manuel Álvarez Bravo. They married in Mexico City in 1925 just as Manuel’s photography practice began to develop. Manuel introduced Lola to the camera, the darkroom, and photography techniques, and she assisted him with developing and printing his images. They shared equipment when Lola began taking her own photographs, although Lola recalled Manuel’s impatience when she wanted to use the camera. In 1927 their son Manuel was born and they opened a photography gallery in their Mexico City home. The couple played a vital role in the cultural circle that included artists Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, Rufino Tamayo, Maria Izquierdo, and David Alfaro Siquerios. Lola continued to take photographs but her work always came second to Manuel’s development as an artist. They separated in 1934 and Lola turned to photography to support herself and her seven-year-old son. Stubbornly independent, her camera became both her livelihood and her means of portraying what she explained as “the life I found before me.” She traveled throughout Mexico photographing people in everyday circumstances with honesty and respect. Her assured formal aesthetic, which often bordered on the abstract, included strong compositional elements, crisp details, and the play of light and shadow on surfaces. Most often Lola Álvarez Bravo eschewed posing subjects or staging situations. Instead, she moved amongst the people along cluttered streets, observing them at work, in the marketplace, and at leisure, waiting for opportunities to capture informal moments in carefully composed scenes. Her keen eye produced stirring and expressive images of Mexican life with a contemporary sensibility that places her among the renowned photographic interpreters of that country in the modern period: Edward Weston, Paul Strand, Tina Modotti, and Manual Álvarez Bravo. During her long career, Lola Álvarez Bravo worked as a photojournalist, commercial photographer, professional portraitist, political artist, teacher, and gallery curator. Despite her professional success, it is her personal photography that marks her most significant contribution to the history of the medium. While working professionally she culled a small, core group of photographs she would refer to as her personal work, “mis fotos, mi arte.” The photographs in the Center’s collection are among those she most valued and are in the spirit of that distinction. Her direct, uncompromising, and impassioned studies of the Mexican people offer an important chapter to the history of photography, both as creative force and indelible subject matter. The Center acquired the Lola Álvarez Bravo Archive in 1996. It includes her negatives and nearly 200 gelatin silver photographs, 100 of which were selected by Lola Álvarez Bravo in 1993. An additional 100 photographs were selected by the Center in consultation with the artist. © Artists Rights Society (ARS)Source: Center for Creative Photography
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