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Craig Varjabedian
Craig Varjabedian
Craig Varjabedian

Craig Varjabedian

Country: United States
Birth: 1957

"Craig Varjabedian's photographs of the American West would be the perfect illustrations to a Cormac McCarthy book. They have a surreal beauty and poetic emptiness that border on the fictional. It's as if this isn't the real West, but the West of tall tales and American dreams."
Claire O'neill, "The Picture Show," National Public Radio

Craig Varjabedian is an award-winning photographer, author, and teacher. His stunning photographs of the people and places of the American West are critically acclaimed, not only for their powerful imagery and artistic composition, but also for their ability to transcend the commonplace-immanently engaging the viewer with scenes that passionately reflect the artist's connection to his subjects. Varjabedian achieves this goal through a skillful visionary acuity and intuition, allowing him to make photographs that expand awareness. As a result, viewers are presented with new ways of seeing and experiencing this region so integral to our collective imagination and our unique American identity.

Varjabedian's gift lies in his ability to blend both technical expertise and illustrative narrative-depicting lyrical images that reveal the humanity and character of a vast sometimes barren country known for its legendary beauty and dramatic heritage. Varjabedian's photographs tell contemporary stories that continue to inspire today what has historically been recognized as the "spirit of the Great American West."

Craig graduated from the University of Michigan witha Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, and received his Master's degree from the prestigious Rochester Institute of Technology. As a fine art photographer for over forty years, Varjabedian has been widely praised for his masterful images ranging from awe-inspiring, expansive landscapes, to intimate soul-revealing portraits. He is also the director of Eloquent Light Photography Workshops in Santa Fe.

In further recognition of his work, Varjabedian has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, the McCune Charitable Foundation, and the New Mexico Humanities Council. His photographs have been exhibited in, and his prints collected by, museums around the country, including the William Benton Museum of Art, the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin, and the Albuquerque Museum of Art.

In 1991, Craig received an Emmy Award for his collaboration with award-winning filmmaker Karl Kernberger on the PBS documentary En Divina Luz: The Penitente Moradas of New Mexico. Photographs from this project were published in a 1994 book by the same name. Craig's other books include By the Grace of Light: Images of Faith from Catholic New Mexico (1998), Four & Twenty Photographs: Stories from Behind the Lens (2007); Ghost Ranch and the Faraway Nearby (2009), which received the prestigious Wrangler Award for Outstanding Photography Book from the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum; and Landscape Dreams, A New Mexico Portrait (2012), released to coincide with the New Mexico State Centennial.

Varjabedian's latest book, Into the Great White Sands, a photographic celebration of White Sands National Monument, was published by the University of New Mexico Press in 2018. The book received a prestigious New Mexico/Arizona Book Award.

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Larry Fink
United States
1941
Larry Fink is an American photographer best known for his black-and-white images of people at parties and in other social situations. Fink was born in 1941 in Brooklyn, New York. His father, Bernard Fink, was a lawyer, and his mother, Sylvia Caplan Fink, was an anti-nuclear weapon activist and an elder rights activist for the Gray Panthers. His younger sister was noted lawyer Elizabeth Fink (1945–2015). He grew up in a politically conscious household and has described himself as "a Marxist from Long Island." He studied at the New School for Social Research in New York City, where photographer Lisette Model was one of his teachers and encouraged his work. He has been on the faculty of Bard College since 1986. Earlier he taught at other institutions including the Yale University School of Art (1977–1978), Cooper Union School of Art and Architecture (1978–1983), Parsons School of Design, and New York University. Fink's best-known work is Social Graces, a series of photographs he produced in the 1970s that depicted and contrasted wealthy Manhattanites at fashionable clubs and social events alongside working-class people from rural Pennsylvania participating in events such as high school graduations. Social Graces was the subject of a solo exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in 1979 and was published in book form in 1984. A New York Times reviewer described the series as exploring social class by comparing "two radically divergent worlds", while accomplishing "one of the things that straight photography does best: provid[ing] excruciatingly intimate glimpses of real people and their all-too-fallibly-human lives." In 2001, for an assignment from The New York Times Magazine, Larry Fink created a series of satirical color images of President George W. Bush and his cabinet (portrayed by stand-ins) in scenes of decadent revelry modeled on paintings by Weimar-era painters Max Beckmann, Otto Dix and George Grosz. The planned publication of the series was canceled after the September 11 attacks, but was displayed in the summer of 2004 at the PowerHouse Gallery in New York, in a show titled The Forbidden Pictures: A Political Tableau. Larry Fink was the recipient of Guggenheim Fellowships in 1976 and 1979 and National Endowment for the Arts Individual Photography Fellowships in 1978 and 1986. In 2002 he received an honorary doctorate from the College for Creative Studies in Detroit.Source: Wikipedia Working as a professional photographer for over fifty-five years, Larry Fink has had one-man shows at New York’s Museum of Modern Art, and the Whitney Museum of American Art amongst others. On the European continent, he has had one-man shows at the Musee de l’Elysee in Lausanne, Switzerland, the Musee de la Photographie in Charleroi, Belgium, and in 2019 a retrospective at Fotografia Europea in Italy. He was awarded the “Best of Show” for an exhibition curated by Christian Caujolle at the Arles Festival of Photography in France. In recent years retrospective shows have been shown at the Museo de Arte Contemporaneo in Panama City as well as six different museums in Spain. This past year in 2018, Larry had a solo show featuring The Boxing Photographs at The Philadelphia Museum of Art, and at the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum with the show Primal Empathy. Larry was the recipient of the Lucie Award for Documentary Photography in 2017, and in 2015, he received the International Center of Photography (ICP) Infinity Award for Lifetime Fine Art Photography. He has also been awarded two John Simon Guggenheim Fellowships and two National Endowment for the Arts, Individual Photography Fellowships. He has been teaching for over fifty-two years, with professorial positions held at Yale University, Cooper Union, and lastly at Bard College, where he is an honored professor emeritus. Larry’s first monograph, the seminal Social Graces (Aperture, 1984) left a lasting impression in the photographic community. There have been twelve other monographs with the subject matter crossing the class barrier in unexpected ways. Two of his most recently published books were on several “Best Of” lists of the year: The Beats published by Artiere /powerhouse and Larry Fink on Composition and Improvisation published by Aperture. As an editorial photographer, The New Yorker and Vanity Fair have been amongst a long list of accounts. He is currently collaborating with fashion house Jil Sander based in Milan, Italy. In the summer of 2017, Larry’s work from The Beats and The Vanities was on display at Giorgio Armani’s beautiful Armani/Silos exhibition space in Milan, Italy. This exhibition was the first of its kind for the space. Additionally, the Newport Museum of Art in Rhode Island exhibited pictures from his monograph Somewhere There’s Music. Fink On Warhol: New York Photographs of the 1960s, Larry’s latest monograph was released Spring 2017 featuring rare photographs of Andy Warhol and his friends at the Factory interspersed with street scenes and the political atmosphere of 1960s New York. Also released in 2017 was The Polarities chronicling five years of recent work, and The Outpour containing images taken at and around the Women’s March on Washington, D.C. Source: www.larryfinkphotography.com
John Novis
United Kingdom
1950
John Novis is photographer and story teller working on environmental issues, particularly climate change for the last 30 years. Climate Change is the biggest global threat ever known to mankind, yet it is the most challenging and difficult subject to visualize to any great effect. Any image presented, be it extreme weather events, scientific evidence or global protests can be argued against by a sceptic media, governments and industry. It is precisely this challenge that drives concerned photographers to push ever more creative photos into the image pool to drive home the importance of this emergency of our times. We are getting somewhere thanks to Greta Thunberg and Environmental groups such as Greenpeace, Extinction Rebellion etc. which provide scope for compelling pictures. Social media has also provided a valuable platform for citizen journalism reporting climate related events as they unfold in real time. How I got there I stared my career in photography in London during the 'swinging 60's 'years working with high profile photographers in Vogue, Apple Corp (Beatles), top Fashion and Industrial photo studios Adrian Ensor Labs up until 1977 when I enrolled on a 3 year 'Creative Photography' course in Nottingham University under the guidance of Thomas Joshua Cooper and Raymond Moore. In 1980 I received a grant from UK South East Arts to make a 30 minute, 16mm film called 'Our trip to the Zoo' analysing the family snapshot with the old Kodak slogan – 'to capture life'. Throughout most of the 80's I worked as a freelance commercial photographer and then in 1989 I joined Greenpeace as an in –house photographer where I was employed until 2015. Just before I joined Greenpeace, I was becoming disillusioned with photography as an instrument for advertising and generating profit. It was though Greenpeace I was able to employ my expertise in photography to produce images that would serve as a wake-up call to the critical state of our environment. As photography became more important to the organisation I became Head of Photography at the international headquarters in Amsterdam, directing major photo projects such as: - Ocean and whaling expeditions, Amazon – Illegal logging, Yunnan, China campaigning against the introduction of GMO rice to the rice growing communities, Climate in Crisis - Yellow River drying up, the Disappearing Glaciers on Everest, Climate and Poverty along the Silk Road in Gansu Province, China - Palm oil production in Riau, Indonesia and 'Forest Solutions' global communities living from the forest management towards a sustainable solution. In addition, I have also worked on numerous successful publications including the nuclear industry of Russia with Dutch photographer Robert Knoth, (Panos) and Bhopal – '' with Raghu Rai (Magnum). My professional services outside Greenpeace have included, organizing and hosting the Beijing Photo Master Classes with World Press Photo winners, member of the jury for the 2007 CHIPP (China International Press Photo Contest) and Member of the Jury and visiting lecturer to Fotopub, Slovenia July 2008. Directing a major exhibition and slide show at 1999 Perpignan, Visa Pour L'image with an interview with Jean Francois Leroy on stage. In 2012 I ran a photo workshop and curated a renewable energy exhibition at the Angkor Photo Festival in Siem Reap, Cambodia and was invited as guest speaker for Wild Photos at the Royal Geographic society in 2011. I am currently working on Climate Emergency events and supporting on line publications with consultancy and archive picture material.
Scott M. Fincher
United States
1946
So what differentiates a portrait of a person from a picture of an object? Essentially nothing. A photographer's purpose is revelation. In the street or in the corporate suite the imperative is to take surfaces into the interior so that the viewer comes to understand something about what has been presented. This could be an aspect of personality or the structure of a design. In short, one can say no more than one can see. Early in my career, I used to fantasize that I could be a Beethoven of photography. The idea contradicts the central principle of the medium. What distinguishes photography from the other arts is time. Unlike music, which takes a single idea and expands it, photography interrupts the continuum and digests it into an exquisite moment where understanding, composition and action intersect. All this is expressed succinctly in poet e.e. cummings's introduction to his volume "Is Five": "I am abnormally fond of that precision which creates movement." In my eyes, photography also adheres to Francis Bacon's maxim, "The contemplation of things as they are without error, without confusion, without substitution or imposture is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of inventions." That is why I love both nature and the street and quest for the image that sits on the cusp of the real and surreal. For the most part, I do not manipulate the images in the digital "darkroom" any more than I would have were I using techniques of the old "wet" darkrooms. Mostly, I adjust luminosity. My background is print journalism. I edited photography and foreign and national news for the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times for many years before deciding to rededicate myself to my passion. It has been, as the great Edward Steichen once said about the photographic act, "Incredibly easy and impossibly difficult." Nevertheless, the results have been good, and I have won national, international and art fair awards since my return to photography in 2006. My images are in collections all over the U.S. and in Germany, Poland, Denmark and Venezuela. I hold a bachelor's in English from Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill., and have studied photography in too many workshops to enumerate. I live in Chicago.
Berenice Abbott
United States
1898 | † 1991
Berenice Alice Abbott (July 17, 1898 – December 9, 1991) was an American photographer best known for her portraits of between-the-wars 20th century cultural figures, New York City photographs of architecture and urban design of the 1930s, and science interpretation in the 1940s to 1960s. Abbott was born in Springfield, Ohio and brought up in Ohio by her divorced mother, née Lillian Alice Bunn (m. Charles E. Abbott in Chillicothe OH, 1886). She attended Ohio State University for two semesters, but left in early 1918 when her professor was dismissed because he was a German teaching an English class. She moved to New York City, where she studied sculpture and painting. In 1921 she traveled to Paris and studied sculpture with Emile Bourdelle. While in Paris, she became an assistant to Man Ray, who wanted someone with no previous knowledge of photography. Abbott took revealing portraits of Ray's fellow artists. Abbott was part of the straight photography movement, which stressed the importance of photographs being unmanipulated in both subject matter and developing processes. She also disliked the work of pictorialists who had become popular during a substantial span of her career, leaving her work without support from this school of photographers. Most of Abbott's work was influenced by what she described as her unhappy and lonely childhood. This gave her the strength and determination to follow her dreams. Throughout her career, Abbott's photography was very much a reflection of the rise in development of technology and society. Her works documented and extolled the New York landscape. This was guided by her belief that a modern-day invention such as the camera deserved to document the 20th century. The film Berenice Abbott: A View of the 20th Century, which showed 200 of her black and white photographs, suggests that she was a "proud proto-feminist"; someone who was ahead of her time in feminist theory. Before the film was completed she questioned, "The world doesn't like independent women, why, I don't know, but I don't care." She identified publicly as a lesbian and lived with her partner, art critic Elizabeth McCausland, for 30 years. Berenice Abbott's life and work are the subject of the 2017 novel The Realist: A Novel of Berenice Abbott, by Sarah Coleman.Source: Wikipedia Berenice Abbott was born and raised in Ohio where she endured an erratic family life. In 1918, after two semesters at Ohio State University, she left to join friends associated with the Provincetown Players, in Greenwich Village. There she met Djuna Barnes, Kenneth Burke, Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Little Review editors Margaret Anderson and Jane Heap, and other influential modernists. From 1919-1921, while studying sculpture, Abbott supported herself as an artist's model, posing for photographers Nikolas Muray and Man Ray. She also met Marcel Duchamp, and participated in Dadaist publications. Abbott moved to Paris in 1921, where she continued to study sculpture (and in Berlin), and to support herself by modeling. During 1923-1926, she worked as Man Ray's darkroom assistant (he had also relocated to Paris) and tried portrait photography at his suggestion. Abbott's first solo exhibition, in 1926, launched her career. In 1928 she rescued and began to promote Eugène Atget's photographic work, calling his thirty years of Parisian streetscapes and related studies "realism unadorned." In 1929 Abbott took a new artistic direction to tackle the scope (if not the scale) of Atget's achievement in New York City. During 1929-38, she photographed urban material culture and the built environment of New York, documenting the old before it was torn down and recording new construction. From 1934-58, she also taught photography at the New School. During 1935-39, Abbott worked as a "supervisor" for the Federal Art Project to create Changing New York (her free-lance work and New School teaching commitment made her ineligible for unemployment relief) . From 1939-60, Abbott photographed scientific subjects, concluding with her notable illustrations for the MIT-originated Physical Sciences Study Committee's revolutionary high school physics course. In 1954, she photographed along the length of US 1; the work never found a publisher. In 1968, Abbott sold the Atget archive to the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and moved permanently to her home in central Maine (bought in 1956 and restored over several decades) . 1970 saw Abbott's first major retrospective exhibition, at the Museum of Modern Art. Her first retrospective portfolio appeared in 1976, and she received the International Center of Photography's Lifetime Achievement Award in 1989. She died at home in Monson, Maine in December 1991.Source: New York Public Library In 1929, Abbott returned to the United States, where she embarked on her best-known body of work--a documentation of New York City for which she developed her famous bird's-eye and worm's-eye points-of-view. She worked on the project independently through the early years of the Depression, and in 1935, secured funding from the Federal Art Project (a part of the Works Progress Administration). Her pictures were published as Changing New York (1939), which was both critically and commercially successful; it remains a classic text for historians of photography. One of Abbott's later final projects was an illustration of scientific phenomenon, produced in the 1950s in collaboration with the Physical Sciences Study Committee based at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Although not as well known as her New York work, these pictures are exquisite examples of her acumen for technical experimentation and her natural instinct for combining factual photographic detail with stunning artistic accomplishment. With their clear visual demonstration of abstract scientific principles, the photographs were chosen to illustrate physics textbooks of the 1950s and 1960s.Source: International Center of Photography
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