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Oliver Berlepsch
Oliver Berlepsch
Oliver Berlepsch

Oliver Berlepsch

Country: Switzerland
Birth: 1960

Oliver Berlepsch was born in Chicago in 1960 and grew up in Basel, Switzerland. Strongly influenced by his parents passion for drawing and painting, he too started being artistic at a young age. Turning his passion into a profession, Oliver decided to study architecture at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich. Since graduation he has worked as an architect and has since been faced with creative and organizational questions, which then are incorporated into architectural structures. In his spare time, he still follows other artistic passions. As such, in 2010 Oliver worked on his first street inspired project. He made collages of advertising posters and printed slogans on them with hand-crafted printing blocks. It wasn’t until three years ago that Oliver was inspired to reach for the camera by his sister and Vivian Maier's work. Oliver particularly likes taking pictures in black and white. In his eyes, it focuses on the essentials adding an artistic lens to surrounding. In addition to street photography, urban spaces and nature also influence his hobby photography passion.
 

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Esmeralda Ruiz
United States
Artist Statement: "My childhood was different then most. Growing up with nothing but artists was one thing, but having actually flat lined during a surgery after being diagnosed with a kidney infection changed my life forever. It wasn’t that it left me weak or prevented me from going outside and playing or even going to school with other children but the images that I saw when that moment occurred is what I strive to show in my work today. A wonderful world where the air was crisp and refreshing, with all of its flowers in bloom, my journey begins down a path with little yellow homes on each side. Beyond the path, a valley flowers appeared. On the right there were rocky mountains so enormous that clouds covered their midsection with their snow covered summits peering through. To my left the sound of the ocean was relentlessly crashing into a cliff. As I crossed my valley of flowers and ascended the cliff, I felt a cool yet, strong breeze off the ocean forcing me back. As I looked up into the vast skies above, I was overcome by the ever so omnipotent clouds with their glorious rays of sunlight beaming through. The feeling of leaping into the breeze and flying towards the light was more then overwhelming. Instead, I greeted it with a smile and made my way back to the valley. Relaxed, laying across its delicate wild flowers, my tranquil body curled up and fell into a deep sleep. Awaking to my mother at my bedside, disappointment overcame me with the realization that it was all just a dream. Weeks passed, the pain healed but my dream still reigned true. Numerous sketches and endless rants of my new world was all that was real. Having to transition from a world of such perfection to a life of obscurity seemed almost inconceivable. As such, a minor state of depression would set in as my life slowly began to drift back into its regular routine. During this time my only solace came from the amazing work found in books from various art movements and even my favorite childhood cartoons. However, as my healing process dragged on, much of what I know about color (and how I use it today) came from all the extra time spent in my parent’s studio. Watching them work and being surrounded by various mediums helped better understand art as a form of expression. This would inevitably forge my desire to show the world what I had experienced on that fateful day. As the years pass, my dream still lives within me. My thesis project has only driven my need to share my moment with the world in ways I never thought possible. After much soul searching and numerous critiques, I have come to the realization that my utopia isn’t just a dream; it is in the landscapes that have always surrounded me. Those three minutes had and will always have a tremendous impact on my life. If anything, I learned how fragile life is and to always appreciate the beautiful things in life. Photography has allowed me to show what stands out in my eyes by glorifying it in a photograph. It is the best way that I can communicate what I saw and what I felt at that particular moment. It is the bridge between my past and my present.Source: Esmeralda Ruiz Website
Yves Marchand & Romain Meffre
Marchand (b.1981) and Meffre (b.1987) live and work in Paris. Initially pursuing photography individually, they met online in 2002 and started working together with the beginning of their Detroit project in 2005. Steidl published The Ruins of Detroit in 2010. A second printing is planned for later this year. They are currently completing their Gunkanjima book, also to be published by Steidl, and they continue to work on a project documenting American theaters that have either fallen into decay or been transformed entirely. Their work has been exhibited extensively throughout Europe and has been featured in the New York Times, The Guardian, The British Journal of Photography, Time Magazine, amongst others. (Source: Edwynn Houk Gallery) About Theaters (2005-Ongoing): In the early 20th century, following the development of the entertainment industry, hundreds of theaters were built across North America. Major entertainment firms and movie studios commissioned specialized architects to build grandiose and extravagant auditoriums. From the 60's, TV, multiplexes and urban crisis made them obsolete. During the following decades, these theaters were either modernized, transformed into adult cinemas or they closed, one after the other; many of them were simply demolished. About Gunkanjima (2008-2012): In the South China Sea, 15 kilometers off the southwest coast of Nagasaki among the thousands of verdant landmasses that surround Japan, lies a mysterious island. With the geometric silhouette of a dark gray hull, perforated by hundreds of small windows, the island resembles a battleship. As one moves closer, approaching by sea, the figure takes shape again and the ghost ship turns into a block of concrete surrounded by a high wall on which waves crash - the island looks like a Japanese version of Alcatraz. Only 40 years ago, this tiny island was home to one of the most remarkable mining towns in the world and maintained the highest population density in the world. During the wave of industrialisation in the nineteenth century, a coal seam was discovered on the tiny Hashima island. In 1890 the Mitsubishi Corporation opened a mine on the island. For decades coal production sustained Japan's modernisation and helped establish its position as an industrialised nation and imperial power. Workers settled on the island and the population increased. Mine slag was used to expand the surface of the colony; piling up on itself like an ant hill. The small mining town quickly became an autonomous modern settlement (with apartment buildings, a school, hospital, shrine, retail stores and restaurants) which mimicked the other settlements on the Nippon archipelago. One multi-storied concrete apartment block with its brutal and rational style followed another, until the tiny island became the most densely populated place in the world per square meter with over 5,000 inhabitants in the 1950s. About The ruins of Detroit (2005-2010): At the end of the XIXth Century, mankind was about to fulfill an old dream. The idea of a fast and autonomous means of displacement was slowly becoming a reality for engineers all over the world. Thanks to its ideal location on the Great Lakes Basin, the city of Detroit was about to generate its own industrial revolution. Visionary engineers and entrepreneurs flocked to its borders. In 1913, up-and-coming car manufacturer Henry Ford perfected the first large-scale assembly line. Within few years, Detroit was about to become the world capital of automobile and the cradle of modern mass-production. For the first time of history, affluence was within the reach of the mass of people. Monumental skyscapers and fancy neighborhoods put the city's wealth on display. Detroit became the dazzling beacon of the American Dream. Thousands of migrants came to find a job. By the 50's, its population rose to almost 2 million people. Detroit became the 4th largest city in the United States.
Li Zhensheng
China
1940
Li Zhensheng (born September 22, 1940) is a Chinese photojournalist who captured some of the most telling images from the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, better known as the Chinese Cultural Revolution. His employment at the Heilongjiang Daily, which followed the party line, and his decision to wear a red arm band indicating an alliance with Chairman Mao Zedong, allowed him access to scenes otherwise only described in written and verbal accounts. His recent publication of the book, "Red-Color News Soldier" exhibits both the revolutionary ideals and, more notably, many of the atrocities that occurred during the Cultural Revolution. The Heilongjiang Daily newspaper had a strict policy in accordance with a government dictate that only "positive" images could be published, which consisted mostly of smiling revolutionaries offering praise for Chairman Mao. The "negative" images, which depicted the atrocities of the time, were hidden beneath a floorboard in his house before he brought them to light at a photo exhibit in 1988.Early lifeLi Zhensheng was born to a poor family in Dalian, which is located in the northeastern province of Liaoning, China. At the time of his birth this was Kwantung Leased Territory, where Japan maintained the puppet regime, Manchukuo. His mother died when he was three, and his older brother, who was a member of the People's Liberation Army was killed during the Chinese Civil War. Zhensheng helped his father, who was a cook on a steamship and later as a farmer, until Zhensheng was 10-years-old. Zhensheng quickly rose to the top of his class despite starting school late. He later earned a spot at the Changchun Film School, where he acquired much of his photographic knowledge. In 1963, he briefly achieved a job at the Heilongjiang Daily, however the Socialist Education Movement soon intervened and he ended up back in the countryside for nearly two years, living with peasants and studying the works of Chairman Mao.Cultural RevolutionZhensheng returned to Harbin just months before the outbreak of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution in the spring of 1966. A lack of photographic film, marauding Red Guards, and a political dictate against photographing the negative aspects of the revolution restricted what he was able to portray. He soon realized that only people wearing the red-colored arm band of the Red Guards could photograph without harassment. To achieve this, he founded his own small rebel group at the newspaper. Zhensheng then captured some of the most horrific acts of the Cultural Revolution. His collection includes photos depicting dehumanizing tactics used by the Red Guards to humiliate or degrade alleged counterrevolutionaries. Some of the images depict public displays of "denunciations," where the hair of prominent individuals is shaved. Other images show people bearing "dunce" hats; people with black paint spread over their faces; others wearing signs around their necks with writings that criticize their profession or names. Zhensheng also captured scenes of public executions of counterrevolutionaries who were never given a trial for their alleged crimes. At the height of the Cultural Revolution, Zhensheng was once more sent back to the countryside in September 1969. He was sent to the May 7th Cadre School in Liuhe, a labor camp where he and his wife, Zu Yingxia, spent two years performing hard labor. Zhensheng had taken meticulous care of the documented "negative" images he captured while at the newspaper, hiding them beneath a floorboard of his one-room apartment. The dry atmosphere and mild temperatures of Harbin aided the preservation of the photographic negatives. While he was sent away, Zhensheng entrusted a friend to care for the apartment, and instructed him to never reveal the secrets it contained. Zhensheng returned to the newspaper in 1972 as the head of the photography department, and later became a professor at Peking University in 1982.Red-Color News Soldier"Red-Color News Soldier" is a literal translation of the Chinese characters written on the armband Li Zhensheng wore during the Chinese Cultural Revolution. Although, he says he never gave his alliance to Chairman Mao, wearing the arm band gave him unprecedented access to historic events, which have since shaped Chinese culture. [4] The book covers the period from just before the Cultural Revolution in 1965 to just after in 1976. It is separated into five chronological sections: 1964-1966 titled "It is right to rebel"; 1966 titled "Bombard the Headquarters"; 1966-1968 titled "The Red Sun in our hearts"; 1968-1972 titled "Revolution is not a dinner party"; and 1972-1974 titled "Die Fighting." The veteran China analyst John Gittings was among the reviewers who welcomed Li's book. He noted that Li was a Red Guard as well as a photographer and did not deny that he also led "struggle sessions" against innocent victims; but his pictures reflect a deeper desire to record and understand. Li's book was "unique" for a simple reason: "Although the post-Mao Chinese government has labelled the cultural revolution '10 years of chaos,' it still tries to suppress any real inquiry into the countless human tragedies it caused..." The book, which has not been published in China, took many years to publish. Zhensheng's "negative" pictures (those that depicted the atrocities of the cultural revolution) were first revealed publicly in March 1988 at a Chinese Press Association's photography competition in Beijing. The show, entitled "Let History Tell the Future" consisted of twenty images from his collection, which were deemed "counterrevolutionary. " In December of that year, Zhensheng met Robert Pledge, an American who was director of Contact Press Images, an international photo agency, who had come to Beijing. They agreed to work together on a book of Zhensheng's photos, but to wait until the political climate was right. Seven months later, in June 1989, the brutal events of Tiananmen Square made worldwide headlines, and Zhensheng became determined to produce a book to show the world the images from the Cultural Revolution. Work on the book began in 1999. Since Pledge did not speak Chinese, and Zhensheng did not speak English, the two had to coordinate work through the use of translators — many of whom became integral parts of their relationship. Zhensheng sent over 30,000 brown envelopes to Pledge's office in New York City, each containing photographic negatives. A number of the images are self-portraits of Zhensheng. This was the result of always returning to the paper with one extra frame on the film roll; a photojournalism technique of always being prepared to cover a breaking news event at the last minute. Zhensheng would "burn off" the last image with a photo of himself shortly before developing the film. Often the poses were humorous and playful. One such image of Zhensheng exposing his bare chest was published in the book He said he was attempting to recreate the old expression of "baring one's chest in the face of adversity," or in his case, communism. During book tours Zhensheng makes a point to speak of his love for China. He says while he disagrees with the government, he still loves his country and hopes democracy will perhaps prevail in the long-term future. He does not believe his images or the book should be considered anti-Chinese, rather a reminder of the painful past many countries endure during their evolution.Source: Wikipedia
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
Pedro Luis Saiz Ajuriaguerra
Pedro Luis Saiz Ajuriaguerra (Bilbao, Bizkaia, Spain, 1974). self-taught photographer, began his career back in 2011 discovering a passion that was unknown, the beginning do little more than encourage their concerns are increasing making try almost all disciplines of photography, highlighting mainly in sports photography, and architectural photography. It has the distinctions MCEF / o (Gold Master of the Spanish Confederation of Photography) and EFIAP / g (Gold Excellence of the International Federation of Photographic Art). He is currently collaborating with magazines such as BAO Bilbao Magazine, Bilbao Tourism, Bilbao Bizkaia Tour Magazine and for different sports promoters such as MGZ Promotions, Euskobox etc. Judge in more than 20 international competitions. He has participated in numerous International competition and has managed numerous medals of FIAP, PSA, GPU, IUP, DPA, UPI, CVB, ISF, PCA (50 FIAP Gold Medals and around 70 PSA Gold Medals), just over 400 awards and more than 5000 acceptances by various international photographic salons in the last years. The predator of instants He is shy, thin, with white skin and very large, green, expressive eyes. They are eyes that capture everything; Suddenly, they focus on a sheet of time and begin to create a painting. The camera is just the harpoon that he catches that moment. Before, Pedro Luís has studied the hunting area. And then he will catch the moment before showing the trophy. He is a predator. "I'm not obsessed with light, or color, or movement. I am very attracted to various disciplines such as sports, architecture and extreme macro. I am looking for a place, event or object and I begin my research on what can be photographed, which can last for weeks. Then I let myself go, "he explains. "It is essential to tell stories with photos. A good photograph must relate something. A photo is a story, a short story. Of course, it is not always possible. But the most impressive photos always have a story inside ". He insists that passion is the descriptive element of his photographic style. "It is my strong point, it forces me to go further." That passion is transmitted to the photo "with a lot of contrast, sharpness and blacks pushed to the limit; with marked shadows, the light is there. It is a style close to the comic ". The photo does not exist although the moment already feels that it carries the harpoon on its back. "It is necessary to complement two processes: a good photograph and a good edition. He did a lot of editing work ", "A photo, once you have taken it, you have worked on it, you have it finished, it loses part of its value for me. It is tremendous. It may be something subconscious, but once the process is complete, it loses its charm. And I do not stop finding defects. It also happens to me that the more I see a photo, it becomes devalued, it comes off the ability to surprise me. It is the essence of the predator. He needs new blood. A recent trail. The stimulus to capture prey that he has not yet seen.
Shawn Theodore
United States
1970
Shawn Theodore (b. 1970, Germany) is an award-winning photographer whose work opens broad conversations regarding the role of the photographer in the shaping of agency and imagery, engages in new forms of storytelling, and impacts the trajectory of the collective black consciousness. Theodore has participated in exhibitions at various institutions, galleries and fairs, including the African American Museum in Philadelphia (2017, 2018), Mennello Museum of American Art (2018), The Barnes Foundation (2017, 2018, 2019), Steven Kasher Gallery (2018), AIPAD (2018, 2019), Hudson Valley Community College (2018), Catherine Edelman Gallery (2017), The Bakalar & Paine Galleries at MassArt (2017), Snap! Orlando (2018), Richard Beavers Gallery (2018), PRIZM Art Fair, Scope Art Fair, Philadelphia Photo Arts Center, Rush Arts Gallery (2017, 2018), and the University of the Arts (2019). His commercial projects include works for Apple, Showtime Networks, RocNation, PAPER Magazine, New York Magazine, Smithsonian Magazine, The Atlantic, The New York Times, PDN and others. Theodore was awarded the prestigious PDN’s 30 New & Emerging Photographers to Watch (2019), the Getty Images / ARRAY ‘Where We Stand’ (2018) grant and a grant from the Knight Foundation for ‘A Dream Deferred’ (2018). He is a two-time nominee of The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage Fellowship, and a nominee of the Magnum Foundation Fund. Theodore earned his BA in JPRA (Journalism, Public Relations and Advertising) from Temple University. He currently attends the MFA for Photography program at Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD Atlanta). Theodore is a current trustee of the Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation and the Philadelphia Photo Arts Center. Source: www.shawntheodo.re
Vlad Kutsey
Ukraine
1987
Vlad Kutsey is a self taught freelance photographer from Kyiv, Ukraine, who has dedicated the last 10 years to his greatest inspiration - expedition & adventure photography. He has found his personal treasure slightly outside the comfort zone in the tropical jungles or somewhere at several thousands meters above sea level where the lack of oxygen slowly reminds that you're just a guest of the harsh Mountain:) His deep passion of capturing life through camera lens has driven him to develop many important skills (rock climbing, backpacking, wild camping in extreme conditions, surviving in the jungle environment and on the remote uninhabited islands) that have motivated him to reach and explore untouchable and pristine places around the world. Vlad's work has appeared in dozens of publications of the world's famous companies, brands and magazines in print and online including National Geographic, Nat Geo Traveler, Canon, GoPro, The North Face, Garmin, The Village, Daily Mail and elsewhere. He also has won several national and international photography awards for his work. Vlad's passion has lead him to reach out and tell his stories through social media, blogging, video that follow his work to teach and inspire through workshops and social media meetups. Vlad is an official GoPro, Osprey, Garmin, ЇDLO and Turbat Brand-Ambassador in Ukraine He spends the vast majority of his time in expeditions around the globe with his wife Alona; they have co-founded and lead own travel community "Adventure Monsters" that specializes in unique off the beaten track adventures to the most remote spots of our planet including researching the culture of the world's most isolated tribes.
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Call for Entries
Solo Exhibition January 2022
Win an Online Solo Exhibition in January 2022