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Richard Murai
Richard Murai
Richard Murai

Richard Murai

Country: United States
Birth: 1952

"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but seeing with new eyes." --Marcel Proust, 1923, La Prisonierre

The world's sacred sites are visually rich and historically significant and provide sanctuary for spiritual reflection and creative exploration and discovery. They're striking archeological sites but first and foremost, they serve as vital and revered centers of pilgrimage, prayer and meditation.

These images are excerpts of my visits to these sacred spaces and are evidence of an ongoing journey that examines intense spiritual devotion and religious fervor, past and present, within unique and distinctive cultures. They are multi-dimensional and compelling for both the photographer and the viewer and document golden ages of past millennia and cultures seeking to reconcile ancient traditions with conflicting modern values. Devotees seek serenity and escape from centuries of conquest and political upheaval, or the effects of poverty, global climate change and modernization.

As we confront a perplexing, irrational and precarious world situation ongoing geo-political unrest and violence has caused fractious dissension and a difficult emotional time for all. Reluctance to accept diverse cultural, political, religious attitudes both here and abroad adds to the fear, cynicism and confusion. Becoming sensitive to unfamiliar cultures can quell much of this anxiety and may encourage tolerance and compassion.

After transitioning from thirty-five rewarding years in photographic education, Richard lives in Monterey, CA, and continues to passionately pursue his creative artmaking. His ongoing fascination with world religion and culture has generated repeated visits to locations within India, Asia, South America, the Middle East, Russia and Europe.

His work has been exhibited widely, has garnered awards from All About Photo, Center for Photographic Art, Spider Awards, and Travel Photographer of the Year, and have been featured in respected publications including B&W Magazine, Silver Shots International, Shots, Photographer's Forum and multiple issues of Lenswork print and special editions. His photographs are included in various private and corporate collections and is represented by the Weston Gallery, Carmel, CA
 

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More Great Photographers To Discover

Christer Strömholm
Sweden
1918 | † 2002
Christer Strömholm is recognized as one of the major figures of 20th-century European photography. Strömholm captured his surroundings in black-and-white images that display his integrity, understated humor, and a highly personal aesthetic. With an unmistakable sensitivity to human suffering, based on his personal experience, he took photography in a new direction. Sean O’Hagan, writing in The Guardian, has described him ''as the father of Swedish photography both for his abiding influence and for his role as a teacher.'' Born in Stockholm, Strömholm discovered photography via graphic art in the late 1940s. During the 1950s and 60s he lived much of the time in Paris, where he developed his particular style of street photography. It was here that he produced his most famous work, Les amies de Place Blanche, a tribute to a group of young transsexuals with whom he became friends and whose lives he shared over many months. They were very much outsiders, struggling to survive with their main source of income being from prostitution. In these legendary photographs, shot at night in available light, Strömholm merged street photography and portraiture, depicting them as the close friends they were, in intimate and honest portraits far from the spectacular or speculative. Les amies de Place Blanche raises profound issues about sexuality and gender; and, in Strömholm’s own words, ''it is about obtaining the freedom to choose one’s own life and identity.'' Strömholm also went on numerous photographic expeditions to places around the globe in the early 1960s, including Spain, Japan, India, and the USA. Early in his career, he began teaching in Stockholm, eventually setting up the legendary Fotoskolan, from which some 1,200 students graduated between 1962 and 1974. Strömholm’s work has inspired many generations of photographers, though he did not become known to the broader public until 1986, with a major exhibition at Moderna Museet in Stockholm. Stömholm died in 2002. Article Christer Strömholm
Steve McCurry
United States
1950
Steve McCurry has been one of the most iconic voices in contemporary photography for more than 30 years, with scores of magazine and book covers, over a dozen books, and countless exhibitions around the world to his name. Born in a suburb of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; McCurry studied film at Pennsylvania State University, before going on to work for a local newspaper. After several years of freelance work, McCurry made his first of what would become many trips to India. Traveling with little more than a bag of clothes and another of film, he made his way across the subcontinent, exploring the country with his camera. It was after several months of travel that he found himself crossing the border into Pakistan. There, he met a group of refugees from Afghanistan, who smuggled him across the border into their country, just as the Russian Invasion was closing the country to all western journalists. Emerging in traditional dress, with full beard and weather-worn features after weeks embedded with the Mujahedeen, McCurry brought the world the first images of the conflict in Afghanistan, putting a human face to the issue on every masthead. Since then, McCurry has gone on to create stunning images on all seven continents and countless countries. His work spans conflicts, vanishing cultures, ancient traditions and contemporary culture alike - yet always retains the human element that made his celebrated image of the Afghan Girl such a powerful image. McCurry has been recognized with some of the most prestigious awards in the industry, including the Robert Capa Gold Medal, National Press Photographers Award, and an unprecedented four first prize awards from the World Press Photo contest. The Minister of French Culture has also appointed McCurry a Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters and most recently, the Royal Photographic Society in London awarded McCurry the Centenary Medal for Lifetime Achievement. McCurry has published books including The Imperial Way (1985), Monsoon (1988), Portraits (1999 | 2013), South Southeast (2000), Sanctuary (2002), The Path to Buddha: A Tibetan Pilgrimage (2003), Steve McCurry (2005), Looking East (2006), In the Shadow of Mountains (2007), The Unguarded Moment, (2009), The Iconic Photographs (2011), Untold: The Stories Behind the Photographs (2013), From These Hands: A Journey Along the Coffee Trail (2015), India (2015), On Reading (2016), Afghanistan (2017), A Life in Pictures (2018), Animals (2019), In Search of Elsewhere: Unseen Images (2020). @stevemccurryofficial "What is important to my work is the individual picture. I photograph stories on assignment, and of course they have to be put together coherently. But what matters most is that each picture stands on its own, with its own place and feeling" -- Steve McCurry If the photographer's images have made the rounds of newspapers around the world, like the portrait of the young Afghan woman with piercing eyes, it is also due to their aesthetic impact. Steve McCurry spoke of the importance of colour in his photographs, the importance of post-production and retouching, and their ability to touch the viewer: "each single picture has its single story, and we put ours in it" (Steve McCurry). "Sometimes with pictures and photography, what is interesting is that the imagination can go off in different directions. Everything should not be explained" (Steve McCurry): the photographer stresses the importance of leaving their share of mystery to the photographs. Steve McCurry was confronted with the horror of war; his images bear witness to this. If Susan Sontag suggests in Regarding the Pain of Others that photography “beautifies” and “bleaches out a moral response to what is shown”, the photographer brings an entirely different perspective to the issue. He refers to the mission of war reporters to fight against the blindness and ineptitude of public opinion: "Should we be informed about what's happening in our world? Should we let our governments tell us ? I think that would be a very bad idea. [...] Somebody has to go and give us their impression. We need some person to go there and find the truth" (Steve McCurry).Source: www.sciencespo.fr
Nicolas Tikhomiroff
France
1927 | † 2016
Nicolas Tikhomiroff (March 22, 1927 – April 17, 2016) was a French photographer, of Russian origin. He started working for Magnum Photos in 1959. Tikhomiroff was born in Paris to Russian parents. He received his education at a boarding school away from home with children of a similar background. He was trilingual with Russian as his primary language with French, and English as a secondary language. When he reached the age of seventeen, just following the Liberation of Paris, he joined the French army. After finishing his duties he found a job working for a fashion photographer processing prints. In 1956, Tikhomiroff was inspired by French journalist Michel Chevalier and struck out on his own as a freelance photographer. For the next few years, he spent his time traveling with Chevalier to the Middle East, Africa, among other places. In 1959 Tikhomiroff joined Magnum. Most of his work was on wars such as in Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam. Famous for his work on World Cinema, he also had a large portfolio of war photography. He was married to Shirley Lou Ritchie, by whom he had a daughter, Tamara Joan Tikhomiroff. He retired in 1987 and lived in Provence, France.Source: Wikipedia Nicolas Tikhomiroff was born in Paris to Russian ‘émigrés’ parents. He spent his school years in a special boarding school for children of a similar background: those with Russian as a first language, followed by French. He joined the army at the age of 17 following the Liberation of Paris, then spent several months in Germany, followed by three years in Indochina. After finishing his military service, Tikhomiroff found work in the darkroom of a fashion photographer. Using a Rolleiflex, he began to take photographs for many magazines, including Marie France. In 1956, a decisive encounter with French journalist Michel Chevalier led him to accompany Chevalier as a freelance photographer. This relationship resulted in long trips to the Soviet Union, Africa, and the Middle East. Tikhomiroff joined Magnum in 1959 and completed numerous photo stories on subjects such as the Algerian War, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. He also contributed to an important Magnum project on World Cinema, meeting Orson Welles, Fellini, Visconti, and many others. He developed a close friendship with Welles while photographing the filming of The Trial and Falstaff. Nicolas Tikhomiroff also undertook advertising and fashion assignments. Although he was never a full member of Magnum Photos, his earlier work is still distributed by the agency. Tikhomiroff retired from professional activities in 1987. He lived in Provence in the south of France, where he spent much of his time working on personal projects and essays.Source: Magnum Photos Magnum member Bruno Barbey says of Nicolas: “As well as a very important portraitist of the celebrities of the 60s (Brigitte Bardot, Jeanne Moreau or Edith Piaf, to name a few), Nicolas was also a concerned photographer, covering USSR in 1957 or De Gaulle’s historic visit to Algeria in 1960." “In a certain way, Nicolas epitomized Magnum’s long-standing tradition, producing both a significant personal work on film set photography and covering world news for the agency. To me, his name will always be linked to his iconic photographs of Orson Wells, notably in Spain on the set of Chimes at Midnight.”Source: British Journal of Photography
Erich Hartmann
Germany / United States
1922 | † 1999
Erich Hartmann was a German-born American photographer. Hartmann was born July 29, 1922 in Munich, Germany, the eldest child of Max and Irma Hartmann who lived in Passau, a small city on the Danube near the Austrian border in which they were one of a five Jewish families. Erich Hartmann's family belonged to the middle class, and his father, a social-democrat who served during World War I and been imprisoned by the British, was highly respected. In 1930, only eight years old, Erich took his first photographs. Life became increasingly difficult after the Nazi takeover in 1933, including personal, financial, business, and family restrictions and the beginning of deportations of Jews to the first so-called 'labor camp' in the village of Dachau. The Hartmann family moved to Munich that year, in search of a more tolerant and cosmopolitan environment. The situation only worsened, however, and the family determined that they had to leave Germany. In August 1938, they accepted the opportunity to emigrate to the United States, having received the necessary affidavit of support from distant relatives there. They sailed from Hamburg to New York, staying initially in Washington Heights, before settling outside Albany, New York. The only English speaker in the family, Erich Hartmann worked in a textile mill in Albany, New York, attending evening high school and later taking night courses at Siena College. On December 8, 1941, the day after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the US entered the war, and Erich enlisted in the US Army. Trained in Virginia and at Ohio State University, he had to wait until 1943 before serving in England, Belgium (Battle of the Bulge) and France, and with the liberating forces as a court interpreter at Nazi trials in Cologne, Germany. At the end of the war he moved to New York City where, in 1946, he married Ruth Bains; they had two children, Nicholas (born in 1952) and Celia (born in 1956). During these years, he worked as an assistant to portrait photographer George Feyer, and then as a freelancer. He studied at the New School for Social Research with Charles Leirens, Berenice Abbott, and Alexey Brodovitch. His portrait subjects over the years included architect Walter Gropius, writers Arthur Koestler and Rachel Carson, musicians Leonard Bernstein and Gidon Kremer, actor Marcel Marceau, fellow photographer Ed Feingersh, and many other literary and musical personalities. Music played a great role in his life and work: "Music captured me before photography did," he recalled. "In my parents' house there was not much music except for a hand-cranked gramophone on which I surreptitiously and repeatedly played a record of arias from Carmen. This was before I could read!″ In the 1950s Erich Hartmann first became known to the wider public for his poetic approach to science, industry and architecture in a series of photo essays for Fortune magazine, beginning with The Deep North, The Building of Saint Lawrence Seaway and Shapes of Sound. He later did similar essays on the poetics of science and technology for French, German and American Geo and other magazines. Throughout his life he traveled widely on assignments for the major magazines of the US, Europe and Japan and for many corporations such as AT&T, Boeing, Bowater, Citroën, Citibank, Corning Glass, DuPont, European Space Agency, Ford, IBM, Johns Hopkins University, Kimberly-Clark, Pillsbury Company, Nippon Airways, Schlumberger, TWA, and Woolworth, for all of which he used color. In 1952 he was invited to join Magnum Photos, the international photographers’ cooperative founded in 1947 by Robert Capa, David Seymour, George Rodger and Henri Cartier-Bresson, he served on the board of directors from 1967 to 1986, and as President in 1985–1986. For more than eight weeks in 1994, Erich and Ruth Hartmann undertook a winter journey to photograph the remains of the Nazi concentration and extermination camps, and places of deportation, throughout Europe. He was determined to take only black and white photographs and to capture only what he saw, immediately when arriving, no matter whether days looked like nights. He returned to New York with 120 rolls of film, from which he made a first edit of 300 photographs and a final selection of only 74 frames. These, together with text by Ruth Bains Hartmann, formed the book and exhibition In the Camps, published in 1995 in English, French, and German and exhibited in more than twenty venues in the US and Europe in the years since. In all of his travel, for work and pleasure, Hartmann carried a small camera with a few rolls of black and white film, prepared for every visual opportunity. He also deliberately pursued a series of imaginative projects including experiments with ink in water, stroboscopic light effects, beach pebbles constrained in boxes, and others. In the late 1990s, with an eye to a future retrospective exhibition, Hartmann began making a definitive selection from fifty years of this personal work in black and white. Just a few months before his death he began discussions with a gallery in Austria about organizing an exhibition called Where I Was. On February 4, 1999 Erich Hartmann died unexpectedly from a heart attack in New York. Source: Wikipedia In the late 1960s and 1970s he lived in London. He documented the construction of the Britannia aircraft for the Bristol Aeroplane Company and he photographed for the leading colour magazines: the Sunday Times, the Observer and the Telegraph, notably on such stories as Shakespeare's Warwickshire and The Norman Conquest Descendants. For the Weekend Telegraph he made sensitive colour pictures of Styles of English Architecture, in a series of photo-essays for which Sir John Betjeman wrote the words, and he also travelled with Betjeman to the Faeroe Islands. Later Hartmann returned to Germany where he had lived in the shadow of the Nazis until he was 16, and chose a project for himself: the death camps. He made an unforgettable book, In the Camps (1995). He said, "I simply felt obliged to stand in as many of the camps as I could reach, to fulfill a duty that I could not define and to pay a belated tribute with the tools of my profession." The book is a magnificent tribute. There is hardly a person in it. So solitary is it, so desolate, that we people the pages with our own ghosts, we bring to it our own fears and imagery. These imaginings have the feeling of poetry. We see a room full of broken shoes; another room of battered satchels; another of torn children's clothes; the windowless barracks in four tiers in which multitudes tried to survive; or a square in which a gallows hangs in the wind. The railway tracks which many took into the camp; a single gas chamber in Auschwitz. It is hard to go from examining the book to describe all Erich Hartmann did for the Magnum co-operative when he served on the board or was vice-president (1975 and 1979) or president (1985). Burt Glinn describes how he and Hartmann came to Magnum at the same time, almost 47 years ago: "We have photographed together and met together and consulted together about ethics and journalism, and we have attended 46 Magnum General Meetings, the first with only eight other photographers and the last with more than 50, but all of them passionate, contentious and personal." He goes on: "Through all these years Erich, more than anyone else, has been my moral compass. No matter how knotty the problem he never settled for the facile compromise. He was always wise, judicious, and ferocious to find the right answer rather than the easy one. When I suspected that I was pursuing my self-interest rather than the common good I would glance over at Erich and if I encountered his quizzically cocked eyebrow I would shut up."Source: Independent
Wang Wusheng
China
1945 | † 2018
Wang Wusheng was born in the city of Wuhu in China's Anhui Province and graduated from Anhui University's School of Physics. Beginning in 1973, Wusheng worked as a photographer for a news magazine in Anhui Province. He studied at the Art Institute of Nihon University in Japan beginning in 1983 and studied for three years at the Tokyo Arts University. Wusheng currently works as a fine art photographer in Tokyo. For more than three decades, Wang Wusheng has been captivated by the beauty of Mount Huangshan, also called Yellow Mountain. Located in the southern part of the Anhui province in northern China, Mount Huangshan has often been described as the world's most beautiful and enchanting mountain. Over many centuries, this mountain, with its seventy-two peaks, has been the subject of Chinese landscape painters, whose singular works are so haunting make it appear impossible for these mountains to exist in nature. Inspired by the legacy of these paintings, Wusheng has sought to portray Mount Huangshan in his own way, expressing his "inner worlds" through this scenic wonder. Wusheng captures mist-shrouded granite peaks emerging from an ever-changing veil of clouds, sculptural craggy rocks on lofty cliffs and weathered, oddly shaped pine trees. He records the appearance of Mount Huangshan in all seasons and at various times of day. As one critic says, "[Wusheng's] pictures are gorgeous, but their beauty does not come directly from the natural scenery. Rather, the mountain's natural wonders have been transformed into artistic spectacles through the artist's commitment to the medium of black-and-white photography, his insistent pursuit of dynamic movement and metamorphic images, and his deep emotional engagement with his subject. His mountain peaks are often densely dark-a kind of velvet darkness that seems full of color."Source: Robert Klein Gallery World-renowned photographer, writer, and broadcaster Tom Ang wrote in 2014 in his book Photography: The Definitive Visual History published by DK this text about Wang Wusheng's art works: Oriental perspectives The fusion of classical Chinese fine art with photography was not achieved until the 1940s. It resulted in a distinctive approach to landscape by combining classical forms with a challenge to the Western representation of space. Photography had reached China and Japan by the 1840s, but long remained an imported art form used primarily by foreigners. Fundamentally it was alien to the aesthetics of Asian fine art. The fine detail of a photograph was at odds with the eastern tradition of depicting a scene with just a few brushstrokes. And whereas Eastern art dealt with symbols-mountains representing wisdom, water standing for the flux of life and so on- photography seemed unremittingly literal and heavy-handed to Asian eyes. Eastern art was also fixedly monochrome: black was Heaven's hue, and too much considered bad for the eyes. Three dimensions in two A further element foreign to Asian minds was the handling of perspective-how three-dimensional space was represented on the flat surface of a print or painting. In Europe, 15th-century thinkers, such as the architect Filippo Brunelleschi, showed that a geometrically accurate way to represent objects in space was to depict parallel sides as if they converged toward a vanishing point on the horizon. Early photography reinforced the dominance of this linear perspective in Western art. Classical Asian art was based on different models of space. It showed space with receding planes, in which a nearer object overlaps and covers part of a further object. This was joined to aerial perspective, which exploits how contrast and clarity naturally diminish the further away things are to express receding space. Asian pictorials By the 20th century. even artists in he West were rebelling against geometrical perspective, most visibly in the Cubist movement, which spilled over to montage effects in modernist photography (see pp. 142-43 and Pp.330-31). Finally, in the 1940s, Long Chin-San (also transliterated Lang Jingshan) in Hong Kong marked the first successful fusion of Asian with European modes. Trained in Photography by a brush-and-ink artist, Long considered a traditional painting "as a composite Image of fragmentary visual memories". From this, Long derived composite photographs using subtle toning and multiple printing techniques to place traditional elements such as calligraphically expressive bamboo shoots, leafless branches, and craggy rocks against a plain ground, suspending his subjects In an indeterminate space. Relationships between elements were defined by aerial perspective and overlapping receding planes. Minimal and calligraphic expressions also came naturally to photographers such as Jiang Peng, but Long's best-known students was Don Hong Qai. Modern interpretation China's Huangshan (Yellow Mountains) is a glaciated mountain range much venerated for its exquisite scenery of 72 steep peaks, often shrouded in mist. The Huangshan inspired its own school of painting, which made extensive use of aerial perspective, Wang Wusheng is a leading modern exponent of the style. Wang was working as a news photographer when he turned his attention to the Huangshan in 1973 In his photographs, he exploited the ultrafine grain of Kodak Technical Pan film to create a modern interpretation of inky-black silhouettes are grouped against the smoothly shifting swathes of mist, their softening tones deftly defining distance. This image is part of the Celestial Realm series, published in book form in 2005. In wang's contemporary interpretation of traditional Chinese black-ink painted landscapes, mist separates the deep velvety darkness of the sharply silhouetted rocks and trees in the foreground from the progressively fuzzier bands of trees and rocks.
William Gottlieb
United States
1917 | † 2006
William Paul Gottlieb was an American photographer and newspaper columnist who is best known for his classic photographs of the leading performers of the Golden Age of American jazz in the 1930s and 1940s. Gottlieb's photographs are among the best-known and widely reproduced images of this era of jazz. Gottlieb made portraits of hundreds of prominent jazz musicians and personalities, typically while they were playing or singing at well-known New York City jazz clubs. William Gottlieb's subjects included Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, Billie Holiday, Dizzy Gillespie, Earl Hines, Jo Stafford, Thelonious Monk, Stan Kenton, Ray McKinley, Benny Goodman, Coleman Hawkins, Louis Jordan, Ella Fitzgerald, Toots Thielemans, and Benny Carter. Gottlieb was born on January 28, 1917, in the Canarsie neighborhood of Brooklyn, and grew up in Bound Brook, New Jersey, where his father was in the building and lumber business. He graduated from Lehigh University in 1938 with a degree in economics. While at Lehigh, Gottlieb wrote for the weekly campus newspaper and became editor-in-chief of The Lehigh Review. In his last year of college, he began writing a weekly jazz column for the Washington Post. While writing for the Post, Gottlieb taught economics at the University of Maryland. After the Post determined that it would not pay a photographer to accompany Gottlieb's visits to jazz clubs, Gottlieb borrowed a press camera and began taking pictures for his column. William P. Gottlieb was drafted into the Army Air Corps in 1943 and served as a photography and classifications officer. After World War II, Gottlieb moved to New York City to pursue a career in journalism. He worked as a writer-photographer for Down Beat magazine, and his work also appeared frequently in Record Changer, the Saturday Review, and Collier's. In 1948, Gottlieb retired from jazz journalism in order to spend more time with his wife, Delia, and children. After Gottlieb left Down Beat, he began working at Curriculum Films, an educational filmstrip company. He founded his own filmstrip company, which was later bought by McGraw Hill. Many of his filmstrips won awards from the Canadian Film Board and the Educational Film Librarians Association. Gottlieb also wrote and illustrated children's books, including several Golden Books such as The Four Seasons, Tigers Adventure, and Laddie the Superdog. He also wrote educational books such as Science Facts You Won't Believe and Space Flight. Apart from his photography career, William Gottlieb also played amateur tennis. Gottlieb and his son Steven were often ranked the number one father-and-son ream on the East Coast and were twice ranked among the top ten teams in the US. Gottlieb married the former Delia Potofsky, daughter of Jacob Potofsky. They had four children, Barbara, Steven, Richard, and Edward. Gottlieb died of complications of a stroke on April 23, 2006, in Great Neck, New York. In accord with Gottlieb's wishes, his photographs were placed in the public domain. Many of his pictures are used in Wikipedia and other public domain or freely licensed venues.Source: Wikipedia It was the love of music that brought the superlative photography of William P. Gottlieb to the world’s attention. Originally a writer and jazz columnist, William figured that columns accompanied with photographs might give him a better chance to be published. During the late 30’s he began photographing jazz musicians to illustrate articles he wrote for the Washington Post. His weekly feature “Swing Sessions” was probably the first jazz column in a major newspaper. He simultaneously had radio programs on WRC/NBC and on a local station WINX. At the age of 22 he was Washington’s “Mr.Jazz”. After WWII, he became the assistant editor of “Downbeat” where, again, he took photos to augment his writing. At both The Post and Downbeat he was only paid just for writing, not for pictures. In 1948, he left the jazz field for a career in publishing with Britannica and McGraw Hill and it wasn’t until his retirement that he resurrected his old jazz photos and in 1979, published The Golden Age of Jazz, now in its 12th edition of printing. In a review of the book, The New Yorker wrote, “Gottlieb stopped photographing jazz musicians in 1948… No one has surpassed him yet.” Today he is still regarded as one of the top jazz photographers of all time. Although he never resumed taking jazz photos, his photographs have become our most widely reproduced jazz illustrations, having four US postage stamps, 250 record album covers, and having appeared in over 160 exhibitions around the world. He is represented in the National Portrait Gallery, and his photos were an essential part of the PBS Jazz series by Ken Burns. In 1995, The Library of Congress purchased 1,600 of his jazz photos “for posterity” and in 1997 he became the first and only photographer to receive the Downbeat Lifetime Achievement award.Source: Gallery 270
Julia Fullerton-Batten
Julia is a world-wide acclaimed and exhibited fine-art photographer. She has had portraits commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery, that are held in permanent collection. She is a winner of the HSBC Fondation pour la Photographie award and a Hasselblad Master. Her images are on the front covers of 'A Guide to Collecting Contemporary Photography' (Thames and Hudson, 2012) and Eyemazing Magazine. She is widely sought after as a judge for adjudicating at prestigious international photographic competitions and as a speaker at international events. The foundation of her success as a fine-art photographer was 'Teenage Stories' (2005), an evocative narrative of the transition of a teenage girl to womanhood. It portrays the different stages and life situations experienced by an adolescent girl as she grapples with the vulnerability of her teenage predicament – adjustments to a new body, her emotional development and changes in her social standing. Her book ‘Teenage Stories’ was published in 2007. This success was followed by other projects illuminating further stages a teenager experiences to becoming a woman - In Between (2009) and Awkward (2011). Julia freely admits to many of her scenes being autobiographical. This was even more so the case with her next project, Mothers and Daughters (2012). Here she based the project on her own experiences in her relationship with her mother, and the effects of her parents’ divorce. Unrequited love – A Testament to Love (2013) – completes Julia’s involvement with the female psyche, illustrating poignantly the struggles experienced by a woman when love goes wrong. Again there is no happy end, the woman is left with the despair of loneliness, loss and resignation. More recently, Julia has shot a series of projects where she has engaged with social issues. Unadorned (2012) takes on the issue of the modern Western society’s over-emphasis on the perfect figure, both female and male. For this project she sourced overweight models and asked them to pose in the nude in front of her camera against a backdrop similar to that of an Old Master’s painting, when voluptuousness was more accepted than it is now. ‘Blind (2013)’ confronts the viewer with a series of sympathetic images and interviews with blind people, some blind from birth, others following illness or an accident. Sight being one of mankind’s essential senses and her career being absolutely dependent on it, Julia hoped to find answers to her own personal situation if she were ever to become blind. Her most recent project, In Service (2014), exposes some of the goings-on behind the walls of the homes of the wealthy during the Edwardian era in the UK (1901 – 1911). Millions of poorer members of society escaped poverty by becoming servants in these homes, where it was not only hard work, but they were often subjected to exploitation and abuse. Julia’s very distinctive style of fine-art photography is epitomized by her use of unusual locations, highly creative settings, street-cast models, and accented with cinematic lighting. She insinuates visual tensions into her images, and imbues them with a hint of mystery, that combine to tease the viewer to re-examine the picture continuously, each time seeing more content and finding a deeper meaning with every viewing. Major events in which she has recently participated include Fotografiska, Stockholm; Noorderlicht, International Festival of Photography, Kristiansund, Norway; Dong Gang Photo festival, Korea; Daegu Photo Biennale, Korea; Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza and Fundacion Caja, Madrid; Pompidou Center, Paris; Shanghai International Photographic Art Exhibition; Hereford Photo Festival; The Museum of Contemporary Art Shanghai (MOCA Shanghai). Guest Speaker - National Geographic Seminar in Washington DC; Fotografiska, Stockholm, and Noorderlicht, Norway.
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Monterey-based photographer Debra Achen was born and raised near Pittsburgh, PA, where she developed a passion for both nature and art. She studied a variety of studio arts, including drawing, painting, and printmaking in addition to her training in traditional film and darkroom photography. Her project 'Folding and Mending' won the September 2022 Solo Exhibition. We asked here a few questions about her life and work.
Exclusive Interview with Steve Hoffman
Steve Hoffman is a documentary photographer who has who spent the last dozen years working with and photographing the people that live the housing projects in Coney Island. He was the winner of the July and August 2022 Solo Exhibition. We asked him a few questions about his life and work.
Exclusive Interview with Aya Okawa
Aya is passionate about exploring the natural world and protecting ecosystems and wild landsAll about Photo: Tell us about your first introduction to photography. What drew you into this world? Her project The Systems That Shape Us'won the February 2022 Solo Exhibition. We asked her a few questions about her life and her work.
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