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Michael Light
Photo by David Hyams, 2014
Michael Light
Michael Light

Michael Light

Country: United States
Birth: 1963

Michael Light is a San Francisco-based photographer focused on the environment and how contemporary American culture relates to it. He has exhibited globally, and his work has been collected by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The Getty Research Institute, The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The New York Public Library, and the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, among others.

For the last fifteen years, Light has aerially photographed over settled and unsettled areas of American space, pursuing themes of mapping, vertigo, human impact on the land, and various aspects of geologic time and the sublime. A private pilot and Guggenheim Fellow in photography, he is currently working on an extended aerial survey of the arid Western states. Radius Books published the first of a multi-volume series of this work, Bingham Mine/Garfield Stack, in 2009. The second, LA Day/LA Night, was released in 2011. The third, Lake Las Vegas/Black Mountain, was published in 2015. The fourth, Lake Lahontan/Lake Bonneville, was released in September 2019.

Light is also known for his globally published archival works. His first, FULL MOON (1999), used lunar geological survey imagery made by the Apollo astronauts to show the moon both as a sublime desert and an embattled point of first human contact. 100 SUNS (2003), focused on the politics and landscape meanings of military photographs of U.S. atmospheric nuclear detonations from 1945 to 1962.
 

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More Great Photographers To Discover

Tomáš Neuwirth
Czech Republic
1972
Tomáš Neuwirth was born in Czech Republic in 1972. He is a freelance photographer specializing in drone photography. A major milestone in his life was the year 1995, when he began to devote himself to paragliding. As a pilot, he was fascinated by taking pictures of the bird's eye, then still on the 35mm film camera. The following year, he moved to the USA. His stay here after three and half years ended the paragliding incident and with serious injuries of the spine he returned to the Czech Republic. He then spent eight months in a sanatorium, learned not only to walk again, but also met his future wife Gabriela. Capturing of aerial footage continued to attract him. And with the advent of unmanned systems, new possibilities were opened. His first drone he folded in 2011, it was a kit. However, the desired shots were made by commercially produced drones in the following years. Today, Tomas is involved in drone and classical photography professionally. By selecting extraordinary places and post-production processing, he is trying to shift drone photography to the next level. From capturing landscapes to a Fine Art expression. He received many awards from international competitions. In 2019 he succeeded to win with in the prestigious contest MIFA - Moscow International Fotography Awards (Nature Photographer of the Year). In the same year, The Independent Photographer Magazine included his image among the TOP 10 Most incredible landscapes from across the planet. And ranked him in the selection Talents of the Year 2018/2019. He was also nominated for a Personality of Czech Photography. Statement I generally regard art as a form of self-expression. An opportunity to share own opinion, own perception of the world, with others. Photography has become my means of expression. Its strength is in capturing a given moment - a unique, unrepeatable moment. Everything is different in a second. I focus mainly on drone photography which, by its very nature, is predestined for landscape, long-distance views, great depth of field etc. From the perspective of the photographer, there are fewer possibilities for artistic expression. Therefore it depends very much on the choice of location and how to capture it. I, therefore, try to find unusual locations - often places that do not seem that interesting on the first impression. However, a bird's eye view gives them a whole new dimension.
Neal Menschel
United States
Neal Menschel has been a photographer for over 25 years. He has photographed five presidents, and traveled the world covering third world politics and development, and environmental issues. He began his career as a photographer for the Anchorage Daily News in Anchorage, Alaska.  As a freelance photographer Neal’s clients have included The New York Times, Newsweek, MIT, Tufts, Wellesley College, People, Geo, Front Line, Yankee, as well as other publications and numerous corporate clients. Neal also worked as an associate producer and sound recordist on a series of award winning documentary films for WGBH-Boston, and WBZ-TV, Boston, additionally teaching photography/documentary photography at Boston University. Neal was the Director of Photography and Senior Photographer for the Christian Science Monitor. He has traveled extensively, both nationally and worldwide, specializing in third world politics and development, environmental issues, domestic politics, humanitarian, social, and cultural issues, always with a focus on people and matters of the "human heart." Neal was the Director of Photography for the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies, a graduate and undergraduate training program in photography, radio, and writing, in Portland, Maine. Neal led their photography program for nine years before moving to the San Francisco Bay Area. Many of the students Neal has taught, mentored, and shared his passion for photography and visual story telling are now successfully carrying on careers in photojournalism and fine art photography. Neal is currently working on a book about West Virginia culture.  He teaches in Stanford University's Continuing Studies Program while he continues his work as a photographer, journalist, teacher, and workshop instructor/leader. Source: www.nealmenschel.com
Raymond Depardon
Raymond Depardon, born in France in 1942, began taking photographs on his family farm in Garet at the age of 12. Apprenticed to a photographer-optician in Villefranche-sur-Saône, he left for Paris in 1958. He joined the Dalmas agency in Paris in 1960 as a reporter, and in 1966 he co-founded the Gamma agency, reporting from all over the world. From 1974 to 1977, as a photographer and film-maker, he covered the kidnap of a French ethnologist, François Claustre, in northern Chad. Alongside his photographic career, he began to make documentary films: 1974, Une Partie de Campagne and San Clemente. In 1978 Depardon joined Magnum and continued his reportage work until the publication of Notes in 1979 and Correspondance New Yorkaise in 1981. In that same year, Reporters came out and stayed on the programme of a cinema in the Latin Quarter for seven months. In 1984 he took part in the DATAR project on the French countryside. While still pursuing his film-making career, he received the Grand Prix National de la Photographie in 1991, but his films also won recognition: in 1995 his film Délits Flagrants, on the French justice system, received a César Award for best documentary, and in 1998 he undertook the first in a series of three films devoted to the French rural world. The Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris mounted an important exhibition of his work in 2000. The sequel to his work on French justice was shown as part of the official selection at the Cannes Film Festival in 2004. As part of an initiative by the Fondation Cartier for contemporary art, Depardon made an installation of films on twelve large cities, shown in Paris, Tokyo and Berlin between 2004 and 2007. In 2006 he was invited to be artistic director of the Rencontres Internationales d'Arles. He is working on a photographic project on French territory which is due to be completed in 2010. He has made eighteen feature-length films and published forty-seven books. Source: Magnum Photos Raymond Depardon (born 6 July 1942 in Villefranche-sur-Saône, France) is a French photographer, photojournalist and documentary filmmaker. Depardon is for the most part a self-taught photographer, as he began taking pictures on his family's farm when he was 12. He apprenticed with a photographer-optician in Villefranche-sur-Saône before he moved to Paris in 1958. He began his career as a photojournalist in the early 1960s. He travelled to conflict zones including Algeria, Vietnam, Biafra and Chad. In 1966, Depardon co-founded the photojournalism agency Gamma, and he became its director in 1974. In 1973 he became Gamma’s director. From 1975 to 1977 Depardon traveled in Chad and received a Pulitzer Prize in 1977. The next year he left Gamma to become a Magnum associate, then a full member in 1979. In the 1990s, Depardon went back to his parents’ farm to photograph rural landscapes in color, and then in 1996 published a black-and-white road journal, In Africa. In May 2012, he took the official portrait of French President François Hollande. Source: Wikipedia
Martin Parr
United Kingdom
1952
Martin Parr is one of the best-known documentary photographers of his generation. With over 100 books of his own published, and another 30 edited by Parr, his photographic legacy is already established. Parr also acts as a curator and editor. He has curated two photography festivals, Arles in 2004 and Brighton Biennial in 2010. More recently Parr curated the Barbican exhibition, Strange and Familiar. Parr has been a member of the Magnum agency since 1994 and was President from 2013 - 2017. In 2013 Parr was appointed the visiting professor of photography at the University of Ulster. Parr’s work has been collected by many of the major museums, from the Tate, the Pompidou and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Martin Parr established the Martin Parr Foundation in 2017. Source: www.martinparr.com Martin Parr is a British documentary photographer, photojournalist and photobook collector. He is known for his photographic projects that take a critical look at aspects of modern life, in particular provincial and suburban life in England. He is a member of Magnum Photos. Born in Epsom, Surrey, Parr wanted to become a documentary photographer from the age of fourteen, and cites his grandfather, an amateur photographer, as an early influence. From 1970 to 1973, he studied photography at Manchester Polytechnic. He married Susan Mitchell in 1980, and they have one child, Ellen Parr (born 1986). He has lived in Bristol since 1987. Parr began work as a professional photographer and has subsequently taught photography intermittently from the mid-1970s. He was first recognized for his black-and-white photography in the north of England, Bad Weather (1982) and A Fair Day (1984), but switched to color photography in 1984. The resulting work, Last Resort: Photographs of New Brighton, was published in 1986. Since 1994, Parr has been a member of Magnum Photos. He has had almost 50 books published, and featured in around 80 exhibitions worldwide - including an exhibition at the Barbican Arts Centre, London. In 2007, his retrospective exhibition was selected to be the main show of Month of Photography Asia in Singapore. In 2008, he was made an Honorary Doctor of Arts at Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) in recognition for his ongoing contribution to photography and to MMU's School of Art. Parr's approach to documentary photography is intimate, anthropological and satirical. Macro lenses, ring flash, high-saturation color film, and since it became an easier format to work in, digital photography, all allow him to put his subjects "under the microscope" in their own environment, giving them space to expose their lives and values in ways that often involve inadvertent humor. For example, to create his book Signs of the Times: A Portrait of the Nation's Tastes. (1992), Parr entered ordinary people's homes and took pictures of the mundane aspects of his hosts' lives, combining the images with quotes from his subjects to bring viewers uncomfortably close to them. The result of Parr's technique has been said to leave viewers with ambiguous emotional reactions, unsure whether to laugh or cry. Source: Wikipedia
John Thomson
Scotland
1837 | † 1921
John Thomson, one of the great figures of nineteenth century photography, is known for the unusual and exotic nature of his chosen subject matter. Born in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1837, Thomson took up photography as a profession in his early twenties. For ten years, from 1862, he traveled and explored the Far East, visiting Hong Kong, Singapore, Penang and the Malay Peninsula, Siam, Cambodia, Vietnam, Formosa and especially China. Utilizing a large wooden box-type camera capable of accommodating a glass plate of up to 12 x 16 inches, John Thomson photographed commoners and kings, attempting to capture the individual behind the veneer of social status. His photographic record of the Far East documented a complete panorama of the cultures and people of the Far East at a time when Westerners were a few and curious lot. John Thomson not only created a photographic history, but also wrote numerous articles and books on his travels and views of life in the Far East. There is no doubt that it was Thomson’s sympathetic approach to his subjects, and the dignity with which he embued them, as much as his great technical expertise, which enabled him to produce such an outstanding photographic documentary. It is this marriage between sensitivity, technical expertise and sheer professionalism, not to mention his voluminous literary output and descriptions of the scenes and people, which he photographed, that has earned Thomson the title of the ‘first of the great photo-journalists’. His work, which has only recently gained full recognition, represents one of the great photo-historical records in the history of documentary photography. Source Westwood Gallery
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.
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Call for Entries
Solo Exhibition
Be Featured in our Apr 2021 Online Juried Solo Exhibition!