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Ragnar Axelsson
Ragnar Axelsson
Ragnar Axelsson

Ragnar Axelsson

Country: Iceland
Birth: 1958

For over 40 years, Ragnar Axelsson, Rax, has been photographing the people, animals, and landscape of the most remote regions of the Arctic, including Iceland, Siberia, and Greenland. In stark black-and-white images, he captures the elemental, human experience of nature at the edge of the liveable world, making visible the extraordinary relationships between the people of the Arctic and their extreme environment – relationships now being altered in profound and complex ways by the unprecedented changes in climate.

A photojournalist at Morgunbladid since 1976, Ragnar has also worked on free-lance assignment in Latvia, Lithuania, Mozambique, South Africa, China, and Ukraine. His photographs have been featured in LIFE, Newsweek, Stern, GEO, National Geographic, Time, and Polka, and have been exhibited widely.

Ragnar has published 7 books in various international editions. His most recent, Jökull (Glacier) was published in 2018, with a foreword by Olafur Eliasson. Andlit Nordursins (Faces of The North), was published in 2016, with a foreword by Mary Ellen Mark, and won the 2016 Icelandic Literary Prize for non-fiction.

Other awards for Ragnar's work include numerous Icelandic Photojournalist Awards; The Leica Oskar Barnack Award (Honorable Mention); The Grand Prize, Photo de Mer, Vannes; and Iceland's highest honor, the Order of the Falcon, Knight's Cross.

Ragnar is currently working on a 3-year project documenting people's lives in all 8 countries of the Arctic. At this pivotal time, as climate change irrevocably disrupts the physical and traditional realities of their world, Ragnar is bearing witness to the immediate and direct threat global warming poses to their survival.

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More Great Photographers To Discover

Réhahn
France
1979
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. Réhahn's unique combination of fine art photography and documentary styles results in images that both inform and mesmerize. His portraits of Vietnam, Cuba, and India are particularly well-known for exactly this reason. They take the viewer along on the voyage to catch a glimpse of authentic interactions with people, their smiles, their wisdom, their daily lives. For Réhahn, photography is a way to approach people, to document what is happening in the present while also learning about the traditions and heritage of their past. Réhahn visited over 35 countries before making Hoi An, Vietnam his home in 2011. His first book "Vietnam, Mosaic of Contrasts” has been a bestseller since 2014. He followed this success with four subsequent books: “Vietnam, Mosaic of Contrasts, Volume ll” in 2015; “The Collection, Réhahn - 10 Years of Photography” in 2017; “100 Iconic Portraits” in 2019; and “Vietnam Mosaic of Contrasts, Volume III” in 2020. In 2016, for International Women's day, Réhahn's portrait of Madam Xong was placed in the permanent collection at the Hanoi Women's museum. The resulting media coverage amassed more than 80 articles and 10 television interviews. Now just over two years later, Réhahn has been featured in international media totalling more than 500 articles and interviews and over 50 television appearances. One memorable career moment took place in 2018. Réhahn was honored during an official ceremony, which was organized to celebrate 45 years of friendship between France and Vietnam. Vietnam's Secretary of the Party, Nguyen Phu Trong, who has since become the President of Vietnam, gifted Réhahn's portrait "Madam Xong" to French President Emmanuel Macron. In addition to his four COULEURS BY RÉHAHN galleries, Réhahn opened the PRECIOUS HERITAGE museum located in the UNESCO World Heritage site of Hoi An ancient town in 2017 to showcase his portraits of Vietnam's diverse ethnic groups, their traditional costumes, stories, music, and artifacts. The museum is free to the public.
Marilyn Silverstone
United States
1929 | † 1999
Marilyn Silverstone, who has died of cancer in Kathmandu aged 70, was one of only five women members of the Magnum Photos co-operative. Yet after more than 20 years of freelancing for publications such as Life and Paris Match, she gave up the glamour of photo-journalism to become a Buddhist nun in Nepal.Source: The Guardian Marilyn Rita Silverstone (9 March 1929 – 28 September 1999) was the eldest daughter of Murray and Dorothy Silverstone was born in London. Her father, the son of Polish immigrants to America, rose to become managing director, and president, international, respectively, of United Artists and 20th-Century Fox, working with Charlie Chaplin and other early film stars in London. The family returned to America just before the outbreak of the Second World War in Europe. Silverstone grew up in Scarsdale, New York. After graduating from Wellesley College, she became an associate editor for Art News, Industrial Design and Interiors in the early 1950s. She moved to Italy to make documentary art films. Marilyn Silverstone became a working photojournalist in 1955, traveling and capturing the range of images that her vision led her to find in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. In 1956, she travelled to India on an assignment to photograph Ravi Shankar. She returned to the subcontinent in 1959; what was intended to be a short trip became the beginning of a fascination with India which lasted for the rest of her life. Her photographs of the arrival in India of the Dalai Lama, who was escaping from the Chinese invasion of Tibet, made the lead in Life. In that period, she met and fell in love with the journalist Frank Moraes. Moraes was then editor of The Indian Express. The couple lived together in New Delhi until 1973, socializing with politicians, journalists and intellectuals, and diplomats. A number of Moraes' editorials had earned the ire of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and the situation deteriorated to the point that a retreat to London became the best course. Over the years, Silverstone's reputation as a photographer grew. In 1967, she joined Magnum Photos, in which she was only one of five women members. Silverstone's work for Magnum included photographing subjects ranging from Albert Schweitzer to the coronation of the Shah of Iran. Silverstone's conversion to Buddhist nun was said to have begun when she was a teenager suffering from the mumps. She later explained that during this conventional childhood illness, she read Secret Tibet by Fosco Maraini and she said the book provided a key she long carried in her subconscious. In the late 1960s, Marilyn Silverstone had worked on a photography assignment about a Tibetan Buddhist lama in Sikkim named Khanpo Rinpoche and, when the lama came to London for medical treatment in the 1970s, Rinpoche stayed with the couple. At this point, Silverstone decided to learn Tibetan in order to study Buddhism with him. After Moraes's death in 1974, Silverstone decided to join the entourage of another celebrated lama, Khentse Rinpoche, who left London for a remote monastery in Nepal. In 1977, she took vows as a Buddhist nun. Her Buddhist name was Bhikshuni Ngawang Chödrön, or Ani Marilyn to her close friends. In her new life in Kathmandu, she researched the vanishing customs of Rajasthan and the Himalayan kingdoms. In 1999, Ngawang Chödrön returned to the United States for cancer treatment and she learned that she was terminally ill. She was clear that she wanted to die in Nepal, her home for the past 25 years. However, no airline would carry a passenger in her fragile condition. She resolved the impasse by persuading a doctor on vacation to accompany her on the return to Kathmandu. The journey was fraught with difficulties. She was barely conscious during the trip and a stopover was necessary in Vienna. She died in 1999 in a Buddhist monastery near Katmandu where she had worked to establish and maintain. At the time of Silverstone's death, the preparation of an exhibition at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery featuring her work and that of other Magnum photographers was nearing completion. The University of St Andrews hosted a seminar in conjunction with this exhibition, and as Silverstone had just recently died, the seminar became an opportunity for her peers to celebrate her life and career. Source: Wikipedia Born in London in 1929, Marilyn Silverstone graduated from Wellesley College in Massachusetts, then worked as an associate editor for Art News, Industrial Design, and Interiors during the 1950s. She also served as an associate producer and historical researcher for an Academy Award-winning series of films on painters. In 1955 she began to photograph professionally as a freelancer with the Nancy Palmer Agency, New York, working in Asia, Africa, Europe, Central America and the Soviet Union. In 1959, she was sent on a three-month assignment to India, but ended up moving to New Delhi and was based there until 1973. During that time she produced the books Bala Child of India (1962) and Ghurkas and Ghosts (1964), and later The Black Hat Dances (1987), and Ocean of Life (1985), a journey of discovery that aims to take the reader to the heart of a complex and compassionate Buddhist culture. Kashmir in Winter, a film made from her photographs, won an award at the London Film Festival in 1971. Silverstone became an associate member of Magnum in 1964, a full member in 1967, and a contributor in 1975. Marilyn Silverstone, whose photographs have appeared in many major magazines, including Newsweek, Life, Look, Vogue and National Geographic, became an ordained Buddhist nun in 1977. She lived in Kathmandu, Nepal, where she practiced Buddhism and researched the vanishing customs of the Rajasthani and Himalayan kingdoms. She died in October 1999 at the Shechen monastery, near Kathmandu, which she had helped to finance. Silverstone’s photographic estate is managed by Magnum Photos under the direction of James A. Fox, a former Magnum Editor-in-Chief, and present Curator.Source: Magnum Photos
Cao Luning
China
1990
Cao Luning is a street photographer who lives in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, China, a city of 8 million people. He only started to do photography 3 years ago and all learnt by himself. For Cao Luning, photography is a means of getting to know and expressing himself. Just like the saying "You are what you read", he also believes "You are what you shoot". He's extremely crazy about Street, Travel and Documentary photography, and the uncertainty and infinite possibilities of them fascinate him. They are just similar to life, you never know what you are going to get tomorrow. You may capture some nice shots, or you might come back empty-handed. Street photographer is his identity. Cao Luning is a street wanderer and likes to watch people. He can linger on the streets all day long without feeling tired or fed up. When he shoots, he focuses on the serendipity of specific colors, light and shadows, gestures and the implied humor of scenes. Cao Luning reckons framing is crucial to a good photograph, and he's been greatly influenced by Henri Cartier-Bresson and his "The Decisive Moment Theory", which He thinks is something that every photographer should pay attention to. His mentors are Mangum Photographer Alex Webb and his wife Rebecca Norris Webb, and they both helped him a lot in developing his own vision. In his opinion, given different situations and scenarios, a good street photographer should swiftly apply different compositions that best suit the scenes, instead of using one or two methods for all situations, because that's not a creative process, it's just mechanical repetitions. Statement I'm a street photographer who started to do photography 3 years ago. For me, photography is a means of getting to know and expressing myself. Just like the saying "You are what you read", I also believe "You are what you shoot". I'm extremely crazy about Street, Travel and Documentary photography, and the uncertainty and infinite possibilities of them fascinate me. They are just similar to life, you never know what you are going to get tomorrow. You may capture many nice shots, or you might come back empty-handed. I'm a street wanderer and I like to watch people. I can linger on the streets all day long without feeling tired or fed up. When I shoot, I focus on the serendipity of specific colors, light and shadows, gestures and the implied humor of scenes. I reckon framing is crucial to a good photograph, and I've been greatly influenced by Henri Cartier-Bresson and his "The Decisive Moment Theory", which I think is something that every photographer should pay attention to. In my opinion, given different situations and scenarios, a good street photographer should swiftly apply different compositions that best suit the scenes, instead of using one or two methods for all situations, because that's not a creative process, it's just mechanical repetitions. Most of the works I submitted were shot during the pandemic in China.. On January 2020, The New Coronavirus Pneumonia (or COVID-19) outbroke in Wuhan, Hubei Province in China and soon spread all over the country. As a result, the Chinese government locked down the whole country, stopped all production activities, restricted intercity transportation, and people were advised not to go outside. I live in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, a city of 8 million people, and when it was shut down, it was a bit like a ghost town in the beginning, not completely empty, but hard to find people on the streets. However, I found out by the Yangtze River and some parks, there are some citizens. People would go fishing, do sports, exercise or simply relax. So I often go to those places with my camera, trying to capture their life under the influence of Coronavirus. The virus has pressed the pause button for most of us, though it's not a good thing, objectively speaking, it gives us a good opportunity to look inside and review our living states. It offers us a window to slow down and appreciate all the good and beautiful things around us as well. In the meantime, we are also given the possibility to do the things that we always wanted to do. We should cherish it and live in the moment, despite how dreadful the epidemic situation might be, life has to go on. I hope you'll enjoy my works and get to know me better by them.
Andreas Gursky
Germany
1955
German photographer. Shortly after Gursky was born, his family relocated to Essen, and then to Düsseldorf, West Germany in 1957. Gursky’s parents ran a commercial photography studio, but Gursky had no plans to join the business. He attended the Folkwangschule in Essen (1978-80) with a concentration in visual communication and the goal of becoming a photojournalist, but was unsuccessful with finding work. Encouraged by fellow photographer Thomas Struth, Gursky entered the prestigious Kunstakademie, Düsseldorf in 1980 and in his second year began studying photography under Bernd and Hilla Becher. Although the Becher’s preferred black and white photography, Gursky only worked in color, and with the help of his friends set up a color darkroom in 1981. By integrating the “systematically objective and rigorously conceptual”* documentary style of the Bechers’ photography with his taste for color, Gursky began to explore the contemporary culture of the world. Gursky had his first exhibition in 1981 featuring his series Pförtnerbilder (1981-5), a collection of works depicting pairs of German security guards. After graduating from the Kunstakademie in 1987, Gursky focused on photographing urban landscapes, both interior and exterior, and began to increase the size of his large format prints. Gursky had his first solo gallery show in 1988, at the Galerie Johnen & Schöttle. A rise of interest in the international art market for photography paired with the growing popularity of the Becher’s circle brought Gursky much commercial success. Gursky began the infamous May Day series (early 1990’s) in reaction to the biggest economic slump of recent history. A combination of the collapsing stock market with the growth of a dynamic drug-addicted rave scene inspired this photographic compilation. During this time, Gursky traveled to a number of international cities such as Tokyo, Los Angeles, Stockholm, Cairo and Hong Kong in order to photograph the masses – busy stock exchanges, manufacturing plants, industrial-looking apartment buildings, crowded arenas and swarming clubs. Gursky was one of the first contemporary photographers to use new digital photo editing techniques on his large format photographs. In 1999, Gursky created 99 Cent, the first in a series of photographs of discount stores, which “was quickly recognized as one of his most important works and placed in major museums around the world.”* Gursky’s retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art, New York in 2001, which included the work May Day IV, confirmed him as one of the greatest artistic visionaries of his generation. Source Sotheby’s, London
Chien-Chi Chang
Taiwan
1961
Chien-Chi Chang is a photographer and member of Magnum Photos. Chang was born in Taichung, Taiwan. He received an MS from Indiana University, Bloomington and a B. A. from Soochow University, Taipei. He joined Magnum Photos in 1995 and was elected as a full member in 2001. He lives in Taichung, Taiwan and Graz, Austria. Chang focuses on the abstract concepts of alienation and connection. The Chain, a collection of portraits made in a mental asylum in Taiwan, was shown at Venice Biennale (2001) and the São Paulo Art Biennial (2002). The nearly life-sized photographs of pairs of patients chained together resonate with Chang's look at the less visible bonds of marriage. At São Paulo Art Biennial he was involved in the Thomann controversy. Chang has treated marital ties in two books: I do I do I do (2001), a collection of images depicting alienated grooms and brides in Taiwan, and in Double Happiness (2005), a depiction of the business of selling brides in Vietnam. The ties of family and of culture are also the themes of a project begun in 1992. For 21 years, Chang has photographed and videoed the bifurcated lives of Chinese immigrants in New York's Chinatown, along with those of their wives and families back home in Fujian. Still a work in progress, China Town was hung at the National Museum of Singapore in 2008 as part of a mid-career survey and at Venice Biennale (2011) as well as at International Center of Photography, New York (2012). Chang's investigation of the ties that bind one person to another draws on his own divided immigrant experience in the United States.Source: Wikipedia Chien-Chi Chang has always been fascinated by the human conditions of alienation and connection. Both are in evidence in his signature work, The Chain, which is a collection of portraits made of inmates in a mental asylum in Taiwan. The subjects are people who have had their bonds to the rest of society – family, community – servered. And yet, as part of their treatment, they are chained to one another, physically linked in pairs throughout their days and only unlocked to sleep. These powerful photographs, nearly life size, have been exhibited at the Taipei Fine Arts Museum (2001), La Biennale di Venezia (2001), and the Bienal de Sao Paolo (2002). Less visible bonds were the subject of another project: A jaundiced look at the ceremony surrounding the union of two people. When his parents began pressuring him to marry, Chang responded by making pictures at weddings in Taiwan. The images are hardly festive, rather emphasizing alienated grooms and lonely brides. They have been collected in the book, I do I do I do. This meditation on the nature of the ties that bind a person to others and to society is a natural outgrowth of Chang's own experience of the divided life of an immigrant. The son of working people in central Taiwan, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Soochow University in Taiwan in 1984 and a Master of Science degree at Indiana University in 1990. He then became a staff photographer at The Seattle Times (1991-1993) and The Baltimore Sun (1994-1995). Over the past decade, he has worked in New York's Chinatown, documenting the lives of immigrants there. These pictures of illegal aliens stranded on an island within an island have appeared in National Geographic magazine, as well as The New Yorker, TIME Magazine and German Geo. The series earned Chang first place in the category "Daily Life Story" from World Press Photo in 1999. That same year, Chang won a grant from the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund for humanistic photography and was awarded the Visa d'Or in magazine photography in Perpignan. He was named the Missouri/NPPA 1999 Magazine Photographer of the Year.Source: artasiamerica Chien-Chi Chang’s photography and films explore the abstract concepts of alienation and connection. His investigation of the ties that bind one person to another draws on his own deeply divided immigrant experience, as he explores the contrasting themes of hope and darkness, restriction and freedom. Chang’s long term interest in the manifestation of restriction and freedom was explored in his project on North Korean defectors. From 2007 to 2009 , Chang travelled with North Korean defectors to document their incredibly harrowing journey escaping to China. Between 2008-2012, Chang worked on a project called Jet Lag, which explored the globalised disconnect of the “jet-setting” lifestyle, culminating in a book of the same name, published in 2015.Source: Magnum Photos
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