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Brad Patocka
Brad Patocka
Brad Patocka

Brad Patocka

Country: United States

Born in Upstate NY, USA to a blue-collar upbringing, I was quickly drawn to the rugged environments of the outdoors.

This inevitably led to an unrelenting quest for exploration and travel, always driven by a curiosity of what the world is and what it can be.

Like many, I first became interested in the photography from Nat Geo magazines, looking at images of the vastly different cultures and habitats around the globe produced by the countless photographers who would grow to be my idols.

The aesthetic quality of a physical print really drew me in, photos that can depict a specific situation while also speaking to a larger issue or narrative resonated with me and inspired me to first pick up a camera.

I believe we are all story tellers in some way, shape, or form. For me being able to effectively do just that in a single frame has always been the goal. Having the opportunity to cover important issues, and to present them in a powerful light that will ideally create some sort of change or impact others to consider the world we live in, is the ultimate goal. Traveling the globe in pursuit of various projects, I have found my works range from humanitarian aid, human rights, and environmental issues.

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Deb Schwedhelm
United States
Born in Detroit, Michigan, Deb Schwedhelm was originally trained as a Registered Nurse and subsequently spent 10 years employed as an Air Force Nurse. Although she has been passionate about photography since her early 20s, it wasn't until Deb left the military that she was able to pursue the medium as a full-time career.Deb's photographs have been exhibited widely and featured in numerous publications throughout the world. She has received awards from Photolucida, Portland, OR; PhotoNOLA, New Orleans, LA; MPLS Photo Center, Minneapolis, MN; The Perfect Exposures Gallery, Los Angeles, CA; A. Smith Gallery, Johnson City, TX; Santa Fe Photographic Workshops, Santa Fe, NM; and The Art of Photography Show, San Diego, CA. Her photographs have also been selected for the permanent collection of The Center for Fine Art Photography, Fort Collins, CO.Deb is married to a Naval Explosive Ordnance Disposal Officer and she is the mother to three children, who are often the subjects of her photographs. Deb is currently based in Tampa, Florida and will be moving to Yokosuka, Japan summer 2014. All about Deb Schwedhelm:AAP: Where did you study photography?I purchased a DSLR and began teaching myself photography in 2006. Prior to that, I was a Registered Nurse in the U.S. Air Force for 10 years.AAP: Do you have a mentor or role model?Jock Sturges has been mentoring me for the past few years and I'm so grateful for all that he has shared with me.AAP: Do you remember your first shot? What was it?While I don't remember my first shot (because I was too busy trying to learn photography at that time), I do remember my first commissioned portrait session. It was with a family that lived down the street. One of the photographs (boxer boy) still remains one of my favorites, especially remembering back to how new I was to photography.AAP: What or who inspires you?As cliche as it may sound, I truly draw so much inspiration from my children. My middle child (10 yo) very much gets me. When I take her out to photograph, I leave with a vision and a plan, but based on her actions, I typically end up dumping any plan that I had and we just mesh with one another. She'll tell you that I often say to her, "just keep doing what you're doing." I also am very much inspired by dance and music.AAP: How could you describe your style?Raw, real and emotive.AAP: What kind of gear do you use? Camera, lens, digital, film?Above water: Nikon D3S, 35mm f/1.4, 50mm f/1.4 and 85mm f/1.8In the water: SPL housing,Nikon D700 and a 35mm f/2.0.AAP: Do you spend a lot of time editing your images? For what purpose?No, I don't really spend a lot of time editing my digital images. I do my best to get it right in camera, which makes the editing process very simple. I work mostly in Lightroom but I do bring my black and white images into Photoshop for a bit of fine-tuning. Basically, I want my editing to look pure, while gently enhancing the overall essence and feeling of the photograph.AAP: Favorite(s) photographer(s)?Sally Mann, Jock Sturges and Mary Ellen Mark have been my favorites from the very beginning.AAP: What advice would you give a young photographer?Work to master your technique -- and your artistry. Work really hard. Be dedicated, committed and determined. Never stop exploring, reflecting, learning and growing. Have patience. Know that the journey of photography is not always an easy one, but it is an absolutely amazing one. Be authentic and make genuine connections. Remember to be grateful, kind and giving. Do your best and don't ever give up!AAP: What mistake should a young photographer avoid?The greatest gifts a photographer could give themselves is allowing time and being patient. AAP: An idea, a sentence, a project you would like to share?I would love to share a couple of photography projects that I recently learned about and am inspired by...I had the opportunity to take a workshop from Mary Ellen Mark and I'm greatly inspired by her work and authenticity (both professionally and personally). She and her husband recently launched a kickstarter campaign, which I am thrilled to support: STREETWISE: Tiny RevisitedAnd 'The Return' kickstarter is another project I am happy to support. It is so incredibly beautiful and heartfelt: The return: Book ProjectLove these words shared in the project video: "State the intention for spirit to be present in your finished object, it will be. My soul need these images."AAP: What are your projects?For the past few years, I have been working on my 'From the Sea' series. This summer, I am planning to travel the US for a few months and will not only be photographing in various bodies of water across the US, I am also planning to launch a new project. While I'm not quite ready to release details of my new project, I hope you'll stay tuned.AAP: Your best memory as a photographer?Wow, that's a tough question. Receiving that first message from Jock Sturges was pretty darn amazing and winning photoNOLA was such an incredible gift. I never saw either coming.AAP: The compliment that touched you most?Every compliment greatly touches me. I truly am so appreciative for all that others share with me.AAP: If you were someone else who would it be?I'm quite happy being me and can't imagine being anyone else. AAP: Your favorite photo book?Oh how I love photography books. I have so many that proudly grace my bookshelves -- books which I've collected over the years. Sally Mann's Immediate Family was the first photography book I owned so it's pretty special. I also had the opportunity to have Sally Mann sign my books last summer, while attending her talk at the University of Michigan.AAP: Anything else you would like to share?No matter what your personal journey, don't be afraid to dream and dream big -- you just never know what's possible with a little dreaming and a lot of hard work. Don't forget the importance of authenticity and don't ever forget to share your gratitude with those who have assisted you.Thank you so much for this wonderful opportunity to share. This has been the most amazing journey and I'm beyond grateful.
Werner Bischof
Switzerland
1916 | † 1954
Bischof was born in Zürich, Switzerland. When he was six years old, the family moved to Waldshut, Germany, where he subsequently went to school. In 1932, having abandoned studies to become a teacher, he enrolled at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Zürich, where he graduated cum laude in 1936. From 1939 on, he worked as an independent photographer for various magazines, in particular, du, based in Zürich. He travelled extensively from 1945 to 1949 through nearly all European countries from France to Romania and from Norway to Greece. His works on the devastation in post-war Europe established him as one of the foremost photojournalists of his time. He was associated into Magnum Photos in 1948 and became a full member in 1949. At that time Magnum was composed of just five other photographers, its founders Robert Capa, Henri Cartier-Bresson, George Rodger, David Seymour, and Ernst Haas. The focus of much of Bischof's post-war humanist photography was showing the poverty and despair around him in Europe, tempered with his desire to travel the world, conveying the beauty of nature and humanity. In 1951, he went to India, freelancing for Life, and then to Japan and Korea. For Paris Match he worked as a war reporter in Vietnam. In 1954, he travelled through Mexico and Panama, before flying to Peru, where he embarked on a trip through the Andes to the Amazonas on 14 May. On 16 May his car fell off a cliff on a mountain road in the Andes, and all three passengers were killed. Source: Wikipedia Werner Bischof was born in Switzerland. He studied photography with Hans Finsler in his native Zurich at the School for Arts and Crafts, then opened a photography and advertising studio. In 1942, he became a freelancer for Du magazine, which published his first major photo essays in 1943. Bischof received international recognition after the publication of his 1945 reportage on the devastation caused by the Second World War. In the years that followed, Bischof traveled in Italy and Greece for Swiss Relief, an organization dedicated to post-war reconstruction. In 1948, he photographed the Winter Olympics in St Moritz for LIFE magazine. After trips to Eastern Europe, Finland, Sweden and Denmark, he worked for Picture Post, The Observer, Illustrated, and Epoca. He was the first photographer to join Magnum with the founding members in 1949. Disliking the ‘superficiality and sensationalism’ of the magazine business, he devoted much of his working life to looking for order and tranquility in traditional culture, something that did not endear him to picture editors looking for hot topical material. Nonetheless, he found himself sent to report on the famine in India by Life magazine (1951), and he went on to work in Japan, Korea, Hong Kong and Indochina. The images from these reportages were used in major picture magazines throughout the world. In the autumn of 1953, Bischof created a series of expansively composed color photographs of the USA. The following year he traveled throughout Mexico and Panama, and then on to a remote part of Peru, where he was engaged in making a film. Tragically, Bischof died in a road accident in the Andes on 16 May 1954, only nine days before Magnum founder Robert Capa lost his life in Indochina. Source: Magnum Photos
Anne Berry
United States
I imagine a land, scared and wild, where what counts cannot be counted. The natural world possesses an invisible but powerful energy. Humans can communicate with animals. Children don't doubt these facts. They still live in The Garden. As adults, we know that they can't stay. One gray night it will happen: a veil will fall, a gate will close, and the marvelous will cease to exist. What if we could help children keep their sense of awe and respect for nature and foster a belief in the value of things not seen but felt? I use antique analog lenses to make square black and white prints, purposely creating an atmosphere removed from reality and a longing for a lost green and meaningful past, but the natural settings, the animals, the children themselves and the metaphorical elements speak of hope and grace. It is an urgent call to honor and protect nature. Anne Berry is an artist from Atlanta, Georgia. She is best known for photographs of children and animals that capture the enchantment and power of the natural world. In 2013 and 2014 Critical Mass included her work in their Top 50 Portfolios. Anne has had solo exhibitions at the Centre for Visual and Performing Arts in Newnan, GA, The Lamar Dodd Art Center in LAGrange, GA and The Rankin Arts Center in Columbus, GA. She has exhibited nationally and internationally, including The Fox Talbot Museum in Lacock, England, SCAN Tarragona in Spain, The Museum of Photographic Arts in San Diego, and the Ogden Museum of Southern Arts in New Orleans. Books include Through Glass (North Light Press, 2014) and Primates (21st Editions, 2017). Anne's work is featured in National Geographic Proof, Feature Shoot, The Flannery O'Connor Review, Hufffington Post and Lens Culture, among others. Her work is in many permanent collections, including the National Gallery of Art. Anne lives in Newnan, GA. She is represented by the Catherine Couturier Gallery in Houston.
Thierry Clech
Thierry Clech is a French photographer based in Paris. Much of his work (exclusively in black & white films) is made during his travels (India, Ukraine, Istanbul, Tokyo...), but he also takes pictures in France, particulary in the business district of La Défense, near Paris. He published two books in collaboration with French novelists (Philippe Jaenada and Bernard Chambaz) and his work has been exhibited widely in France and abroad (Nadar Gallery, Press Club of France, Barrobjectif Festival, National Library of Belarus, FotoIstanbul Festival, BlowUp Angkor Festival in Cambodia…).Artist statement: "Thierry Clech can see the world like nobody else. In any case, he manages to put the world rules inside the frame of his pictures. Fortunately or thanks to his instinct or I don't know how, he is often in the right place at the right time. He could have probably stayed in Paris, within the ring road, within the twenty districts of his garden, and almost get the same result - because a man is a man, wherever he is. But the world is not so wide, it was better to travel around it. Just to be absolutely sure. Go around it. Then he has been nearly everywhere on the globe, almost at random, he has stopped a few moments in a city of the northern hemisphere, by a field in the southern hemisphere, and he has come back with pictures which approximately show the same thing in the form or in substance : human beings in the heart of their environment, stuck in the setting, stifled, trapped or integrated, assimilated but not totally, always isolated, just like oil in water, anxious, absent-minded, busy or passive, fearful, overtaken by events, brave, rebellious, lost, determined or exhausted. Mankind in the setting." Philippe Jaenada, novelist, Chevalier de l'Ordre des arts et des lettres. Discover Saint Louis in Senegal
Thomas Hackenberg
Thomas Hackenberg was born in 1963 and lives in the German city of Braunschweig. With first strong influences going back to the work of Henri Cartier-Bresson and German photojournalist Thomas Hoepker, he describes himself as a street photographer today. In the language business by profession and design, in street photography with his heart, Hackenberg characterizes himself as a classical flaneur-with-a-camera – though sometimes definitely more of a long-distance-runner, as he states. For him, a good picture must have a thought-provoking note, some humorous or quirky details, some kind of storyline. He likes pictures that pose questions rather than provide answers, and all of his photos are taken candidly. "What I like so much about street photography is the fact that you step out of the door, and you're right in it: no clumsy gear, you don't have to travel anywhere, you're always there. That's why it is so magical for me, many have said this before: It's positively an obsession! The big theater of life is always open with no closing hours." He also mentions the documentary aspect of street photography: The two old grannies he captured in 1991 in San Gimignano, Italy, one with the Hanimex 110 pocket camera: a time document today. As all the millions of smartphones today will be at some point in the future… Else, he feels drawn to social photography and photojournalism and likes to take photos at demonstrations. Thomas Hackenberg's work was featured by resources and hubs such as EYESHOT, Lensculture, Street Photographers Foundation, and Street Sweeper Magazine. He received Finalist awards in the 2017 edition of the Street Foto San Francisco Festival, Siena International Photo Awards 2020, London Street Photography Festival 2020, Miami Street Photography Festival 2020 and won 3rd Prize in the Fujifilm Moment Street Photo Awards 2020 organized by the Center for the Promotion of Culture in Częstochowa, Poland. Weekly interview at UP Photographers
Inge Morath
Austria/United States
1923 | † 2002
Inge Morath, the daughter of a scientist, was born in Austria on 27th May 1923. The family moved to Nazi Germany and as a teenager she was sent to the force labour camp at Tempelhof for refusing to join the Hitler Youth. Morath graduated from Berlin University in 1944. After the Second World War she worked as an interpreter for the United States Information Service before joining the RWR radio network. Morath also contributed articles to the literary magazine Der Optimist. In 1950 Morath moved to France where she worked with the Austrian photographers Ernst Haas and Erich Lessing. This involved writing text captions for the two photographers. The following year she found work as a photojournalist with Picture Post, a magazine based in London. Morath's first book was, Fiesta In Pamplona (1954). After the publication of an photo essay on French worker priests by Morath in 1955 Robert Capa invited her to join the Magnum photo agency. Other books by Morath included Venice Observed (1956), Bring Forth The Children (1960), Tunisia (1961) and From Persia to Iran (1961). Morath married Arthur Miller in 1962 and together they published the bookIn Russia (1969). This was followed by My Sister Life (1973) with poems by Boris Pasternak, In the Country (1977), Chinese Encounters (1979), Salesman in Beijing (1984), Portraits (1987), Shaking the Dust of Ages (1998), an autobiography, Life As A Photographer (1999), Masquerade (2000) and Border Spaces; Last Journey (2002). Inge Morath died of lymphatic cancer on 30th January 2002. Source Spartacus Educational
Robert Hecht
United States
1941
For over fifty years, Robert Hecht has been a dedicated fine art photographer. He is largely self-taught, having learned his craft primarily by studying the prints and books of many of the medium's greats, and then by attempting to apply what he absorbed from them in the darkroom (and later in the digital darkroom). In addition, he studied briefly with photographer and teacher Ruth Bernhard in the 1970's, and considers that experience meaningful for giving him direct contact and exchange of ideas with a master. His work has been exhibited internationally, purchased for both private and public collections, and showcased in many of the leading photography periodicals. Professionally, he has worked primarily as a producer-director of educational film and video programs, first at Stanford University and then in his own video production business for the past several decades. He and his wife live in Portland, Oregon. Statement I consider photography a way, if you will, to bring my experience of the visual world into clearer focus. Practicing the art of photography, which I consider a way of life in and of itself, has heightened my awareness of how in our everyday lives we are constantly surrounded by interesting subject matter. In contrast, during my early years of doing this work, I looked mainly to the classic landscape for inspiration, often pursuing dramatic vistas with large-format cameras. However, over time I came to see that I do not necessarily have to "go out shooting" or travel to impressive locales to find subjects—rather, I merely have to keep my eyes open to what is right here around me in my immediate environment and, without actually searching for a picture, simply be prepared should a picture jump out of the random visual chaos and present itself to me. This shift in focus has led me to a more spontaneous approach to making images, often enabling me to find great beauty in the most mundane materials at hand.
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