All about photo: photo contests, photography exhibitions, galleries, schools, books and venues.
Graeme Williams
Graeme Williams
Graeme Williams

Graeme Williams

Country: South Africa
Birth: 1961

I grew up in the whites-only suburbs of Cape Town, South Africa during the apartheid era, when South African law decreed that 92% of the population were regulated to the status of second-class citizens.

My interest in photography began at the age of twelve, but I soon realized that a Kodak Instamatic was never going to produce the results that I wanted. I worked for three years in a bookshop and eventually bought myself a Fujica ST701. It was a real thing of beauty; a single reflex camera with a basic zoom lens, that provided me with the means to control how light formed itself onto the surface of the silver halide film. Sunsets and silhouettes held my attention for a few months, but I had already begun to explore the complex tradition of photographic expression. Life Magazine was for me, at that time, the Holy Grail. Over the years, my enthusiasm for exploring the photographic medium has never diminished.

My photographic momentum was temporarily diverted after school by parental pressure to obtain a 'proper' qualification. In my final school year I was both the Dux scholar as well as a first team sportsman, which resulted in me being offered a De Beers bursary to study Geology and Statistics at the University of Cape Town. After graduating, I broke the news to my unnerved parents that I was giving up this career path and instead becoming a property photographer at the local newspaper. In the hierarchy of photographic jobs this is very close to the bottom. My immediate aim was to gain access to unlimited amounts of film and the time to work on my own projects.

In 1987 I began photographing a conscientious objector and medical doctor, Ivan Toms, who refused to comply with the apartheid government's military service requirements. He was sentenced to 21 months in prison. The essay, highlighted the absurdity of the political system. Renowned photographer, David Goldblatt , took an interest in this work and this interaction led to a three-decade relationship in which he became both a mentor and a friend. The rights to my essay on Ivan Toms were bought by Life magazine the following year.

Much of my work during this period was motivated by the desire to expose the social inequalities and racial divisions within my country. I eventually joined the strongly anti-apartheid collective, Afrapix and later became a founding member and manager of documentary collective, South Photographs.

In 1989, the beginning of the end of apartheid was evident. I was eager to situate myself in a position that would afford me the best opportunities to witness the transition to democracy. I joined Reuters News Agency as permanent stringer and for the next five years, I became immersed in the events, both violent and momentous, that led up to the inauguration of Nelson Mandela as president in 1994. Many of my photographs from this period have taken on a life of their own. The image of Nelson Mandela walking out of prison with his wife, Winnie, has been exhibited and published worldwide. In 2008, as Barack Obama fought John McCain for the presidency, Newsweek magazine ran a story asking each candidate to choose an image that best personified their world view. Obama's team chose an image that I photographed in Thokoza township in 1991. Last year the same photograph became central in a high profile image-appropriation dispute between myself and New York artist, Hank Willis Thomas. There was a massive groundswell of support from colleagues and media from around the world. An amicable settlement was reached.

Since 1994 I have concentrated on producing personalized and contemporary bodies of work that reflect this complex country and the continent as a whole. These essays have been shown in solo exhibitions in New York, London, Paris, Cape Town and Johannesburg as well as numerous photo festivals around the world. (Including China, Singapore, Brazil, Cambodia, France, and the USA). I have been privileged to have been included in major international exhibitions showcasing contemporary South African photography; including Figures and Fictions at London's Victoria and Albert Museum, Apartheid and After at Huis Marseille in Amsterdam, Earth Matters at the Smithsonian in New York, The Rise and Fall of Apartheid at the ICP in New York and Being There, at the Louis Vuitton Foundation in Paris. Awards include the CAP Prize for Contemporary African Photography (Basel) in 2013, and the Ernest Cole Award (South Africa) in the same year.

I have continued working on commissioned assignments and traveling to over fifty countries. My photographs have appeared on the cover of Time magazine twice, and have been published in The New York Times Magazine, National Geographic, Newsweek, Stern, and many others.

Whilst working on my long-term projects, I try to bear in mind how the work will be exhibited and published. So therefore, during the planning and photographing stages, I attempt to create a broad context for my essays, that includes a general look and feel, while creating the space for each image to convey its individual complexity. This need to develop a dual awareness in my personal work has benefitted from a long-term interest in designing and producing photobooks. I have created over 20 publications, some of them winning awards and many being shortlisted in dummy book competitions.

During the past five years I have felt a need to shift my attention from South Africa to the America social, political and physical landscape. Some of my motivations for this change in direction have been outlined within the 'Plan' document. In 2016 I was granted a residency in the US by the Ampersand Foundation, giving me an opportunity to develop a body of work that interrogated the social strata within the greater community of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. I designed and produced a book called, Diverging Dreamlines that included, portraits, urban landscapes as well as multi-image, digital, illustrations. The publication was chosen as "best of show" in the Annual Photobook Exhibition at the Griffin Museum of Photography in Winchester, Massachusetts. The work was also included in the Unmasked exhibition at Axis Gallery, New York in 2017.

Earlier this year (2019) I co-presented a paper, Over Time, at the International Psychoanalytical Association (IPA) Congress held in London. Four of my personal essays were incorporated into the presentation, allowing a psychoanalytical exploration into the parallels between this photographic record and South Africa's dynamics and process of change.

I have participated in various mentorship programs, supporting students from South African photographic institutions: Tierney Fellowship winners from the University of the Witwatersrand (2018/2019) and the Market Photo Workshop (2015/2016). As well as candidates from the Photographer incubator Program in 2016.

Learn more about Graeme Williams on videos:

Victoria and Albert Museum
Photography and Democracy
South African Studios
Dwell in Possibility opening

Check out Graeme Williams's interview about his latest project America Revisited

Discover Graeme Williams' Interview
 

Graeme Williams's Video

Selected Book

Inspiring Portfolios

Call for Entries
AAP Magazine #15 Streets
Publish your work in AAP Magazine and win $1,000 Cash Prizes
 
Stay up-to-date  with call for entries, deadlines and other news about exhibitions, galleries, publications, & special events.

More Great Photographers To Discover

Victor Moriyama
Brazil
1984
Victor Moriyama is a freelance Brazilian photographer based in São Paulo that covers the region of South America and the problems concerning the Amazon Rainforest for the international press, mainly for The New York Times. His work discloses an humanist kind of photography, committed to document the processes of violence that prevail in social and environmental relations in Brazil and the Amazonian region. Agrarian Conflicts, the deforestation and conservation of the Amazon Rainforest, the genocide of the indigenous populations, the acceleration of climate change and the violation human rights have been guiding themes of his career in the last few years. Victor also collaborates regularly with NGOs, such as Greenpeace, Instituto Socioambiental, iCRC and UNHCR. Concerned with the shortage of reported on the conflicts in the Amazon, Victor has created, in 2019, the project @historiasamazonicas a community of Latin American photographers committed to document the current processes that are taking place in the Amazon, with the objective of defining and changing the present. The idea is to expand the world's knowledge concerning the conflicts that surround the Amazon and to engage the global society into thinking and fighting the deforestation of the greatest rainforests in the world. Victor is also a member of the @everydayclimatechange, a group of photographers from the five continents engaged and committed to climate change. Mr. Moriyama is also a photography columnist for the Brazilian edition of the Spanish Newspaper El País. Amazon Deforestation "Nature will die in embers", told me Davi Yanomami, one of Brazil's greatest indigenous leaders, during the 70 days I spent doing field work in the Amazon Rainforest. The greatest rainforest in the world is dying. The year of 2019 was the worst in history for the Amazon Forest. The deforestation of the vegetation cover set a record and increased 29.5% in relation to 2018, adding up to a total loss of 9.762km² of forest. However, this process isn't new: the deforestation of the Amazon Rainforest has been going on for decades, with the connivance of the rulers of the South American countries, whose actions are utterly inefficient when it comes to trying to reverse this context of destruction. This situation became even more severe, after the elected right-wing government took office in 2019. Stimulated by official speech, deforestation agents set thousands of hectares on fire, with the certainty of impunity. As an immediate reaction, thousands of young people started protesting against the destruction of the rainforest, in dozens of cities worldwide, headed by Greta Thunberg. This series of images is the result of my immersive work in the heart of the Amazon Rainforest, where I have documented the advances of the deforestation in a special piece for The New York Times.
Andre Cypriano
Brazil
1964
A native of Brazil, André Cypriano was born in 1964 and educated in São Paulo with a university degree in business administration. Concerned with environmental issues, he contributed time and effort as the administrator of "Salva Mar" Save the Sea - a Brazilian organization dedicated to save the whales in North Brazil.In 1990, one year after relocating to the U.S., André began to study photography in San Francisco. He has since completed several projects which have been exhibited in several galleries and museums in Brazil and the USA.André has been a recipient of the first place award in San Francisco City College's Photography Department of Scholarship (July 1992), first runner-up in the World Image Award Competition promoted by Photo District News in N.Y. (Dec. 1992), first place in New Works Awards - promoted by En Foco in N.Y. (July 1998), as well as first place in the Mother Jones International Fund for Documentary Photography (Oct. 1998). As part of a long term project, Cypriano began to document traditional lifestyles and practices of lesser known societies in remote corners of the world with a slant toward the unique and unusual. Thus far, he has photographed the people of Nias, an island off the northwest coast of Sumatra (Nias: Jumping Stones), the dogs of Bali (Spiritual Quest), the infamous penitentiary of Candido Mendes, in Rio de Janeiro (The Devil's Caldron), as well as the largest shanty town in Latin America, Rio de Janeiro (Rocinha - An Orphan Town). His ongoing projects have been used in educational workshops.Currently, André Cypriano works as a free-lance photographer in New York and continues to be involved in social and cultural activities.
Thierry Clech
Thierry Clech is a French photographer based in Paris. Much of his work (exclusively in black & white films) is made during his travels (India, Ukraine, Istanbul, Tokyo...), but he also takes pictures in France, particulary in the business district of La Défense, near Paris. He published two books in collaboration with French novelists (Philippe Jaenada and Bernard Chambaz) and his work has been exhibited widely in France and abroad (Nadar Gallery, Press Club of France, Barrobjectif Festival, National Library of Belarus, FotoIstanbul Festival, BlowUp Angkor Festival in Cambodia…).Artist statement: "Thierry Clech can see the world like nobody else. In any case, he manages to put the world rules inside the frame of his pictures. Fortunately or thanks to his instinct or I don't know how, he is often in the right place at the right time. He could have probably stayed in Paris, within the ring road, within the twenty districts of his garden, and almost get the same result - because a man is a man, wherever he is. But the world is not so wide, it was better to travel around it. Just to be absolutely sure. Go around it. Then he has been nearly everywhere on the globe, almost at random, he has stopped a few moments in a city of the northern hemisphere, by a field in the southern hemisphere, and he has come back with pictures which approximately show the same thing in the form or in substance : human beings in the heart of their environment, stuck in the setting, stifled, trapped or integrated, assimilated but not totally, always isolated, just like oil in water, anxious, absent-minded, busy or passive, fearful, overtaken by events, brave, rebellious, lost, determined or exhausted. Mankind in the setting." Philippe Jaenada, novelist, Chevalier de l'Ordre des arts et des lettres. Discover Saint Louis in Senegal
Jerry Uelsmann
United States
1934
Jerry N. Uelsmann (born June 11, 1934) is an American photographer, and was the forerunner of photomontage in the 20th century in America. Uelsmann was born in Detroit, Michigan. While attending public schools, at the age of fourteen, there sparked an interest in photography. He believed that through photography he could exist outside of himself, to live in a world captured through the lens. Despite poor grades, he managed to land a few jobs, primarily photographs of models. Eventually Uelsmann went on to earn a BA from the Rochester Institute of Technology and M.S. and M.F.A. degrees from Indiana University. Soon after, he began teaching photography at the University of Florida in 1960. In 1967, Uelsmann had his first solo exhibit at The Museum of Modern Art which opened doors for his photography career. Uelsmann is a master printer, producing composite photographs with multiple negatives and extensive darkroom work. He uses up to a dozen enlargers at a time to produce his final images, and has a large archive of negatives that he has shot over the years. The negatives that Uelsmann uses are known to reappear within his work, acting as a focal point in one work, and background as another. Similar in technique to Rejlander, Uelsmann is a champion of the idea that the final image need not be tied to a single negative, but may be composed of many. During the mid-twentieth century, when photography was still being defined, Uelsmann didn't care about the boundaries given by the Photo Secessionists or other realists at the time, he simply wished to share with the viewer the images from his imagination and saw photomontage as the means by which to do so. Unlike Rejlander, though, he does not seek to create narratives, but rather "allegorical surrealist imagery of the unfathomable". Uelsmann is able to subsist on grants and teaching salary, rather than commercial work. Today, with the advent of digital cameras and Photoshop, photographers are able to create a work somewhat resembling Uelsmann's in less than a day, however, at the time Uelsmann was considered to have almost "magical skill" with his completely analog tools. At the time Uelsmann's work first came to popular attention, photos were still widely regarded as unfalsifiable documentary evidence of events. However, Uelsmann, along with Lucas Samaras, was considered an avant garde shatterer of this popular mindset and help to expand the artistic boundaries of photography. Despite his works' affinity with digital techniques, Uelsmann continues to use traditional equipment. “I am sympathetic to the current digital revolution and excited by the visual options created by the computer. However, I feel my creative process remains intrinsically linked to the alchemy of the darkroom.”[3] Today he is retired from teaching and currently lives in Gainesville, Florida with his third wife, Maggie Taylor.[4] Uelsmann has one son, Andrew, who is a graduate student at the University of Florida. But to this day, Uelsmann still produces photos, sometimes creating more than a hundred in a single year. Out of these images, he likes to sit back and select the ten he likes the most, which is not an easy process. (Source: en.wikipedia.org)
Wolfgang Bohusch
Austria
1985
Bohusch decided to become photographer at the early age of 13. He began experimenting with old darkroom equipment of his grandmother and shooting with a 35mm camera. After studying photography for 5 years at die Graphische, Vienna he started working as freelance Production Manager, Location Scout and later Photographer or D.o.P and Director for advertising film production companies. On extensive travels he is working on his personal projects. Street- photography in India, Miami or Tokyo, landscape and aerial photography in various places as well as fashion films, music videos in London or Paris. In January 2017 Wolfgang Bohusch stayed in a tent for two weeks in Maroccos Sahara desert. Under very special conditions during his work for the series 'silicon based creatures' Bohusch experienced a period of intense meditation. Details and blurred outlines make it difficult to recognize the shape of the image at once. Pattern recognition takes place only through the perception of the seemingly random forms and structures. The viewer is encouraged to look more closely in order to get lost in the work and to let the subconscious mind wander - in order to finally be able to find his own associations. silicon based creatures With his series 'silicon based creatures' Wolfgang Bohusch invites the viewer to stand in front of his photographs, mediate, and let the mind wander into subconsciousness. Each and every work tells a different story, your own story. There are no titles, no hints for interpretation, no directions to look. Like in a Rorschach test, Bohusch wants you to find your own associations and recognize patterns that are not pregiven and therefore renders every photograph an individual experience. A millisecond is the time span for Wolfgang Bohusch's sculptures to be created but the artist allows us to ponder these millisecond sculptures calmly. The “silicone based creatures” series of 21 photographs presented at OSME Gallery is the outcome of his stay in the Sahara desert for weeks and experimenting with its elements like sand, wind, light, and chance. What you see on the photographs is thus the fusion of elements which serendipitously form into sculptures and are randomly captured on paper. The process behind these snapshots therefore resembles the behaviour patterns of bird or fish swarms. What is more, when we see them crowding together in the sky or in the water, our minds automatically associate certain forms or figures with the sudden patterns they create. As soon as we have caught one image within the crowd, it is already gone again. We get the opportunity to slowly make our own interpretations, though, and to try and find a piece of ourselves in them. So, when you have invented your creatures, where do they come from? And what do they want to tell us? If you think of them as signs, maybe even add a little bit of superstition, can they be hints to the future? Like popular customs or shamanic rituals to predict the future, Bohusch's creatures could also be prophetic figures. Or do they come from the past as mythical beings? Wolfgang Bohusch confronts us with a range of topics and questions in this series which he does not want or cannot answer himself. Lastly, he gives us another little hint with which he introduces one more existential quest. Silicone, which is a constituent of sand, is also the material used for microelectronics, like computer chips, and the basis for what creates the tools for producing the photographs in the first place. Finally, this aspect could trigger another question, or rather “the mother of all questions”: what came first? www.juliahartmann.at
Elisa Migda
France
1981
Graduated from the Sorbonne and the University Paris X in Literature, Human Sciences and Visual Anthropology (Formation de Recherches Cinématographiques created by Jean Rouch) after studying photography,video and graphic design, she joined the International photojournalism festival Visa pour l'Image Perpignan in communication and coordination. In 2016, she is also responsible for the creation of the art book fair FILAF ARTBOOK FAIR within the FILAF festival as well as the curating of the exhibitions A L'Italia by Carine Brancowitz and Before Landing by Michel Houellebecq in Perpignan. Passionate about film photography but also after having assisted various fashion and reportage photographers and contributed to various audiovisual creations, she decided to join a traditional photography laboratory in Paris, which offers more particularly the realization of large formats in order to revive the practice of printing and its processes. Eighteen months ago, she set up her own laboratory in Seine et Marne in order to carry out a more experimental and personal photographic work, that she has been pursuing for about fifteen years. In 2019, she participates in the group exhibition "Le Rêve d'un mouvement" in Paris with Gilles Roudière, Damien Daufresne, Stéphane Charpentier, Grégory Dargent, Frédéric D. Oberland and Gaël Bonnefon and presents her solo exhibition "Sweet Surrender" in Arles during the month of July with the Bergger group. Statement "My photographic work is long-term and develops around a personal project: to capture images that revolve around my life, intimate experiences and, from these photographic episodes were born portraits, self-portraits, imprints of existence. It is an abandonment where bodies and faces waver in obscure clarity, plunge into dazzle, navigate between interior and exterior spaces, loneliness and erasure from the world. In this universe, a feeling of sweet melancholy often emerges around themes such as energy, destruction, dealing with both the eternal and the ephemeral, disappearance and metamorphosis. These are trembling moments, a collection of images with fleeting, spectral visions, sprinkled with imperfections just as in our daily lives or in our dreams. There remains a disturbing strangeness, a subjective territory, trying and pensive, where the eyes are closed, frozen, elusive..."
Svetlin Yosifov
I was born in Bulgaria, and I had the privilege of living in this beautiful country all my life. My employment is in a private sports club, focused on extreme sports, which involves a lot of travelling and keeps my life dynamic and interesting. Apart from this, I love travelling abroad and do this once a year for a period of two months. I always associate these trips with diving in the unknown, meeting new people and experiencing something new. My adventurous spirit is my main drive, the inner flame, that keeps me going! Not a professional freelance photographer. I define myself as a travel-documentary-art photographer. Almost 20 years now photography has been part of my life. My passion is catching street portraits and trying to figure out my object's character.Portrait photography is the most compelling genre for me. The impact of a single photo, comes from the emotion it reflects.My Point of interest - traditions in primal and natural places like India, Ethiopia, Kenya, Indonesia, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Cuba and more. I consider good photography to be much more that a snapshot or a memory, it is something that tells a story, strong enough to influence the world we live in and raise more awareness. Throughout the years my interviews and photographs have been published in many magazines and websites. Mursi People "Mursi People" is a series of photos that were taken during my visits to Ethiopia and are part of the albums "Ethiopian tribes expedition 2018" and the "Second Ethiopian tribes expedition 2019" The African tribe of Mursi people is isolated in Omo valley - South Ethiopia near the border with Sudan. They are one of the most fascinating tribes in Africa with their lives being a combination of brutal reality and amazing beauty. What was really appealing to me, as a photographer, was to capture and recreate the perplexing nature of their culture and way of life. Suffering from extreme drought in the past few years has made their life cruel and sometimes dangerous, but has not left a single mark on their traditions. Living among them gave the sense of extreme authenticity and in the same time felt like an illusion. Their faces filled my insatiable passion for capturing pure, untouched souls of a culture on the brink of extinction. Discover Svetlin Yosifov's Interview
Advertisement
AAP Solo Exhibition
Instagram
AAP Magazine Streets

Latest Interviews

Exclusive Interview with Réhahn
Referred to as someone who "captures the souls of his models", (Wanderlust Travel Magazine, 2018) Réhahn is more than just a man behind a camera. Behind each click is a story. Whether the photograph shows a child with startling blue eyes, a woman pulling a needle through indigo fabric or a man walking alone down a brightly painted street, these are more than just images to Réhahn. They are the culmination of an experience. The stories of his subjects as well as his passion to learn more about their culture, diversity and changing traditions are what drives Réhahn's work.
Craig Varjabedian: Found Horizons
Craig Varjabedian's photographs of the American West illuminate his profound connection with the region and its people. His finely detailed images shine with an authenticity that reveals the ties between identity, place, and the act of perceiving. For Varjabedian, photography is a receptive process driven by openness to the revelation each subject offers, rather than by the desire to manipulate form or to catalog detail. He achieves this vision by capturing and suspending on film those decisive moments in which the elements and the spirit of a moment come together
Exclusive interview with Jacopo Della Valle
Jacopo Maria Della Valle is an Italian travel photographer who fell in love with photography at young age thanks to the influence of his father. Since then he has travelled to Europe, the USA, Cuba, Morocco and all over Asia. He is the winner of AAP Magazine 12 B&W with his project Bull Jumping. We asked him a few questions about his life and work.
Exclusive interview with Giedo Van der Zwan
Giedo van der Zwan is a street photographer, writer and publisher from the Netherlands. He started working on a long-term project 'Pier to Pier' in 2017 and published his book in June 2018. He is the winner of AAP Magazine 8 Street. We asked him a few questions about his life and work.
Exclusive interview with Eli Klein
Eli Klein Gallery has an international reputation as one of the foremost galleries specializing in contemporary Chinese art and continues to advance the careers of its represented artists and hundreds of other Chinese artists with whom it has collaborated. The Gallery has been instrumental in the loan of artworks by Chinese artists to over 100 museum exhibitions throughout the world. It has published 40 books/catalogues and organized more than 75 exhibitions of Chinese contemporary art at our prestigious venues in New York City.
Exclusive interview with Cayetano González
Cayetano González is a talented Spanish photographer and cinematographer who found his calling when his grandfather lend him his Leica. Since then he has directed commercials and shot several covers of major magazines. His work is influenced by the painters he admires like Sorolla, Velázquez, Rembrandt and Delacroix.
Exclusive interview with Mauro De Bettio
Mauro De Bettio is an Italian photographer who lives in Spain. His pictures are a visual story able to highlight unseen or ignored realities. A vital tool that can help bring about social changes. He is the winner of AAP Magazine 11 Travels. We asked him a few questions about his life and work.
Exclusive interview with Stéphane Lavoué
Stéphane Lavoué, is a French portrait photographer born in Mulhouse in 1976. He lives and works between Brittany and Paris. He is the winner of the Niépce Prize 2018. We asked him a few questions about his life and work.
Exclusive Interview With Harvey Stein
Harvey Stein is a professional photographer, teacher, lecturer, author and curator based in New York City. He currently teaches at the International Center of Photography. Stein is a frequent lecturer on photography both in the United States and abroad. He was the Director of Photography at Umbrella Arts Gallery, located in the East Village of Manhattan from 2009 until 2019 when it lost its lease and closed. Stein's photographs have been widely exhibited in the United States and Europe, 86 one-person and over 165 group shows to date and has published eight books. We asked him a few questions about his life and work
Call for Entries
AAP Magazine #15 Streets
Publish your work in AAP Magazine and win $1,000 Cash Prizes