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Manuel Armenis
Manuel Armenis
Manuel Armenis

Manuel Armenis

Country: Germany
Birth: 1971

Manuel Armenis is an award winning independent street and fine-art photographer based in Hamburg, Germany, dedicated to documenting daily life. He was born in Mannheim (Germany). He studied at Icart, École de Photographie in Paris (France), and at the University of the Arts in London (England). Since graduating he has been working as an independent filmmaker and photographer.

The emphasis of his practice is the realization of long-term projects with a focus on exploring the human condition within everyday and commonplace urban environments. Manuel´s work has been exhibited internationally in galleries in both solo and group shows. His photographs were published in leading contemporary photography magazines and online. He has received numerous awards, including 1. prize winner at the Sony World Photography Awards in 2018, and has been a finalist at the LensCulture Street Photography Awards in 2017 and at the Meitar Award for Excellence in Photography in 2019, among others. Manuel currently lives and works as a freelance photographer in Hamburg, Germany.

About Diamond Days

The quintessential trait of the mundane is, of course, its lack of spectacle. It is recognizable to us, familiar, in its plainness and with its non-event-character. Due to those alleged properties it is a world that gets all too willingly labeled boring and banal. At times we might even feel offended by its lack of sophistication. We believe to know the mundane well, but, unimpressed by its unremarkable nature, we usually choose to look elsewhere. And yet, as much as we try to ignore it, there remains this suspicion that we might not be able to evade it. An inkling that it might contain something that keeps us connected.

The series Diamond Days is an exploration of the commonplace. We are shown snippets of the everyday, fragments of moments, ordinary situations. There is a playful touch to this world, a colorful lightness and warmth, a sense of joy; and yet, these unassuming landscapes seem to contain something else. Elusive. Layered. Ambiguous. A somewhat bleaker undercurrent which might pick up on the sensation of slight unease that we often associate with the ordinary.

By carrying signs of human behavior and a way of living, the ordinary provides us with a rendering of the now. But it also contains references to a time gone by and challenges us to look back. It exposes our need to make sense of our lives and raises the tricky question of what could have been. It confronts us with the notion of missed opportunities and unfulfilled dreams. And it reveals our disposition to fill any void with nostalgia.
 

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More Great Photographers To Discover

Jennifer Garza-Cuen
United States
Jennifer Garza-Cuen is an artist from the Pacific Northwest. Currently Assistant Professor of Photography at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, she received her MFA in photography and MA in the History of Art and Visual Culture from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2012. Her BA in comparative literature was completed at the American University in Cairo. During both years of her attendance at RISD, she received the RISD GS competitive grant. She was also awarded the Daniel Clarke Johnson, Henry Wolf, and Patricia Smith Scholarships. Additionally, she has received fellowships to attend residencies at The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, Light Work, Ucross, Oxbow, Hambidge, Brush Creek, and the Vermont Studio Center. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally and published in contemporary photography journals such as Dear Dave, Contact Sheet, Musée, Blink, PDN, Der Greif, The Photo Review, and Conveyor Magazine as well as on-line journals such as i-D, Conscientious, Feature Shoot, Aint-Bad, Fubiz, iGNANT, Dazed, and Juxtapoz. Eden Imag[in]ing America depicts a series of locations in the United States as a residue of cultural memory, an inheritance. It is a metaphorical memoir, a narrative re-telling of facts and fictions and it is also a discovery of the dreamland that still is America. Located in Vermont's Northeast Kingdom, Eden appears a quiet community of Adventists, Mennonites, and Quakers where dairy farmers, mill workers, and craftsmen gather at the general stores, dinners are served in old wooden churches, and dances are held at the local Grange Hall. The rivers of Eden all spring from Eden and the views are as ravishing as the garden from which it takes its name. But it is also a hard and rugged place, where resourceful and independent inhabitants still labor stoically, as their ancestors before them.
Thomas Dodd
United States
Thomas Dodd is a visual artist and photographer based out of Atlanta, Georgia who has developed a style that he calls "painterly photo montage" - a method he employs during principal photography and in editing software with which he crafts elaborately textured pieces that have a very organic and decidedly non-digital look to them. His work often has mythic and quasi-religious themes that pay homage to Old Master art traditions while at the same time drawing from psychological archetypes that evoke a strong emotional response from the viewer. Although his artwork resembles paintings, his pieces are entirely photographic in nature, fusing many images into a cohesive whole. His larger works are often presented in a mixed media form that adds a depth and texture that complements the photography beautifully. Thomas has had numerous exhibitions of his works in many cities in the USA and around the world. He has had recent shows in New York City, Paris, Mexico City, New Orleans, Tokyo, San Antonio, Seattle, and in his hometown of Atlanta. Dodd's photographs have been featured in many magazines, on book and album covers and he frequently teaches workshops and webinars on photo-editing and marketing for artists. Thomas began his career as a visual artist in 2005. Before that, he was best known as the harpist and songwriter for the 1990s musical group Trio Nocturna, a Celtic Gothic ensemble that put out three critically-acclaimed albums ("Morphia", "Tears of Light" and "Songs of the Celtic Night") and performed at author Anne Rice's annual Halloween balls in New Orleans, as well as spawning an offshoot band called the Changelings. Thomas also played harp on two albums by Michael Gira (the driving force behind the influential post-punk band the Swans): "the Body Lovers" and the Angels of Light "New Mother". The images that Thomas creates are basically a visual equivalent of the music he composed in the 1990s. Mythic themes and their relation to emotions and psychological states continue to be his primary subjects and motivations. Source: thomasdodd.com Interview with Thomas Dodd All About Photo: When did you realize you wanted to be a photographer? Thomas Dodd: There was a period in my early teens where I was inspired by seeing a gallery show of Ansel Adams’ work, and for a short time thereafter I was compelled to study black and white film photography (of course, digital did not exist back then in the 1970s), but that inspiration quickly was replaced by the kick in the ass I received when I heard the Sex Pistols (in 1977) which made me run out and get a guitar so I could take out my teen angst upon the (non-listening) world! AAP: Where did you study photography? With whom? TD: My father taught me the basics of the camera back in the 1970s. I also took a darkroom course in high school. My reemergence as a photographer in 2006 (after a 25 year musical career playing the Celtic harp) was basically a self-taught one with quite a few online tutorials along the way! AAP: Do you have a mentor? TD: My father was a great influence on me- both as a photographer and a human being. AAP: How long have you been a photographer? TD: Since 2006. My brief dabbling in photography in the 70s barely counts! AAP: Do you remember your first shot? What was it? TD: My first real photoshoot was of my friend (and first Muse) Halley dressed in a beautiful Rococo-themed dress she made. We wandered through the streets of downtown Decatur Ga. at around midnight searching for street light to shoot in. AAP: What or who inspires you? TD: Beauty inspires me. Great painters inspire me. An artistic or chameleonesque model inspires me... AAP: How could you describe your style? TD: “Painterly” photo montage with an artistic approach AAP: Do you have a favorite photograph or series? TD: My favorite photo is always the one I am currently working on! AAP: What kind of gear do you use? Camera, lens, digital, film? TD: I really am not one of those photographers who likes to talk about gear because I think the most important tool that an artist possesses is their imagination... but I shoot with a Sony A57 using a 18-70mm lens. AAP: Do you spend a lot of time editing your images? For what purpose? TD: I seem to spend ALL my time editing photos - What purpose? Self expression and sometimes' client satisfaction! AAP: Favorite(s) photographer(s)? TD: Jan Saudek - for the way he created such boldly erotic personal imagery while hiding from a repressive Communist regime... He also used texture and color in a very painterly way which has influenced me a great deal. AAP: What advice would you give a young photographer? TD: Don't be in a hurry to "succeed", and shun advice like "Fake it ‘til you make it". It takes TIME and PATIENCE to develop your own style. Always follow your own voice and don't be swayed by what is currently popular, and don't forget to ENJOY it - this is not supposed to feel like work! AAP: What mistake should a young photographer avoid? TD: Becoming an imitation or a copy of another photographer. Being in a hurry to get published or displayed in galleries is another common mistake. Take the time and develop your craft for a few years before you start thinking about sharing it with the world! AAP: Any quotes you would like to share? TD: "I am steadily surprised that there are so many photographers that reject manipulating reality, as if that was wrong. Change reality! If you don't find it, invent it!" - Pete Turner AAP: What current projects are you working on? TD: Nothing I can tell you about, but I will drop a hint and say it involves shattering some commonly held preconceptions about a "marginalized" segment of society. AAP: Your best memory as a photographer? TD: There have been so many, it's hard to choose an absolute best but I will say my first solo show, my first print sale and my first publication were all high points! AAP: Your worst souvenir as a photographer? TD: My broken D50 which gasped it’s last breath 5 clicks into a nude shoot! Or maybe the memory card and external hard drive that I irretrievably lost data from. Here is some more good advice - ALWAYS use an online backup in addition to discs and hard drives! AAP:The compliment that touched you most? TD: When my 92 year old Mother came to my first big gallery show in Atlanta (featuring some very large nude images) and said she was proud of me... AAP: Your favorite photo book? TD: Bob Carlos Clarke's "The Dark Summer" and Helmut Newton's "White Women". AAP: An anecdote? TD: I long ago learned as a model photographer that the crucial things to pack in your camera bag are not extra lenses, filters and light meters, They are instead bobby pins, safety pins, hair ties, insect repellent and sun block. Oh yeah, and a few model releases too! AAP: Anything else you would like to share? TD: Please feel free to "like" my Facebook page and introduce yourself.
Claudio Rasano
Switzerland
1970
Claudio Rasano lives and works in Basel, Switzerland. His work explores the relationship between spaces and humans, the subject within the space and the space as the subject itself. Rasano has a genuine and identifiable style that crosses documentary and fine art practices. He works with people from similar backgrounds, circumstances and experiences - environmental portraits and landscapes depicting a quiet anthropological commentary. There is a strong relationship between the environmental portraits and the landscape images. He is the recipient of Photovogue Portraits 2017, Taylor Wessing Photographic Prize 2016, Lensculture portrait award Finalists, Syngenta Photography Award Unseen and Life 2017 Framer World Travellers. 2019 Meitar Award for Excellence in Photography at PHOTO IS:RAEL Statement My work may cross countries and continents, but there is one thing that features centrally throughout, people. People are the focal point of his work, whether it's schoolchildren in South Africa or cigarette sellers in Tirana, the story of the country that Claudio is working in is told through its people. "I love to explore the relationship between spaces and humans, the subject within the space and the space as the subject itself, I work with people from similar backgrounds, circumstances and experiences -environmental portraits and landscapes depicting a quiet anthropological commentary. It is important for me to see that there is a strong relationship between environmental portraits and landscape images." His work is focused around the human stories of an area, but in many cases it is not just the person that is of interest. The composition of many of his images, even when portraits, provides a snapshot of the landscapes and built environments that are around the subject. This contextualises many of his photographs, helping you to build a more rounded impression of the individuals based on their surroundings too - the perfect example of this being his image of South African workmen in sodden clothes.
Ricardo Reis
Portugal
1981
Why I Photograph As a young person, I needed and had to put out there so many things that were stuck inside me, and very quickly, I realized that I had a different way of seeing the world. I started noticing that even if there were many people looking at the same thing as me, they weren't seeing what I was seeing. Photography became the most realistic representation of my perspective. Photography blends all the art mediums and I am inspired to create amalgamations of the dream world with the real. I love the challenge of being able to put onto paper the ideas and surreal world of my own creation. My Purpose When I create a photograph image, I want to engage in a dialogue-to make the viewer feel something, even if it's a negative reaction. I appreciate the negative reaction, because I understand I've drawn something out in the viewer: an honest reaction is more potent than an indifferent one. I want to be able to convey an inner conversation-an ambience, a vibe- to create curiosity in the viewer for the lives and moments depicted in my images. My Method I prefer to shoot with black and white 35mm film, because I find it's more honest and direct, at least for me. I like the mental exercise of having to prepare the picture in your mind first and do the chain of thoughts necessary to translate the idea into the final work. Color can be distracting and disruptive of the real intent and emotion I am trying to achieve. My favorite camera is the Canon EOS 1 RS film camera; it has plenty of functions which allow me to have more control over the final product. I love to prepare a playlist and just go and take a walk with my camera and put myself in the mood: a limbo between voyeurism and participant. My Path When I started I wanted to be a war photographer, but in my home country of Portugal, it's very difficult to get the connections necessary to achieve that. I was fortunate to get an internship at a daily newspaper in Portugal which led to my work being published in several major newspapers and magazines. I began to work more in fashion photography and was assigned to the fashion weeks that took place in Europe. During the shows, I found that I always preferred the backstage where I had more freedom to do different things, take more risks. Photography has been the driving force through all my creative pursuits. My love of music, music photography and music videos comprise a large part of my work. As a cinematographer/director for album and DVD covers, I work in collaboration with several European photography agencies in Portugal and in the UK. The more artistic side of my work is represented in several countries and in private collections, from Canada, the UK, France, Netherlands, Australia, China, Portugal, and the United States. Currently I am living in Lisbon, but who knows what's next.
Dimitris Lambridis
Dimitris Lambridis was born in Athens, Greece. He has studied photography at the NewYork Film Academy and Film Production at the University for The Creative Arts, in Farnham, UK. He works as a photographer and cinematographer between London and Athens, while creating personal projects in the medium of photography. These projects focus mostly on stories that involve themes such as loss, the margins, community and irreversibility. Red Willow: "Red Willow" is the name of the Native American tribe of Pueblo Indians residing in the Taos Pueblo, in the city of Taos, New Mexico. The Red Willow tribe operates as an independent sovereign state, with its own hospital, school system and governing body. The Taos Pueblo was probably built between 1000 and 1450, making it one of the oldest continuously inhabited communities in the United States. It is also said that the Red Willow tribe is one of the first forms of society in the US - prior to the arrival of the Spanish in 1598 and other colonizers who played a definitive role in the history of the country and the fate of all Native Americans. A really important establishment introduced to the Natives was Christianity, which fit within the already highly spiritual culture, without pushing their spiritual practices away. It fit, and was accepted as it functioned in a different layer. Faith plays a large role in Native American art and other forms of expression. The history of relations between the US government and the Native American Indians has been a difficult one. Increasingly, today's Native American groups are sovereign within their own territory but continue to have close connections with the US federal government. Access to higher education for Native Americans is limited as the opportunities afforded them are not broad. The people's attitude in conjunction with the endless desert, allowed for a clarity of mind, which was almost taking me by the hand and pointing the camera towards the things that really did matter. The earth, the mountain, and the deepest bond that will never be taken away from Red Willow - their connection to their land. Photographic approach As soon as I was granted access to photograph within the pueblo in Taos, New Mexico. I started thinking about the form in which the narrative would be best preserved. The magnitude of this culture in relation to the history that comes after they encountered the colonizers, is one to be deeply respected. Appropriately, I thought that the clean strong image of a medium format camera, will function also as an update to Ansel Adams' documentation of the tribe- made in the 1930's- yet with elements of our times, such as the colour film and the inevitably modern landscape within and around the Pueblo, such as cars, clothing and establishments. Approaching the Pueblo in relation to the outside environment of the town of Taos, was something that I wanted to establish after I witnessed a certain codependence, which might not be preferred by the tribal members, but seems necessary.
Sumaya Agha
Syria/United States
1970
Sumaya Agha is a freelance photographer based in Portland, OR, who began documenting the Syrian refugee crisis over four years ago in Jordan and Europe. She is of Syrian descent with many aunts, uncles, and cousins still living in Damascus. Sumaya holds a BS in Applied Art and Design with a concentration in Photography from Cal Poly State University in San Luis Obispo, CA and an MPA from Middlebury Institute of International Studies. Her worked appeared in the Huffington Post, BBC Focus on Africa, Forbes Africa, and NPR.org, and she was a still photographer for the Academy Award winning film “The Fog of War.” She has lived in Syria, Liberia, and the United States. Watching from afar as civil war ripped apart Syria, I felt compelled to help the refugees whose lives have been destroyed by the conflict. And with dozens of close relatives enduring the horrors in their hometown of Damascus, I had a personal connection to the crisis. I moved to Amman, Jordan in 2012 and began working as a photographer for humanitarian organizations helping mitigate the crisis that had spilled over from neighboring Syria. While in Jordan, I spent many days in the refugee camps and host communities, getting to know countless families living there and documenting their substandard living conditions. I heard myriad stories of heartbreaking loss and brutality and enduring spirit, and found that hopelessness is pervasive among the young, as they cannot see a future for themselves. In January 2016 I went on assignment to Macedonia and Serbia to photograph the refugees migrating through the Balkans. Throughout the freezing winter, 2,200 refugees per day crossed into Serbia. Up to 10,000 a day crossed in warmer months. They came from Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria, from a wide range of socioeconomic backgrounds, including many families with young children. The typical journey went like this: flee their home country, take a perilous raft ride from Turkey to Greece, and then move onward through foreign lands in search of a peaceful home. Now that the Balkan borders are closed to refugees, thousands are stranded in Eastern Europe, hoping to be relocated to Western Europe. More than 60,000 refugees are in camps throughout Greece, including Ritsona Refugee Camp, where I went on assignment in July to document the crisis. With no end in sight to the conflict in Syria and elsewhere, the refugee crisis is certain to continue right along with it. That means millions of regular people continuing to seek safety and some sense of normalcy in the absence of peace.
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AAP Magazine #22: Streets
AAP Magazine #22: Streets
Solo Exhibition December 2021

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Call for Entries
Solo Exhibition December 2021
Win an Onine Solo Exhibition in December 2021