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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

Odette England
Australia
1975
Odette England is an Australia/British artist who uses photography, performance, writing, and the archive to explore relationships between autobiography, gender, place, and vernacular photography. England is currently Visiting Artist-in-Residence at Amherst College in Massachusetts. She is also a resident artist of the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts Studio Program in New York. Her work has shown in more than 90 solo, two-person, and group exhibitions worldwide. Notable venues include the George Eastman Museum, Museum of Contemporary Photography Chicago, New Mexico Museum of Art, Fort Wayne Museum of Art, RISD Museum, Center for Photography at Woodstock, Colorado Photographic Arts Center, Philadelphia Photo Arts Center, Photographic Resource Center Boston, MacDonald Stewart Art Center Ontario, Perth Center for Photography in Australia, State Library of South Australia, HOST Gallery London, and the Durham Art Museum & Gallery in England. England has regularly received funding through competitive grants and fellowships. These include the CENTER $5,000 Project Launch Award (2012); two grants - $4,865 and $2,315 - from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation (2018-2019); the Anonymous Was a Woman $1,500 Grant (2020); Color Lab $2,000 Dean's Council Research Fellowship (2020); and the Center for Fine Art Photography Director's Award (2015), among others. She has received fellowships to attend residencies in Australia, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Spain, and the United States including the invitation-only Robert Rauschenberg Foundation residency working with Guggenheim Fellow, Jennifer Garza-Cuen. England's first edited volume Keeper of the Hearth was published by Schilt Publishing in March 2020, with a foreword by Charlotte Cotton. The book is part of England's Winter Garden Photograph project which includes an exhibition at the Houston Center for Photography opening September 2020. England's photographs are held in public collections including the Brooklyn Art Library, the Fort Wayne Museum of Art, George Eastman Museum, Hungarian Multicultural Center, Museum of Contemporary Photography, New Mexico Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, Robert Rauschenberg Residency, and Texas A&M University. Award-related exhibitions include the 2015 Australian Photobook of the Year; Magenta Foundation Flash Forward Emerging Photographers awards (UK winner, twice); HotShoe Magazine Photofusion Photography Award (1st prize); Director's Choice Award at the Medium Festival of Photography's ‘Size Matters' exhibition (1st prize); Px3 Prix De La Photographie competition (1st prize, People's Choice Award); and the Photo Review Photography Competition. Her work has been published in contemporary art journals, magazines, and newspapers including American Photo, Photograph, The Brooklyn Rail, The Photo Review, Photo District News, Hotshoe International, British Journal of Photography, Australian Art Monthly, Musee, GUP, SPOT, JRNL, The Guardian (United Kingdom) and Der Standaard (Belgium). England has given artist talks and critiques at Harvard University, Princeton University, Stanford University, Brown University, the School of Visual Arts in New York, Amherst College, the Penumbra Foundation, Kenyon College, Syracuse University, Lesley College of Art & Design, University of Melbourne, and the Art Gallery of South Australia, among others. She received a four-year fully-funded Research Training Program Scholarship to complete her PhD at the Australian National University in 2018. She also has an MFA in Photography with Honors from the Rhode Island School of Design and an MA in Communication, Culture and Language from the University of South Australia. England is a permanent US resident and lives and works in Providence, Rhode Island and New York City. Her work is represented in the US (east coast only) by Klompching Gallery.
Tamas Dezso
Hungary
1978
Tamas Dezso (b.1978) is a documentary fine art photographer working on long-term projects focusing on the margins of society in Hungary, Romania, and other parts of Eastern Europe. His work has been exhibited worldwide, with solo exhibitions in 2011 in Poland, Bangladesh, Budapest, New Mexico, and at the Robert Koch Gallery in San Francisco, and recent exhibitions at the New York Photo Festival, Shanghai Museum of Contemporary Art, and FOAM Photo Museum in Amsterdam. He was twice Hungarian Press Photo’s Photographer of the Year (2005 and 2006), and has received awards from organizations such as World Press Photo, Pictures of the Year International, NPPA’s Best of Photojournalism, and PDN. His photographs have appeared in TIME magazine, The New York Times, National Geographic, GEO, Le Monde magazine, and many others. Dezso has recently been nominated for the 2012 Prix Pictet. Tamas Dezso's series 'Here, Anywhere' offers a desolate yet beautiful look at the people and places left behind during the post-communist transition in Hungary. Begun in 2009, the series explores the unique atmosphere of the country's now 20-year-long transition, and changing notions of Eastern European identity. With the introduction of democracy in the 1990s came euphoria and promise, but unrealized expectations of quickly catching up with the West have led to widespread disappointment and frustration, compounded by the current serious economic difficulties have fanned the popularity of far right politics, as well as an anachronistic nostalgia for the stability of communism. Presently Hungary has a right wing populist government and the strongest opposition party is the neo-Nazi party with nearly 1/8th of the eligible voters and gaining popularity. Dezso's layered images present unsettling moments of stillness that poetically allude to this gritty reality. Motivated by the isolation he sees his country facing, Dezso photographs the people and places of Hungary as symbols, where "a certain out-dated, awkward, longed-to-be-forgotten Eastern Europeanness still lingers." This award-winning series has garnered international attention, earning Dezso First Place at the 2011 CENTER Project Competition in Santa Fe, the Daylight Magazine & Center for Documentary Studies Project Prize, and Grand Prize at the Jeune Création Européenne Biennal 2011/2013 in Paris-Montrouge.Source: Robert Koch Gallery Interview with Tamas Dezso All About Photo: When did you realize you wanted to be a photographer? Tamas Dezso: Soon after I left the University of Technology in Budapest in 2000. AAP: Where did you study photography? TD: I am self-taught. AAP: How long have you been a photographer? TD: I started as a photojournalist with a political daily in 2000. AAP: What or who inspires you? TD: Music. Beethoven, Bach and Mozart. AAP: How could you describe your style? TD: Documentary. AAP: Do you have a favorite photograph or series? TD: Richard Avedon 'Italy #9', 'Boy and Tree, Sicily, July 15, 1947' AAP: What kind of gear do you use? Camera, lens, digital, film? TD: Phase One cameras with various Schneider Kreuznach lenses. AAP: Favorite(s) photographer(s)? TD: Richard Avedon and Irving Penn AAP: What advice would you give a young photographer? TD: "Follow the advice of others only in the rarest cases." -- Beethoven AAP: What are your projects? TD: I am interested in the transitional period, the period after the fall of communism in Eastern Europe. AAP: Your best memory as a photographer? TD: My first trip to Romania. AAP:If you were someone else who would it be? TD: A pianist. AAP: Your favorite photo book? TD: Walter Niedermayr's Civil Operations.
Marc Riboud
France
1923
Marc Riboud is born in 1923 in Lyon. At the Great Exhibition of Paris in 1937 he takes his first pictures with the small Vest-Pocket camera his father offered him. During the war, he took part in the Vercors fights. From 1945 to 1948 he studies engineering and works in a factory. After a week of holiday, during which he covers the cultural festival of Lyon, he drops his engineering job for photography.In 1953, he publishes his famous « Eiffel Tower’s painter » photograph in Life magazine and joins Magnum agency after meeting Henri Cartier-Bresson and Robert Capa. Robert Capa later sends him to London to see girls and learn English. He doesn’t learn that much English but photographs intensely.In 1955, he crosses Middle-East and Afghanistan to reach India, where he remains one year. He then heads toward China for a first stay in 1957. After three months in USSR in 1960, he follows the independances movement in Algeria and Western Africa.Between 1968 and 1969 he’s one of the few photographers allowed to travel in South and North Vietnam. In 1976 he becomes president of Magnum and resigns three years later ; since the 1980’s he keeps travelling at his own tempo. Marc Riboud published many books, among which the most famous are « The three banners of China », ed. Robert Laffont, « Journal », ed. Denoël, « Huang Shan, Capital of Heaven », ed. Arthaud / Doubleday, « Angkor, the serenity of Buddhism », ed. Imprimerie Nationale / Thames & Hudson, « Marc Riboud in China », ed. Nathan / Harry N. Abrams…In 2004 his retrospective is exhibited at the Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris and visited by 100 000 people. Numerous museums trough Europe, as well as United States, China and Japan regularly show his work. He received many awards, among which two Overseas Press Club, the Time-Life Achievement, the Lucie Award and the ICP Infinity Award.
Robert Hecht
United States
1941
For over fifty years, Robert Hecht has been a dedicated fine art photographer. He is largely self-taught, having learned his craft primarily by studying the prints and books of many of the medium's greats, and then by attempting to apply what he absorbed from them in the darkroom (and later in the digital darkroom). In addition, he studied briefly with photographer and teacher Ruth Bernhard in the 1970's, and considers that experience meaningful for giving him direct contact and exchange of ideas with a master. His work has been exhibited internationally, purchased for both private and public collections, and showcased in many of the leading photography periodicals. Professionally, he has worked primarily as a producer-director of educational film and video programs, first at Stanford University and then in his own video production business for the past several decades. He and his wife live in Portland, Oregon. Statement I consider photography a way, if you will, to bring my experience of the visual world into clearer focus. Practicing the art of photography, which I consider a way of life in and of itself, has heightened my awareness of how in our everyday lives we are constantly surrounded by interesting subject matter. In contrast, during my early years of doing this work, I looked mainly to the classic landscape for inspiration, often pursuing dramatic vistas with large-format cameras. However, over time I came to see that I do not necessarily have to "go out shooting" or travel to impressive locales to find subjects—rather, I merely have to keep my eyes open to what is right here around me in my immediate environment and, without actually searching for a picture, simply be prepared should a picture jump out of the random visual chaos and present itself to me. This shift in focus has led me to a more spontaneous approach to making images, often enabling me to find great beauty in the most mundane materials at hand.
Myriam Boulos
Lebanon
1992
I was born in 1992 in Lebanon, right after the end of the war, in a fragmented country that had to reinvent itself. At the age of 16 I started to get closer to Beirut and used my camera to question the city, its people, and my place among them. I graduated with a master degree in photography from the Academie Libanaise des Beaux Arts in 2015. Today I use photography to explore, defy and resist society. It is my way of constantly reinventing myself in the body and the city I live in. Statement The revolution started in Lebanon on the 17th of October 2019. Since then everything has been emotionally and physically draining and confusing but also beautiful, sad and awakening. It all feels as if we were coming out of an abusive relationship and to finally say: No, this is not normal. When the revolution started in Lebanon, it was the most natural thing for me to take my camera and go to the streets. Photography has always been my way of participating to life as it is today my way of taking part in the revolution. In the ongoing socio-political context it felt to me like there was no choice: the subject of my photography imposed itself on me. It was more a question of need and necessity than a question of desire. The slow documentary that normally constitutes my approach was ever so naturally replaced by something else something new, and within the revolution I let myself carry by the big wave coming towards me, big wave much bigger than me. My project is about documenting the different facettes of the Lebanese revolution from a local point of view. My approach is characterized by the direct flash I use in this project but also in others. This potentially comes from my need to make things real. The direct flash also helps me work on textures, bodies and skins. In the context of the revolution, the proximity between the bodies says a lot about the situation. It is the first time that we claim our public spaces, our streets, our country. It is the first time that different social classes mix together in the streets. In our streets. In parallel to the photographic documentation, I am also documenting the evolution of my emotions during the revolution. It is sort of a diary that accompanies the pictures. Example: Monday, 20 Jan Beirut, Lebanon Tonight in the teargas I took all my pictures with eyes closed. They say the moment of a picture is a black out. I wonder if I don't look at these emotions, will they disappear?
Virginia Hines
United States
Virginia Hines began photographing when, as a high school student, her parents (both newspaper editors) handed her a Pentax SLR - set at f/11, loaded with Tri-X - with a Honeywell flash, and sent her around town on "idiot-proof" assignments, shooting the likes of large garden vegetables, ladies luncheons, and presentations of jumbo facsimile checks. Scrupulously saving her $1.60 per hour minimum wage earnings, in due time she managed to buy her first camera, a Singapore-made Rolleiflex SL35 with a 50mm Zeiss lens. In college at Rice University she studied photography with Geoff Winningham and came to favor the 4x5 format. Encouraged by receiving "honorable mention" in a show judged by Garry Winogrand, she bought her second camera, a Calumet 4x5. In its rigid case this camera still sits in the back of her closet and provides an excellent step for reaching items on the top shelf. After graduation, awakening to the need to keep a roof overhead and food on the table, Virginia adopted the family profession and began working in publishing, putting serious photography aside for a long time. She spent five years in the Washington, DC, bureau of Fairchild Publications; later, in New York, she launched the first business publication focused on bioinformatics and genomics. As the internet gained traction, Virginia got an MBA from UCLA and started working at Yahoo, the dominant internet company at the time. In 2016, a workshop with Bruce Gilden was an inspiration and a wakeup call. Observing that the best photographers never stop pursuing artistic growth, Virginia began seeking out opportunities to shoot in the Bay Area and elsewhere that stretched her skills and comfort zone. She took more workshops, including from Harvey Stein, who became an important mentor. Also at this time, inspired by Gilden, Stein, and other photographers she admired, she began using digital Leica rangefinders. Their greater manual control echoes her affinity for the view camera, while the compact size better fits her current shooting style. Today Virginia lives in San Francisco and is a frequent contributor to Street Photography Magazine. Her photos have appeared in a number of print and online publications and she has been invited to join group shows in the US and Europe. Current projects include exploring Alcatraz from the perspective of Covid-era themes of confinement, isolation, and social control; The Loneliest Road, shooting along socially distant Western backroads; and China on the Move, images made from a moving train traveling across China's once-cultural, now industrial heartland that reveal the country's social and environmental challenges in fresh ways. You can follow her progress @vhines_photos on Instagram. Statement For me, the reason to make art is to help heal humanity's many self-inflicted wounds; to bring to light patterns and themes, commonalities and, I hope, compassion, through the unflinching observation of a wide swathe of phenomena. This vision motivates me to venture into the world with a camera and start chipping away at an impossibly immense goal. One of my photographer icons, Dorothea Lange, observed, "I realize more and more what it takes to be a really good photographer. You go in over your head, not just up to your neck." Following her advice, I jump in the deep end and hope for the best. I also feel it's essential for an artist to be a truth-teller; all the more so as culture bends away from authenticity toward the highly performative. Yes, there are no absolute truths, but I want to document my truth in photographs that may not be completely truthful in and of themselves but, through synecdoche, aim at conjuring a more universal meaning.
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