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Rafal Michalak
Rafal Michalak
Rafal Michalak

Rafal Michalak

Country: Poland
Birth: 1971

Lives and works in Wroclaw, Poland. He studied political science and public relations. Graduate of Academy of Art and Design in Wroclaw with a Master of Arts (Media Art Department). A member of The Association of Polish Art Photographers (ZPAF).

He has been associated with the advertising industry and commercial photography for years. In his everyday work he deals with brand communication issues as well as visual identity development for companies and corporations. At the same time, he is actively engaged in creating his own original photography, thereafter presented in exhibitions and published in trade magazines. Winner of many photographic praises and commendations.

Human being as individuality and its place in the so fast altering world are the key factors of Michalak’s photographic research. In his photography he is mostly consumed with transgression understood as a conscious and intentional exceeding of bounds and limits that we impose on ourselves or encounter. At the same time, it provides a way to learn more about the hidden depths and makes it possible to experience reality from different points of view. Transgressive approach has characterised Michalak’s personal style of representation, regardless of used technique and medium, ever since he knowingly engaged in fine-art photography. Transgression determines his personal choices in terms of subjects he approaches, and even more so, the message, i.e. the idea behind a photograph, which he believes to be essential.
 

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Giacomo Brunelli
Giacomo Brunelli (b. Perugia, Italy, 1977) graduated with a degree in International Communications in 2002. His series on animals has been exhibited widely with shows at The Photographers’Gallery, London (Uk), Galerie Camera Obscura, Paris (France), Format Festival, Derby (Uk), Robert Morat Galerie, Hamburg (Germany), Noorderlicht Photofestival (The Netherlands), Athens Photo Festival (Greece), Daegu PhotoBiennal (South Korea), Angkor PhotoFestival (Cambodia), BlueSky Gallery, Portland (Usa), The New Art Gallery Walsall (Uk), Griffin Museum ,Boston (Usa), StreetLevel Glasgow (Uk), Photofusion, London (Uk), Arden & Anstruther Petworth (Uk), Galleria Belvedere Milan (Italy), Fotofestiwal Lodz (Poland) and Boutographies, Montepellier (France). The work has won the Sony World Photography Award, the Gran Prix Lodz, Poland and the Magenta Foundation “Flash Forward 2009”. It has also been featured widely in the art and photography press including The Guardian (Uk), Harper’s Magazine (Usa), Eyemazing (Holland), European Photography (Germany), B&W Magazine (Usa), Creative Review (Uk), Foto&Video (Russia), Images Magazine (France) Photographie (Germany), Katalog (Denmark), AdBusters (Canada), FOTO (Sweden) and FOTOGRAFI (Norway). His work is in the collection of Museum of Fine Arts Houston, The New Art Gallery Walsall, Uk Kiyosato Museum of Photographic Arts and Portland Art Museum, Usa. “The Animals”, his first monograph, was published by Dewi Lewis Publishing in 2008. In 2012, he was commissioned by The Photographers’Gallery to do a project on London that will be shown there in March 2014. Interview with Giacomo Brunelli: AAP: When did you realize you wanted to be a photographer? "I remember when more that 10 years ago, I found my father's camera in a drawer and immediately wanted to be able to use it. Did't know exactly to do what but since then I have been using it to shoot my ideas." AAP: Where did you study photography? "I graduated in Communications in 2002 and attended a six month course in photojournalism in Rome." AAP: Do you remember your first shot? What was it? "I don't remember my first shot but I started shooting people, lanscapes and animals since the beginning. I have been soon fascinated by the idea of being outside taking pictures of what you like." AAP: What or who inspires you? "I take inspiration from exhibitions, books, walks, stories and music." AAP: How could you describe your style? "Street Photography." AAP: What kind of gear do you use? Camera, lens, digital, film? "Since the very beginning, I have been using a Miranda Sensomat 35mm, a japanese film camera from the '60. Although I have tried the 28mm and 135mm when I started, I use the 50mm lens only and 1.8 1/500 as combination diaphragm/shutter speed. For a recent commission I got from The Photographers'Gallery two years ago on London, I started using 1/1000 also. Regarding the film, I like Kodak Tri-x 400 and I print the images myself in my darkroom on Agfa Fiber Based paper." AAP: Do you spend a lot of time editing your images? For what purpose? "Editing is crucial and I love spending time looking at my images as a body of work and select the ones I feel are the strongest to communicate my vision." AAP: Favorite(s) photographer(s)? "I grew up looking at the great masters such as Lartigue, Muybridge, Giacomelli, Frank, Klein and Winogrand so I think I have been deeply influenced by the way they managed to express their own ideas through photography." AAP: What advice would you give a young photographer? "Developing a coherent body of work takes time and energy; I would say just be prepared to work hard." AAP: What mistake should a young photographer avoid? "Not to be patient." AAP: Your best memory as a photographer? "Publishing "The Animals" (Dewi Lewis Publishing, 2008) has been great, seeing your pictures taking the form of a book is fantastic." AAP: Your worst souvenir as a photographer? "In 2005 I left my camera and my own things in a taxi in Bratislava."
Isabel Muñoz
Spain
1951
Born in Barcelona in 1951, she moved to Madrid in 1970 where nine years later, she registered at PhotoCentro to completely dedicate herself to professional photography. She worked for the press and advertising sector in 1981, and made various still photos during film shoots. After a spell in New York to further her training, she returned to Madrid in 1986 where she produced 'Toques', her first exhibition. She travelled the world between 1990 and 2007, discovering and immersing herself in different artistic and cultural expressions, before producing her following series and exhibitions: 'Shaolín', 'Camboya Herida', 'Capoeira', 'Contorsionistas', 'Tanger', 'Tango' and 'Toros'. She usually works in black and white. She received the Gold Medal for Merit in Fine Arts in 2009 for her work. Source: Spain Culture When she was 20 years old, she moved to Madrid and started studying photography in 1979 in Photocentro. In 1986, she made her first exhibition, "Toques" and she has already made more exhibitions in several countries of the world for more than 20 years. Her black-and-white photos are a study of people through pieces of the human body or pictures of toreros, dancers or warriors, by using a handmade and meticulous process of developing. Her works are in the Maison Européenne de la Photographie, in Paris, the New Museum of Contemporary Art, in New York City, the Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston or private collections. Source: Wikipedia Isabel Muñoz stands out as an assertive photographer. Platinum developments and extra large formats are favourite techniques used in order to strengthen her message of passion for the body as a means of approaching the study of human beings. Tango and Flamenco (1989) are considered the starting point of her unremitting search of the sentiments and emotions of world groups and cultures in an attempt to capture the expressions of beauty of the human body. When Muñoz focuses her camera on dancers, wrestlers, warrior monks, bullfighters or deprived children she does it with a strong sense of commitment. Her first individual exhibition, Toques, in 1986 at the French Institute in Madrid and her participation in the Mois de la Photographie in Paris in 1990, set her international projection as a high profile photographer without boundaries. These will be the first of many exhibitions throughout the main cities of Europe, the Americas and Asia. Her photographs are shown at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía (Madrid), Foto Colectania (Barcelona), Fundación Canal (Madrid), Maison Européenne de la Photographie (París), New Museum of Contemporary Art (New York) and Instituto Cervantes (Mexico, Guatemala, Bolivia, Shanghai, Tokio). Isabel Muñoz work has been widely recognized with numerous honours and distinctions. Recent awards include Fundación DEARTE (2012), the UNICEF Spain Awareness Rasing Award in 2010, Bartolomé Ros Prize (PHotoEspaña 2009), the Spanish Ministry of Culture Gold Medal to Fine Arts in Spain (2009), the first prize in photography by Comunidad de Madrid (2006), the two World Press Photo prizes (2000 and 2004), the Biennial of Alexandria Gold Medal (1999), Isabel Muñoz was born in Barcelona in 1951 and lives in Madrid since 1970. Source: LensCulture
Philippe Marchand
Philippe Marchand was born in 1961, self-taught photographer. He lives in Nantes in the West of France. He collaborates with numerous advertising and illustration agencies where his photographies contribute to the promotion of renowned brands. He is also developing a personal work on the link between man and the sea. We find in the pictures he brings back from his hikes all the Power and the magic of the places he goes through. Its aesthetic approach, the technical constraints it imposes on itself contribute to the creation of a singular photographic universe and resolutely personal. This award-winning work is regularly published in the international press. The Man and the Sea "The sea is present in everyone's imagination, it means dream and adventure, but also mystery and fear. What I am trying to develop through the link that unites man with the sea concerns the emotions that the ocean can arouse in each of us, through evocative images. Not the translation of reality. In the manner of the pictorialists whose movement originated at the end of the 19th century and for whom the image must go beyond the reality photographed. I try to capture the atmosphere of the place, the poetry and the mystery that surrounds it. The shooting is the first part of a process that also includes a long work in "darkroom" to try to recreate the "Feeling" of the moment". Philippe Marchand, photographer of seafarers. Black, white, shadow, light, what can be seen and what can be guessed, the ocean and those who are close to it. Philippe Marchand opens the world of the sea to us in its most intimate and human aspects. His approach is sensitive, full of nuances and modesty. Philippe Marchand's photos are like fragments of history. He highlights the relationship between the sea and people: how they look at it, how they approach it and the intimacy they share with it through their activities and passions. Man's imprint on the seascape and the ocean's imprint on the lives of men, even in their attitudes and faces. The secret communion between people and the sea. The artist has opted for the panoramic format and black and white. Facing the ocean, the format imposed itself. The immensity of the sea is exalted, the fragility of men is highlighted. With black and white, more timeless than colour, Philippe shows us the permanence of the places and gestures of the unchanging world of the sea. We have the feeling that time stands still. There is no rush, no run. Life has always had the rhythm of the ocean. Through a subtle play of contrasts, greys and light, a real "paw stroke" of the photographer, the images are linked together, inseparable, part of a whole, of a universe where Philippe invites us to share his emotions. The grain, very present, attenuates, coats the real and reinforces the poetic side of the images. The characters are most often from the back or almost from the back, partly hidden by the play of shadows. The gaze is discreet, never really, never completely encompassing them. There is like a mystery in the air, which Philippe lets us "glimpse"...
George Dambier
France
1925 | † 2011
Born in 1925, Georges Dambier first went to work for painter Paul Colin, where he learnt drawing and graphic design. Then he landed a job as assistant to Willy Rizzo, a famous portraitist photographer (Harcourt’s Studio, Paris Match). There, he discovered photography and was taught the fundamentals of this art, especially lighting. Georges Dambier was 20 when the Second World War came to an end, a moment when the social scene in Paris suddenly took off. Nightlife, subdued during the Occupation, exploded. Le Bœuf sur le toit, Le Lido, la Rose Rouge, Le Lorientais, Le Tabou : he frequented cabarets and jazz clubs in Saint Germain des Prés, where famous artists and celebrities organised glittering parties and balls. One night, he managed to take pictures of Rita Hayworth who had come incognito to a famous night club, Le Jimmy’s. He sold the exclusive images to France Dimanche, a daily magazine recently created by Max Corre and Pierre Lazareff, and won himself a job on the magazine as a photo-reporter. In his new post, he was sent to all over the world to cover current events. However, with his predilection for graphic design and aesthetics, his liking for refined mise-en-scene, and at the urging of many friends, such as Capucine, Suzy Parker, Jacques Fath, Bettina, Brigitte Bardot, Jean Barthet, he was lead towards fashion photography. As Georges Dambier built and perfected his craft, he was hired by Helene Lazareff, director of ELLE, the fashion magazine. She encouraged him and gave him his first assignment as a fashion photographer. Georges Dambier did not conform to the standard technique of taking fashion pictures, with models standing emotionless and seemingly indifferent to the camera. Instead, he showed models smiling, laughing and often in action. His models were surrounded by local people in a market place in Marrakech, or in a village in Corsica, or – and above all – in his beloved Paris. Most of all, it was Georges Dambier’s ability to put his subjects at ease (many of them were friends) that helped him create true, intimate and lasting images. With his delicate style, and refined technique, his work revealed a reality of great elegance. As his career blossomed, he became widely known for his ability to capture the essence of feminine chic and glamour in his images. In 1954, Robert Capa asked him to lead a fashion department at the Magnum Photo Agency. Unfortunately, Capa died a few weeks later, while covering the Indochinese war. Meanwhile, Georges Dambier set up his own studio in Paris, Rue de la Bienfaisance. As a freelance photographer, he continued to contribute to ELLE and other magazines: Vogue, Le Jardin des Modes, Marie France…He also collaborated with Françoise Giroud and Christine Collanges at L’Express. Big advertising campaigns (Synergie, Havas, Publicis), and contracts for many brands such as L’Oréal, Carita, Jacques Dessange followed. In addition to his work in advertising, Georges Dambier did portraits for record covers and posters for his great friend, the producer Eddie Barclay and Jacques Canetti. As his reputation grew, so did opportunities to meet and photograph celebrities from different worlds. He captured the faces of the most notable artists of the 60’s: Sacha Distel, Zizi Jeanmaire, Dalida, Jeanne Moreau… His impressive client list included celebrities (Cerdan, Cocteau…), singers (Johnny Hallyday, Sylvie Vartan, Charles Aznavour...), actors (Alain Delon, Françoise Dorléac, Catherine Deneuve…) and many others. In 1964, Georges Dambier launched his own project: a magazine for young people, dedicated to culture and fashion: TWENTY. He hired young artists and photographers: Just Jaeckin, Jean Paul Goude, Philippe Labro, Copi, Bosc and many others who would later become famous in their own right. Twenty lasted two eventful years. In 1976, he created the magazine VSD with his old friend Maurice Siegel. Georges Dambier led the artistic side of the magazine and headed the photographic section. VSD was an instant success. In the late eighties, Georges Dambier retired to a quieter life in the countryside. He died in May, 2011. Source: Peter Fetterman Gallery
Anton Alymov
Russia
2001
My artistic adventure started in 2016. I wanted to make movies or short filmes, but I felt it was impossible - I was 14 at the time and I well realised that in order to create a high quality media project the budget was needed. I couldn't compromise on the quality as great visuals were very important for me - I was that teen with dreams about more or less serious productions. But after some time I came up with an idea on how to fulfill my passion of cinematography until I would find the way to go "serious". The idea was this: to make short films using the engines of computer games - this was a perfect solution, I didn't need actors, didn't need cameras, didn't need any budget. All I had was great enthusiasm to commit to that venture. The computer game that I based my short films on was GTA 5 - I really loved its engine as it opened unlimited possibilities in front of me in terms of bringing to life ideas and scripts. As I was getting more experienced in creating video content, I started getting more and more comments complimenting the visuals of my videos - camera angles, movements and compositions. The show grew to the format of series and happened to be a major success. In half a year since I commited to creating content, the channel hit the 100,000 subscribers mark getting millions of views - that unique the content was. I continued working hard on my videos, sometimes I had to spend 12-14 hours a day on them with no exaggeration and the channel quickly grew to the 200.000 mark. By that time I had already signed partnerships with some big companies in the industry, this was one of the reasons I had to work that hard. Some of them were: Ubisoft (I've been working with them on promoting every single game since Far Cry 5 having access to the products months before official release dates), WarGaming (World of Tanks, World of Warships, World of Warplanes) and many more. (Now the channel has the following of 330,000 persons). The name of the show is "ALCATRAZ OFFICIAL" by the way. In the early 2019 as I was getting close to finishing my school studies I decided to finally start the transition into "Serious" productions that I had been dreaming about. I finally had access to budgets and here starts enother chapter in my life - I decided to take a season off on my channel (As the content grew into the series format over the time as I mentioned) and focus completely on the transition. I decided to spend that time learning whatever I was passionate about. This was the time when I discovered the work of Serge Ramelli - an internationally reknown photographer from Paris, France whom I'm honoured to have as a friend nowadays. And I heard an inspirational story about his attempts in filmmaking industry in the early 2000's and about the way he got into photography - it all started with pursuing filmmaking originally. I had seen great visuals in my life, but nothing touched me as much as Serge's work and I could not explain it - there was something special about his photos that gave me real emotions while just looking on the screen. And I thought to myself that until I find a way to get into the productions I dreamed about I could at least create photographic art. I was happy to have such an opportunity to allow myself to spendthe entire year learning and following my passion as I had the means for that financially - the partnerships with companies could pay my bills and I even decided to go to the UK to study media. This was the time my photography career started to develop rapidly - I was awarded with ND Photography Awards in 2019 in the cityscape category and I found a 5-star hotel that would give me a chance to impress them with interior photography so they can use it for online marketing. The problem was - I was studying art in England and this hotel was 3,000 kilometers away in Moscow. I had already made quite some big decisions in my life and I had to make one more. So I quit the uni and went back to Moscow to pursue photography business. This happened to be one of the greatest decisions that I'd ever made. The hotel was amazed by the quality of the photos and here the word of mouth came into the game. In massive cities the competition between hotels is so high that immidiately one hotel rises up in any charachteristic (the quality of rooms photos as an example), the other hotel wishes to have the same right away. Since then I've been having the pleasure of working on photographing hotels and restaraunts and also of travelling the world creating the photographs of the most beautiful cities. This is how my dreams of filmmaking and the right decisions taken at the right time have lead me into transferring from being a YouTube content creator to a full time interior photographer and a cityscape artist. In 2020 I will do my best to find a way to combine the two. Satement Whenever I create my art I fully represent my emotions on the screen. I always communicate extremely simple messages in my photography, but those are also the most powerful ones in my opinion. The Secrets To Breathtaking Cityscapes
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Call for Entries
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Winners will receive $10,000 in cash awards, extensive press coverage and global recognition.