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Sumit Gupta
Sumit Gupta
Sumit Gupta

Sumit Gupta

Country: India
Birth: 1983

While a software engineer by profession, Sumit has been capturing and sharing the stories of cities and cultures since 2013.

He finds the experience of walking around the city streets with a camera almost therapeutic and meditative. Inspired by the human condition, Sumit has photographed mostly in India and Europe.

Sumit's photographs are inspired by a personal desire to find meaning in the world around us and attempt to draw attention to the poetic and inspirational nature of human life all around us.

All about the project 'The River'

The Kumbh Mela is the largest religious gathering of humans on our planet. Over the two month period that this festival happens, once every 12 years in 4 Indian cities, millions of people come from all over the country (and outside of it) to take an auspicious bath in the holy waters of the river Ganga.

I'm interested in portraying how the contemporary experience of the Kumbh Mela is influenced by aspects such as globalization, consumption and current trends of social behavior. People from all over India come to this event as a pilgrimage to wash away their sins, but they're also cohabiting with people that see this as a cultural attraction, as a possibility to experience a foreign culture and filter it through social media.

What's the impact of hyper-communication and advertising in the collective atmosphere of this spiritual gathering? The project tries to reflect on those ideas by working through the psychological climate of the different people that are present in the event.

The images evidence the paradoxical and complex nature of a spiritual event that feeds on tradition when young people seem to drift away from old collective habits.

The river, the sacred area where people transcend their humanity, is the perfect metaphor for the current situation; affected by mass production and consumerism, the polluted river is still worshipped as a place for cleansing; time will tell if the memory that holds this identity will keep flowing through the divine water, or if it will drown to the mirage of pleasures that float in the immediacy of today's world.
 

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More Great Photographers To Discover

Cao Luning
China
1990
Cao Luning is a street photographer who lives in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, China, a city of 8 million people. He only started to do photography 3 years ago and all learnt by himself. For Cao Luning, photography is a means of getting to know and expressing himself. Just like the saying "You are what you read", he also believes "You are what you shoot". He's extremely crazy about Street, Travel and Documentary photography, and the uncertainty and infinite possibilities of them fascinate him. They are just similar to life, you never know what you are going to get tomorrow. You may capture some nice shots, or you might come back empty-handed. Street photographer is his identity. Cao Luning is a street wanderer and likes to watch people. He can linger on the streets all day long without feeling tired or fed up. When he shoots, he focuses on the serendipity of specific colors, light and shadows, gestures and the implied humor of scenes. Cao Luning reckons framing is crucial to a good photograph, and he's been greatly influenced by Henri Cartier-Bresson and his "The Decisive Moment Theory", which He thinks is something that every photographer should pay attention to. His mentors are Mangum Photographer Alex Webb and his wife Rebecca Norris Webb, and they both helped him a lot in developing his own vision. In his opinion, given different situations and scenarios, a good street photographer should swiftly apply different compositions that best suit the scenes, instead of using one or two methods for all situations, because that's not a creative process, it's just mechanical repetitions. Statement I'm a street photographer who started to do photography 3 years ago. For me, photography is a means of getting to know and expressing myself. Just like the saying "You are what you read", I also believe "You are what you shoot". I'm extremely crazy about Street, Travel and Documentary photography, and the uncertainty and infinite possibilities of them fascinate me. They are just similar to life, you never know what you are going to get tomorrow. You may capture many nice shots, or you might come back empty-handed. I'm a street wanderer and I like to watch people. I can linger on the streets all day long without feeling tired or fed up. When I shoot, I focus on the serendipity of specific colors, light and shadows, gestures and the implied humor of scenes. I reckon framing is crucial to a good photograph, and I've been greatly influenced by Henri Cartier-Bresson and his "The Decisive Moment Theory", which I think is something that every photographer should pay attention to. In my opinion, given different situations and scenarios, a good street photographer should swiftly apply different compositions that best suit the scenes, instead of using one or two methods for all situations, because that's not a creative process, it's just mechanical repetitions. Most of the works I submitted were shot during the pandemic in China.. On January 2020, The New Coronavirus Pneumonia (or COVID-19) outbroke in Wuhan, Hubei Province in China and soon spread all over the country. As a result, the Chinese government locked down the whole country, stopped all production activities, restricted intercity transportation, and people were advised not to go outside. I live in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, a city of 8 million people, and when it was shut down, it was a bit like a ghost town in the beginning, not completely empty, but hard to find people on the streets. However, I found out by the Yangtze River and some parks, there are some citizens. People would go fishing, do sports, exercise or simply relax. So I often go to those places with my camera, trying to capture their life under the influence of Coronavirus. The virus has pressed the pause button for most of us, though it's not a good thing, objectively speaking, it gives us a good opportunity to look inside and review our living states. It offers us a window to slow down and appreciate all the good and beautiful things around us as well. In the meantime, we are also given the possibility to do the things that we always wanted to do. We should cherish it and live in the moment, despite how dreadful the epidemic situation might be, life has to go on. I hope you'll enjoy my works and get to know me better by them.
Laurence Demaison
Having practiced various means of artistic expression (painting, drawing, sculpture) since childhood, and completing formal training in architecture in 1988, Laurence began her self-taught journey into photography in 1990. Particularly interested in the female portrait and nude, and finding it difficult to adequately convey her mental images into words and direction, she gave up on the use of models and began to use herself exclusively as the subject of her photographs. Freed from the burden of words and the presence of others, she embraced the solitude, silence and freedom, while struggling to confront the image of her own body. Rather than portraying her body as it was, she sought to conceal, modify, even destroy it and reconstruct it in a form more acceptable to her. The result is a series of self-portraits which expertly use the reflective and distortive qualities of her materials along with the shadowy effects of light and negative images to create "paper phantoms", ghosts of herself that are there, yet disappear in an instant. Laurence creates all of her images in camera and executes the silver gelatin prints in her own darkroom, with no alteration of the image after shooting. She has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors from European photographic organizations and her work has been exhibited extensively in Paris and elsewhere in France, Germany, Spain, Switzerland, Luxembourg and Belgium. This is the first gallery exhibition of her work in the United States. Source: Galerie BMG
Leonard Freed
United States
1929 | † 2006
Leonard Freed was a documentary photojournalist and longtime Magnum member. He was born to Jewish, working-class parents of Eastern European descent. Freed had wanted to be a painter, but began taking photographs in the Netherlands and discovered a new passion. He traveled in Europe and Africa before returning to the United States where he attended the New School and studied with Alexey Brodovitch, the art director of Harper's Bazaar. In 1958 he moved to Amsterdam to photograph its Jewish community. Through the 1960s he continued to work as a freelance photojournalist, traveling widely. He documented such events and subjects as the Civil Rights movement in America (1964–65), the Yom Kippur War in 1973, and the New York City police department (1972–79). His career blossomed during the American civil rights movement, when he traveled the country with Martin Luther King, Jr. in his celebrated march across the US from Alabama to Washington. This journey gave him the opportunity to produce his 1968 book, Black in White America, which brought considerable attention. His work on New York City law enforcement also led to a book, Police Work which was published in 1980. Early in Freed's career, Edward Steichen purchased three photographs from Freed for the collection of the Museum of Modern Art.[ In 1967, Cornell Capa selected Freed as one of five photographers to participate in his "Concerned Photography" exhibition. Freed joined Magnum Photos in 1972. Publications to which Freed contributed over the years included Der Spiegel, Die Zeit, Fortune, Libération, Life, Look, Paris-Match, Stern, and The Sunday Times Magazine of London. In later years, Freed continued shooting photographs in Italy, Turkey, Germany, Lebanon and the U.S. He also shot four films for Japanese, Dutch and Belgian television.Source: Wikipedia Born in Brooklyn, New York, to working-class Jewish parents of Eastern European descent, Leonard Freed first wanted to become a painter. However, he began taking photographs while in the Netherlands in 1953, and discovered that this was where his passion lay. In 1954, after trips through Europe and North Africa, he returned to the United States and studied in Alexei Brodovitch's 'design laboratory'. He moved to Amsterdam in 1958 and photographed the Jewish community there. He pursued this concern in numerous books and films, examining German society and his own Jewish roots; his book on the Jews in Germany was published in 1961, and Made in Germany, about post-war Germany, appeared in 1965. Working as a freelance photographer from 1961 onwards, Freed began to travel widely, photographing blacks in America (1964-65), events in Israel (1967-68), the Yom Kippur War in 1973, and the New York City police department (1972-79). He also shot four films for Japanese, Dutch and Belgian television. Early in Freed's career, Edward Steichen, then Director of Photography at the Museum of Modern Art, bought three of his photographs for the museum. Steichen told Freed that he was one of the three best young photographers he had seen and urged him to remain an amateur, as the other two were now doing commercial photography and their work had become uninteresting. 'Preferably,' he advised, 'be a truck driver.' Freed joined Magnum in 1972. His coverage of the American civil rights movement first made him famous, but he also produced major essays on Poland, Asian immigration in England, North Sea oil development, and Spain after Franco. Photography became Freed's means of exploring societal violence and racial discrimination. Leonard Freed died in Garrison, New York, on 30 November 2006.Source: Steven Kasher Gallery
Trevor Cole
Anne Helene Gjelstad
Anne Helene Gjelstad is an award-winning photographer and educator. After graduation from the Norwegian National Academy of Craft and Art Industry in 1982 she had her own fashion studio in Oslo for 25 years. Among her clients were HM Queen Sonja, Norwegian artists, magazines and the textile industry. In 2006 she felt the need for a change and decided to follow her childhood dream and become a photographer. She took the two-year class in photography at Bilder Nordic School of Photography (2007-08) as well a numerous workshops by some of the leading photographers of our time such as Joyce Tenneson, Mary Ellen Mark, Greg Gorman and Vee Speers. Anne Helene's works has been has been exhibited worldwide; in the National Art Museum of China in Beijing, in Centro Fotografico Alvarez Bravo in Mexico, in Ljubljana in Slovenia, around Estonia including the Lobby in the Estonian Parliament in Tallinn and in the National Museum in Tartu as well as in The House of Photography in Oslo. Anne Helene Gjelstad has her photo studio in an old barn surrounded by beautiful landscape just outside of Oslo. She also gives lectures and teaches portrait photography and postproduction. For her portraits, she is rewarded numerous awards. Statement For eleven years, since 2008, I have worked on portraying the lives of the older women on the small Estonian islands of Kihnu and Manija in the Baltic Sea. Colourful, interesting and friendly, they represent a culture and a way of life that is changing despite the strong anchor of tradition. These robust women are used to working hard, and take care of almost everything. They bring up the children, make the clothes, plough the fields, drive the tractors and take care of the animals. The men spend much time away from home, fishing or working on the mainland or abroad. Life is often hard. This is normal here. Nobody asks questions. You do what you must. This is how you get a big heart and strong hands. The voices of these hushed culture bearers need to be heard and kept for generations to come in a small society that is rapidly changing towards western standards, and where the traditional culture and identity is naturally slipping away. I have aimed to tell the women's stories truthfully and I have photographed their daily lives and activities, clothing and bedrooms, kitchens and farmhouses, the details, the surroundings and landscapes as well as the ceremony held in a deceased person's kitchen only three hours after she had passed away. To tell the fuller story, I have also interviewed some of the women about their lives, their experiences during war and occupation, family life, work, food and thoughts about the future. My book is my contribution to record and help preserve this unique culture for the future and give these old, wise women the voice they deserve as the quiet nation builders they really are.
Monia Merlo
Italy
1970
She was born in Bassano del Grappa, Italy, 1970. After finishing her studies in Venice, she teamed her work as an architect with her passion for Photography, making it her main expression medium. Monia currently works as a freelance photographer, her work is focused on fashion, including prestigious collaborations with famous brands. Her photos find inspiration in literature, poetry and her most inner feelings. They are means of creation, research and development of a work which undergoes a constant evolution, as well as being a way to represent, through fragile feminine bodies, the artist's search of herself.Source: www.moniamerlophotographer.com All the work of Italian photographer Monia Merlo (45) is a feast for the eye: magical lighting, vulnerable intensely pale female bodies in a silent floral dreamscape. Sensuous and physical, yet innocent. Mystical femininity which verges on the sacred. It’s so beautiful you could almost drown in it. A view shared by many, since she has now collaborated with a number of prestigious fashion labels. Her work has been published in various international magazines including Italian Vogue, and has been displayed in leading galleries such as Art + Commerce in New York and Sakura Gallery in Paris. This is all the more remarkable when you consider that Monia only started working as a photographer 5 years ago. Monia’s work focuses on fashion and flowers. She uses only natural light, bringing out the contours and detail more beautifully and making her photographs resemble paintings. She finds her inspiration in literature, poetry and the idealised femininity of the Pre-Raphaelite movement. A period which is currently enjoying increasing popularity amongst the creative elite and trendsetters. She likes to use romantic flowers in delicate colours with an air of vulnerability, such as blossom, fragile roses and daisies.Source: The Green Gallery
Valerio Nicolosi
Valerio Nicolosi, filmmaker and photojournalist based and born in Rome in 1984, has always had a passion for photography and video. In 2008 he graduated with highest honours from the 'Experimental Television Center' in Rome. He is always looking for the "human factor" on his photos. He made few reportages from the Syrian-Lebanon border about the crises of refugees and the humanitarian corridors. He made Italian and european network and investigative journalism programs for which he has made many reportages on the issue of immigrants and in particular in the "Jungle of Calais". He also covered the terrorist attacks both in Paris and Brussels. During the months of October and November 2016 he followed the US elections making a series of reportages together with the journalist Giovanna Pancheri, broadcast by SkyTg24. Most of the reportages were about human condition on suburbs of America. Making the documentary "Death Before Lampedusa" for the German national TV, ARD, he followed the operation "Mare Nostrum" on board the Italian military vessels deployed in the recovery of boats coming from Africa. He has made numerous music videos with Italian and Palestinian singer/songwriters and has published three books of short stories and photography, "Bar(n)Out", "Be Filmmaker in Gaza" "(R)Esistenze". He spent more than 20 days on board the "Proactiva Open Arms" boat, a Spanish NGO whose main mission is to rescue refugees from the sea that arrive in Europe fleeing wars, persecution or poverty. On that 3 weeks they rescued 86 refugees. He is just come back from the Gaza Strip where he taught filmmaking and did some reportages about fishermen and daily life. He also works as an occasional lecturer with the 'Audio-visual Journalism Tribune' at La Sapienza University and the Palestinian Al-Aqsa and Deir El-Balah, both located in the Gaza Strip. He collaboreted with the international press agency Reuters and currently he collaborates with Associated Press. Discover Valerio Nicolosi's Interview
Man Ray
United States
1890 | † 1976
Born in Philadelphia, Emmanuel Radnitsky grew up in New Jersey and became a commercial artist in New York in the 1910s. He began to sign his name Man Ray in 1912, although his family did not change its surname to Ray until the 1920s. He initially taught himself photography in order to reproduce his own works of art, which included paintings and mixed media. In 1921 he moved to Paris and set up a photography studio to support himself. There he began to make photograms, which he called "Rayographs." In the 1920s, he also began making moving pictures. Man Ray's four completed films--Return to Reason, Emak Bakia, Starfish, and Mystery of the Chateau--were all highly creative, non-narrative explorations of the possibilities of the medium. Shortly before World War II, Man Ray returned to the United States and settled in Los Angeles from 1940 until 1951. He was disappointed that he was recognized only for his photography in America and not for the filmmaking, painting, sculpture, and other media in which he worked. In 1951 Man Ray returned to Paris. He concentrated primarily on painting until his death in 1976. Man Ray (born Emmanuel Radnitzky, August 27, 1890 – November 18, 1976) was an American modernist artist who spent most of his career in Paris, France. He was a significant contributor to the Dada and Surrealist movements, although his ties to each were informal. He produced major works in a variety of media but considered himself a painter above all. He was best known in the art world for his avant-garde photography, and he was a renowned fashion and portrait photographer. Ray is also noted for his work with photograms, which he called "rayographs" in reference to himself. Source: Wikipedia “I have finally freed myself from the sticky medium of paint, and am working directly with light itself.” So enthused Man Ray in 1922, shortly after his first experiments with camera-less photography. He remains well known for these images, commonly called photograms but which he dubbed "rayographs" in a punning combination of his own name and the word “photograph.” Man Ray’s artistic beginnings came some years earlier, in the Dada movement. Shaped by the trauma of World War I and the emergence of a modern media culture—epitomized by advancements in communication technologies like radio and cinema—Dada artists shared a profound disillusionment with traditional modes of art making and often turned instead to experimentations with chance and spontaneity. In The Rope Dancer Accompanies Herself with Her Shadows, Man Ray based the large, color-block composition on the random arrangement of scraps of colored paper scattered on the floor. The painting evinces a number of interests that the artist would carry into his photographic work: negative space and shadows; the partial surrender of compositional decisions to accident; and, in its precise, hard-edged application of unmodulated color, the removal of traces of the artist’s hand. In 1922, six months after he arrived in Paris from New York, Man Ray made his first rayographs. To make them, he placed objects, materials, and sometimes parts of his own or a model's body onto a sheet of photosensitized paper and exposed them to light, creating negative images. This process was not new—camera-less photographic images had been produced since the 1830s—and his experimentation with it roughly coincided with similar trials by Lázló Moholy-Nagy. But in his photograms, Man Ray embraced the possibilities for irrational combinations and chance arrangements of objects, emphasizing the abstraction of images made in this way. He published a selection of these rayographs—including one centered around a comb, another containing a spiral of cut paper, and a third with an architect’s French curve template on its side—in a portfolio titled Champs délicieux in December 1922, with an introduction written by the Dada leader Tristan Tzara. In 1923, with his film Le Retour à la raison (Return to Reason), he extended the rayograph technique to moving images. Around the same time, Man Ray’s experiments with photography carried him to the center of the emergent Surrealist movement in Paris. Led by André Breton, Surrealism sought to reveal the uncanny coursing beneath familiar appearances in daily life. Man Ray proved well suited to this in works like Anatomies, in which, through framing and angled light, he transformed a woman’s neck into an unfamiliar, phallic form. He contributed photographs to the three major Surrealist journals throughout the 1920s and 1930s, and also constructed Surrealist objects like Gift, in which he altered a domestic tool (an iron) into an instrument of potential violence, and Indestructible Object (or Object to Be Destroyed), a metronome with a photograph of an eye affixed to its swinging arm, which was destroyed and remade several times. Source: The Museum of Modern Art
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Call for Entries
AAP Magazine #17: Portrait
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