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Sirli Raitma
Sirli Raitma
Sirli Raitma

Sirli Raitma

Country: Estonia
Birth: 1975

Sirli Raitma is a London based photographer. She was born and grew up in Suure-Jaani in Estonia. Sirli's images span portraiture, landscapes and interiors, but portraiture - especially involving ambiguity via costume or displacement - is her heartland.

Project - Eha

EHA is a series of portraits of my mother, portrayed in a series of unusual situations, poses and attire. Eha was born in Estonia in 1950. Widowed, suffering from epilepsy and lacking great command of English, Eha stayed tightly involved in our lives. In 2015 Eha began to suffer from depression. Life became bleaker. Something had to be done. I came up with a plan to give her something new to focus on, beyond her new procession of doctor's appointments and medications. The 'EHA' project was born.

'Eha revealed herself to be a natural model, happy to play along with my increasingly imaginative visual fantasies. The 'EHA' project has had an effect on both of us. It is encouraging to see that the results for us are also having a resonance for others. The project has featured in UK and Estonian magazines. The feedback from readers has been fantastic and is consistent it that it has prompted many to look at their own family situations and how they treat each other.'
 

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John R. Pepper
John Randolph Pepper, (1958) is an Italian photographer, screenwriter, theatre and film director, the son of sculptress Beverly Pepper and journalist/writer Curtis Bill Pepper, editor of Newsweek and manager of its Rome office. He was born and raised in Rome; lives in Palermo and works worldwide. Pepper started his career in Black & White analogical photography with an apprenticeship to Ugo Mulas at 14. He published his first photograph at 15 and had his first show at 17. He studied History of Art at Princeton University, where he was also the youngest member of the exclusive painting program, '185 Nassau Street'. He then became a 'Directing Fellow' at The American Film Institute, (Los Angeles) and subsequently worked as a director in theatre and film for 20 years. For thirty years, he dedicated himself to photography while directing both theatre and film. During that time he continued to take photographs with his Leica camera always using the same Ilford HP5 film stock. John R. Pepper, represented by the Art of Foto Gallery (St. Petersburg, Russia) and The Empty Quarter Gallery (Dubai, UAE), is a 'Cultural Ambassador' of numerous Italian Institutes of Culture in may parts of the world. Since 2008 he has exhibited his different projects 'Rome: 1969 - An Homage to Italian Neo-Realist Cinema', 'Sans Papier', 'Evaporations' in the United States, France, Italy, the Middle East and Russia. He has published three books and is represented in several major museums around the world. Since 2015 Pepper has been working on his project 'Inhabited Deserts', where he explores deserts and their effect on time, history and people. 'Inhabited Deserts' debuted in Paris in November 2017; in September 2018, with the support of the Italian Embassy in Iran and the Italian Foreign Ministry, Pepper exhibited at the Aaran Projects Gallery in Tehran where he was one of the first Italian photographers since the Iranian Revolution of 1979. In November 2018, after participating at Paris Photo with the Galerie Sophie Scheidecker, 'Inhabited Deserts' went to Tel Aviv, Israel, representing Italy at the 6th International Photo Festival 'Photo Is:Rael'. From December 12th 2018 to February 15th Inhabited Deserts was presented at The Empty Quarter Gallery in Dubai, U.A.E. with curatorial text by Kirill Petrin. Subsequently the show opened on March 19, 2019 in Saint Petersburg, Russia, at the Art of Foto Gallery and shortly thereafter, on April 18th, it returned to Tel Aviv at the NOX Contemporary Gallery. In 2020 Inhabited Deserts will be seen in the United States and Italy. Per John Pepper "When talking about photography, we're talking about time. The image is fixed in time. We also talk about black and white and color, digital and film, reality and punctum - the critical concept of the French philosopher Roland Barthes, denoting the wounding, personally touching detail, which establishes a direct relationship with the object or person within it. Is a photographer an artist or not? The ones who feel they are, modestly define themselves as artisans. Still others, who do not think of themselves as photographers will snap photos relying on destiny's outcome. Finally, there are the ones who fantasize conceptual sequences snapped in extravagant situations - most of which without interest. About photography, much has been said. There are established masters, schools of thought, and many hopes. Yet whoever is sufficiently open to a vision within himself, who has cherished and assimilated the masters, will emerge with something new. Passion triumphs when backed by culture. When looking at one of John Pepper's photographs - the one with the group of people, friends and family, in front of their home, for example - I think of Paul Strand's image in his book, published with Zavattini 'Un paese' del 1955. There is a similar gathering of characters at the doorstep of their home. Time here is not just in the shutter time and lens aperture - a sixtieth of a second at eight - but in the transformation of the people, in the process of revealing themselves. With John, however, the appearances differ from those of Strand - moved up in time as evident in the shoes and pants, the motorcycle helmet, the technology of the wheelchair and the modern necklace of the young girl. They appear happy and to be speaking to the photographer. Despite some apparently expensive upper-class possessions, we perceive they are of a modest condition. In Strand's photograph, there is no doubt they are of peasant culture. Motionless, they stare at the photographer with a serious gaze, though ignorant of the world of images. Today, image is consumerism. It goes beyond diffidence. Everyone can have a camera, a motorcycle helmet and Nike shoes. People are well nurtured; they have even grown in height. With John the scene is of movement. The characters interact with ease, and the photographer is part of the game. He uses black and white film enhanced by the fine art of printing - images stemming from classical photography. John was just a boy when he came to my house in Milan, in piazza Castello, above the studio that once belonged to Ugo. I like to think that the darkroom at that time influenced him. Who knows? However, I do believe that Ugo's work helped him to become a photographer. His reportage in Italy is filtered through the memory of many great photographers - Diane Arbus, Cartier Bresson, Robert Frank, the first Richard Avedon, and William Klein to name a few. He has also traveled through Italy, in the streets and byways of youth, finding dramatic, enlightened faces in the theater of life. His portrait of the religious procession is most beautiful, with a perfect, compact, composition, among astonished angels and those bearing a religious float against a sharp background of light. John lives and works in Palermo, an outward antithesis of New York. An American born and raised in Italy, it is as an Italian that he grasps the vital spirit, the soul, and the humanity of people. His choice to live in a region like Sicily, so full of contradictions and archaic values, will surely help him in chronicling the history of change in our era. Then, apart from making art, he will have absorbed it as his own - a part of his life that will recur in defining time, space, and the evolution of the human condition." Antonia Mulas, Todi, May 5, 2012
 Atom
Japan
1980
ATOM is a Japanese photographer, born in 1980, based in Tokyo. ATOM spent years travelling around the world to take pictures; he visited 64 countries in total and encountered many cultures and many people. The experience gained from the trip raised many questions for himself. What does it mean to life, coexistence with nature, happiness and purpose of living for? And the fundamental question is, "Why am I born in Japan in this age?" By leaving Japan, he reconsidered his homeland and pondered about living as a Japanese and a modern people. Conscious of his identity as a Japanese, he uses the motifs of symbols that symbolize Japan, takes a photo of the present age, and prints it on the most precious handmade Japanese paper in Japan. Using these media, ATOM decided to deliver the message to the world. In today's diverse world, ATOM hope that you will face yourself and think about the future through the work of ATOM. ATOM has been active as a photographer in the world. His works have been published internationally in publication such as Washington Post(USA), My Modern Met(USA), Weather Channel(USA), 20minutos(Spain), incredibilia(Italy), Hong Kong and others. He also won many international awards. ATOM will continue to experience many things, and explore and express the meaning of living in the present age as a Japanese. HINOMARU, KIMONO and TORII HINOMARU is an alias name of the Japanese flag. KIMONO is a Japanese traditional costume. TORII is a gate commonly found at the shrine. In the photos, ATOM use the Japanese flag, traditional costume and shrine to symbolize money (economic power), declining birthrate and dilution of community. For some, they may seem to represent Japanese religion (Buddhism, Christianity, and Shinto). For others, they may associate the "red circle" with harmony, coins (money), countries or peace; the "red kimono" with their lover, health or cross (religion); the "red torii" with home or relationship with their family. This minimalistic photo is two colors red and white. The colors of red and white represent Japan's national color. And in this photo, he shoot it so that it looks like a Japanese painting without a shadow. This minimalistic photography series raises questions to the modern society, makes the viewer face and think about the present age as well as imagine the future. Today, we live in a rational, material world; we have too much information, and too much stuff. We can get almost anything with a single click. In exchange, however, there are things we have lost: health, appreciation for things we are given, time to spend with our families, time to think and question ourselves, the definition of happiness... Get promoted. Be rich. Become famous. Are you not bound by these stereotypes? How long will you keep pretending to be something you are not, just to gratify your vanity? What is happiness to you? What does abundance mean to you? What is it that you really need? From the age of materialism to the age of mind. Look at these minimal photos. How do they look to you?
László Moholy-Nagy
Hungary
1895 | † 1946
László Moholy-Nagy (July 20, 1895 - November 24, 1946) was a Hungarian painter and photographer as well as professor in the Bauhaus school. He was highly influenced by constructivism and a strong advocate of the integration of technology and industry into the arts. Moholy-Nagy was born László Weisz in Bácsborsód to a Jewish-Hungarian family. His cousin was the conductor Sir Georg Solti. He attended Gymnasium (academic high school) in the city of Szeged. He changed his German-Jewish surname to the Magyar surname of his mother's Christian lawyer friend Nagy, who supported the family and helped raise Moholy-Nagy and his brothers when their Jewish father, Lipót Weisz left the family. Later, he added "Moholy" ("from Mohol") to his surname, after the name of the Hungarian town Mohol in which he grew up. One part of his boyhood was spent in the Hungarian Ada town, near Mohol in family house. In 1918 he formally converted to the Hungarian Reformed Church (Calvinist); his Godfather was his Roman Catholic university friend, the art critic Ivan Hevesy. Immediately before and during World War I he studied law in Budapest and served in the war, where he sustained a serious injury. In Budapest, on leaves and during convalescence, Moholy-Nagy became involved first with the journal Jelenkor ("The Present Age"), edited by Hevesy, and then with the "Activist" circle around Lajos Kassák's journal Ma ("Today"). After his discharge from the Austro-Hungarian army in October 1918, he attended the private art school of the Hungarian Fauve artist Róbert Berény. He was a supporter of the Communist Dictatorship (known as "Red Terror" and also "Hungarian Soviet Republic"), declared early in 1919, though he assumed no official role in it. After the defeat of the Communist Regime in August, he withdrew to Szeged. An exhibition of his work was held there, before he left for Vienna around November 1919. He left for Berlin early in 1920. In 1923, Moholy-Nagy replaced Johannes Itten as the instructor of the foundation course at the Bauhaus. This effectively marked the end of the school's expressionistic leanings and moved it closer towards its original aims as a school of design and industrial integration. The Bauhaus became known for the versatility of its artists, and Moholy-Nagy was no exception. Throughout his career, he became proficient and innovative in the fields of photography, typography, sculpture, painting, printmaking, and industrial design. One of his main focuses was photography. He coined the term "the New Vision" for his belief that photography could create a whole new way of seeing the outside world that the human eye could not. His theory of art and teaching is summed up in the book The New Vision, from Material to Architecture. He experimented with the photographic process of exposing light sensitive paper with objects overlain on top of it, called photogram. While studying at the Bauhaus, Moholy's teaching in diverse media — including painting, sculpture, photography, photomontage and metal — had a profound influence on a number of his students, including Marianne Brandt. Perhaps his most enduring achievement is the construction of the "Lichtrequisit einer elektrischen Buehne" [Light Prop for an Electric Stage] (completed 1930), a device with moving parts meant to have light projected through it in order to create mobile light reflections and shadows on nearby surfaces. Made with the help of the Hungarian architect Istvan Seboek for the German Werkbund exhibition held in Paris during the summer of 1930, it is often interpreted as a kinetic sculpture. After his death, it was dubbed the "Light-Space Modulator" and was seen as a pioneer achievement of kinetic sculpture. It might more accurately be seen as one of the earliest examples of Light Art. Moholy-Nagy was photography editor of the Dutch avant-garde magazine International Revue i 10 from 1927 to 1929. He resigned from the Bauhaus early in 1928 and worked free-lance as a highly sought-after designer in Berlin. He designed stage sets for successful and controversial operatic and theatrical productions, designed exhibitions and books, created ad campaigns, wrote articles and made films. His studio employed artists and designers such as Istvan Seboek, Gyorgy Kepes and Andor Weininger. After the Nazis came to power in Germany in 1933, and, as a foreign citizen, he was no longer allowed to work, he operated for a time in Holland (doing mostly commercial work) before moving to London in 1935. In England, Moholy-Nagy formed part of the circle of émigré artists and intellectuals who based themselves in Hampstead. Moholy-Nagy lived for a time in the Isokon building with Walter Gropius for eight months and then settled in Golders Green. Gropius and Moholy-Nagy planned to establish an English version of the Bauhaus but could not secure backing, and then Moholy-Nagy was turned down for a teaching job at the Royal College of Art. Moholy-Nagy made his way in London by taking on various design jobs including Imperial Airways and a shop display for men's underwear. He photographed contemporary architecture for the Architectural Review where the assistant editor was John Betjeman who commissioned Moholy-Nagy to make documentary photographs to illustrate his book An Oxford University Chest. In 1936, he was commissioned by fellow Hungarian film producer Alexander Korda to design special effects for Things to Come. Working at Denham Studios, Moholy-Nagy created kinetic sculptures and abstract light effects, but they were rejected by the film's director. At the invitation of Leslie Martin, he gave a lecture to the architecture school of Hull University. In 1937, at the invitation of Walter Paepcke, the Chairman of the Container Corporation of America, Moholy-Nagy moved to Chicago to become the director of the New Bauhaus. The philosophy of the school was basically unchanged from that of the original, and its headquarters was the Prairie Avenue mansion that architect Richard Morris Hunt designed for department store magnate Marshall Field. Unfortunately, the school lost the financial backing of its supporters after only a single academic year, and it closed in 1938. Moholy-Nagy was also the Art Advisor for the mail-order house of Spiegel in Chicago. Paepcke, however, continued his own support, and in 1939, Moholy-Nagy opened the School of Design. In 1944, this became the Institute of Design. In 1949 the Institute of Design became a part of Illinois Institute of Technology and became the first institution in the United States to offer a PhD in design. Moholy-Nagy authored an account of his efforts to develop the curriculum of the School of Design in his book Vision in Motion. Moholy-Nagy died of leukemia in Chicago in 1946. Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design in Budapest is named in his honour. Works by him are currently on display at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. The software company Laszlo Systems (developers of the open source programming language OpenLaszlo) was named in part in honor of Moholy-Nagy. In 1998, he received a Tribute Marker from the City of Chicago. In the autumn of 2003, the Moholy-Nagy Foundation, Inc. was established as a source of information about Moholy-Nagy's life and works. (Source: en.wikipedia.org)
Francis Meslet
France
1963
A graduate in Design from the Fine Art School of Nancy in 1986, early in his career Francis Meslet was a designer, but soon turned to advertising when he joined several agencies as an artistic director. After 30 years spent questioning the creative concept and studying images in all his compositions, he is now a creative director. Francis does not hesitate to roam the world in his spare time, searching for abandoned sites, sanctuaries where time seems to have stopped after humans have evacuated them. He thus brings back captivating and melancholic images of his travels to the other side of the world... Like time capsules, testifying to a parallel world and perfect for enabling the mind to wander and ponder, Francis Meslet’s melancholic images brave the passage of time, making way for silence after the memories left behind by human inhabitation. In these deserted places, no more than the rustling of the wind can be heard through a broken window or the sound of water dripping from a dilapidated ceiling. These silences nonetheless invite the spectator to slip into these well-guarded and mysterious places captured by the photographer and attempt to bring to life that which has been forgotten. In this power station orders were shouted in German, in this French Catholic school the cries of children resounded to the sound of the bell but who can imagine the sounds hidden behind the walls of this old psychiatric asylum in Italy or on the docks of this abandoned island off Japan? From these silences, everyone can imagine their own interpretations, ...reinterpretations.
Liu Zheng
China
1969
Liu Zheng was born in 1969 in the Hebei Province, China. His signature graytone photographs have for years starkly framed, in political and provocative situations, his human subjects. When he works in colour, the tones are awash in sepia or a doctored saturation that comments on the nostalgic nature of his topics – his Peking Opera series in particular reflects this. Liu's background is not rooted in arts . After majoring in optical engineering at the Beijing Institute of Technology, he joined a local paper as a photojournalist, where he covered the coal mining industry. This laid the foundation for his interest in the lives of the countrymen that toil endlessly; one of his first series as an artistic practitioner explored the lives of ethnic minorities and our perception of them. He continues to eke out of the histories and stories of his subjects and topics in photography, and has published several volumes of his series. Liu Zheng's work has been exhibited in solo shows including Dream Shock, Three Shadows Photography Art Center, Beijing, China (2013); Dream Shock, Zen Foto Gallery, Tokyo, Japan (2009); Liu Zheng: The Chinese, Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown, MA (2008); Liu Zheng: Survians, SOHO New Town, Beijing, China (2005); Liu Zheng: The Chinese, Yossi Milo Gallery, New York, NY (2005); Liu Zheng, Recontres Internationles de la Photographie, Arles, France (2003); The Chinese, Central Academy of Fine Arts Museum, Beijing, China (2001); and Three Realms and The Chinese, Taipei Photo Gallery, Taipei, Taiwan (1998). His works have also featured in group shows including the Minsheng Art Museum in Shanghai, China; Smart Museum of Art in Chicago, IL; J.Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, LA; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA; Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan; Asia Society and Museum, New York, NY; the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, England; and Chambers Fine Art, Beijing, China. He has also participated in the 50th Biennale di Venezia in Venice, Italy and the ICP Triennale, New York. His work is in the collections of the Guy and Miriam Ullens Foundation, Geneva, Switzerland; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY; Uli Sigg Collection, Mauensee, Switzerland; and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA. He currently lives and works in Beijing, China.
Dianne Yudelson
United States
Dianne Yudelson is an award winning photographic artist and master of the New Eclecticism Photography. Her work has been exhibited in Malaysia, France, Thailand, and throughout the USA. Dianne is a 2013 Critical Mass Finalist and a Julia Margaret Cameron Award winner in documentary, as well as street photography. Recent 2013 exhibitions include the Natural History Museum in San Diego California, National Geographic Museum as part of FOTODC, The FENCE 2013 and 2014 in Boston as part of the Magenta Flash Forward Festival, The FENCE 2013 and 2014 in Brooklyn as part of Photoville, the 2014 FENCE in Atlanta as part the ACP festival, and The Center for Fine Art Photography as part of 2013 and 2014 Center Forward. Dianne graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of California, Berkeley.“My fascination with photography began upon the realization that, in addition to being a wonderful means of documentation, photography can also be used as a fine art medium. My style is eclectic. In the fine tradition of eclectic artists of our past, from DaVinci to Duchamp to Calder, I embrace the challenge of exploring varied subjects and forms of expression. By that I mean, neither subject matter nor genre solely defines my images; they are defined by my artistic esthetic.Dianne’s 2013-2014 top honors include "Photographer of the Year" titles from three acclaimed international competitions; Black and White Spider Awards, Photography Masters Cup, and World Photography Gala Awards. In 2013 Dianne received: First Place in the International Photography Awards (IPA) in Fine Art and Collage, GOLD overall category PX3, Grand Prize Winner in the New York Center for Photographic Arts, Gold medalist in San Francisco International Exhibition, , First Place Professional Women Photographers, First Place WPGA Black & White Awards, First Place Texas Photographic Society, and advertising honors in the LICC for a third consecutive year.“Throughout my life art has been the one true common thread, the stitches that bind my chapters together. As a photographic artist, I embrace the ability to spotlight my point of view and give a voice to my imagination." All about Dianne Yudelson:AAP: When did you realize you wanted to be a photographer?I realized I wanted to be a photographer when I discovered that, in addition to being a wonderful means of documentation, photography can be used as a fine art medium.AAP: Where did you study photography?I am a self-taught photographer.AAP: How long have you been a photographer?In the summer of 2009 I came across an article in the Rangefinder magazine regarding the Black and White Spider Awards. This article reported that the competition was for amateurs as well as professional photographers. I researched online and discovered that the deadline for entries was in 2 days. During the next two days I photographed and created my composite image entitled “Vessels,” and entered it in the competition. The following February, “Vessels” won a nomination in the Abstract category at the 5th Spider Awards. Since 2010 I have considered myself a photographer and I have dedicated myself to photography from that point on, initially creating single images and then moving forward to create whole portfolios of work. Within two years, at the 7th Black and White Spider Awards, I was named Photographer of the Year, Honor of Distinction.AAP: Do you remember your first shot? What was it?I was about 10 years old when I took my first snapshot. Although I have always enjoyed taking pictures, I remember people commenting, “Why are you wasting film taking a photo of a lollipop discarded in the street or a chair off in the corner?” I do remember the first photograph that elicited the response “Whoa… you could sell this shot!” The comment came from a friend of mine, who was a commercial photographer. I had taken an adventurous trip to England, receiving a camera as a going away gift. Because I was traveling alone, my photos captured my personal vision of the landscape: rowboats near a river’s edge at dawn, silhouettes of statuary at sunset and the delicate curvature of wildflowers as they blew in the autumn breeze. Capturing these photographs sparked my artistic curiosity; consequently, taking the photos became one of the most exciting aspects of my journey abroad.AAP: Do you have a mentor?My mentors are all the eclectic artists who have preceded me. I have honored some of these artists in my series “Fusions” and “Monarchs in Art.” In these two series I have utilized stylistic elements of the artists who were important contributors to their artistic movements, “monarchs” of their medium, while interpreting the subject matter and creating an image truly representative of my own modern artistic style.AAP: What inspires you?I am generally inspired by all things visual, from grand vistas to the reflection of light on a teardrop. Sometimes I am immediately compelled to take a photo and at other times the visual moment triggers a thought process that leads to the creation of a photo or photo series. Every now and then, as an avid reader, I will come across a pairing of words that peak my interest. For example, I created an image to symbolize a concept I had studied in graduate school, “Synaptic Euphoria.”AAP: How could you describe your style?My style is eclectic. By that I mean I embrace the challenge of exploring varied subjects and forms of artistic expression. As part of this philosophy, I created a new art movement that I call the “New Eclecticism.” Neither subject matter nor genre solely defines my images; they are defined by my artistic esthetic.As a teen, I performed in musicals. I remember saying, “I wish I could sing like Barbara Streisand.” My mother pointed out that the world already has a Barbara Streisand. We love Barbara because she is unique. To be unique you must be yourself as the world only has one of you.” From that day forward, I have understood that to be original, you must remain true to yourself and your vision.AAP: What kind of gear do you use?I am a Nikon girl -- camera, lenses and speedlights.AAP: Do you spend a lot of time editing your images?Sometimes yes and other times no. I will say that, when I am in the process of editing or creating images, time seems to disappear; I am in my own world. When I am not shooting or creating, I am thinking about what needs to be taken care of, so that I can get back to my art.AAP: What advice would you give a young photographer?I teach a photography group and I always advise them to keep the elements of composition in mind, photograph what inspires them and, if an idea hits you out of the blue, take a second to notate it for use later. Above all else, allow your images to serve as self-expression.AAP: Do you have an idea or project you would like to share?Recently, I have focused on my nature and wildlife photography. I have always loved birds and will sit in a field, by a stream or in a ditch along the side of a road for an hour or more to capture an elusive species or to wait for that moment of interaction. As a very young girl my fondest memory was sitting on my grandmother’s porch while she showed me tintypes of my great grandmother and other loved ones. Holding these tintypes in my hand and gazing into the eyes of my ancestors while hearing stories of my grandmother’s childhood was an experience I hold dear to my heart. Those tintypes were my first exposure to the art of photography. My series "Antique Aviary" is a melding of my lifelong passion for birds, my wildlife photography and my deep appreciation of the tintype image.AAP: What was your worst memory as a photographer?In April of this year I drove 400 miles to hand deliver my framed image “Great Horned Owl” from my “Antique Aviary” to the SMASHBOX exhibition during MOPLA (Month of Photography Los Angeles). Upon exiting my rental car, I took two steps and tripped into a 12inch pothole in the parking lot across the street from the Smashbox Studios in Hollywood and broke my foot.AAP: What is your best memory as a photographer?One day I was taking a drive with my 9 year old son. We were driving down a country road appreciating the tall mustard grass. Suddenly I spotted a 6 foot fence pole that was literally covered with bees. I pulled over, jumped out of the car and grabbed my camera from the trunk as well as a jacket to throw over my head. I told my son to stay in the car and take some photos with his little camera, but not to roll down the window. Bees were flying over my head and around my body to get to the pole. As I attempted to focus on the bees I realized that all these bees were vibrating up and down the pole. In order to get the shot, I was going to have to move in very close. At a couple of feet away I took the photos in my series “A Gathering of Bees.” When I returned to the car my son was a bit distraught. I said "I’m sorry if I took too long" and he said, “But Mommy, you’re allergic to bees. What if they swarmed you? What would I do?” I shall always remember the look on his face when I told him that if they swarmed me, “Take the Shot!”
Robert Rutöd
Robert Rutöd was born 1959 in Vienna, Austria. Early pursuit of painting; from 1978 on photography. Works from these years later appeared with some of his absurd texts in the book grayscales. early b&w photographs 1978-1988. Between 1979 and 1993, Robert Rutöd wrote screenplays and directed short films. In the mid-90s, he increasingly devoted himself to the design of books and applications for digital media. In 2004 he returned to photography; since 2009, he presents these images to a wider audience. In his projects, Robert Rutöd investigates the paradox Human with its sometimes tragicomic aspects. In 2009 the photo book Less Is More resulted from that and three years later, the series Right Time Right Place has been finished. For this he received several awards including the New York Photo Award 2012, the Special Prize of the Czech Center of Photography, and most recently Artist of the Year at Dong Gang International Photo Festival in South Korea. In 2017 he completed his series Fair(y) Tales, retelling an almost ten-year expedition through the burlesque realm of trade fairs and exhibition areas. Rutöd’s photographs have been shown worldwide at numerous photography festivals and exhibitions; his work has been widely published in magazines and on blogs. Robert Rutöd lives and works in Vienna. (Source: Robert Rutöd Website) Right Time Right PlaceBeing at the right place at the right time is usually associated with happiness and success. But what happens when we are at the right place at the wrong time? Do we even know that this is the right place? And what if it turns out that it is the wrong place after all? But the right time! “Right Time Right Place” is a collection of photographs I made in the last five years on my travels through Europe. The images revolve around the question of whether it is possible for a person to be in the right place at the right time. Is the ideal state of space and time something we are awarded or is it a state we have long been living in without being aware of our good fortune? I hope I have not succeeded in answering this question. Nothing fails more pathetically than an artist’s attempt to explain the world and its relationships. Rather, my work leads to the conclusion that the world cannot be explained. Once an exhibition visitor in New York told me that, when viewing my photos, she felt that the protagonists seemed to be kind of disobedient. I really liked that interpretation. "What Robert Rutöd brings to the contemporary photographic dialogue is that intangible ability to see the world with a skewed lens - a lens that is compassionate and at the same time, unkind. It is a lens that is the stuff of operas and nightmares, comedies and slapstick. Robert finds that split second of humor or truth telling and that instant of social documentation or absurdity that makes us not only laugh at ourselves, but also laugh and feel embarrassed all at the same time. Or should I say, at The Right Time." (Aline Smithson, from the foreword to the book „Right Time Right Place“) “Right Time Right Place” was awarded the Special Prize of the Czech Center of Photography at the Photo Annual Awards 2012. A photo from the series won the New York Photo Award 2012 in the category Fine Art. Exclusive Interview with Robert Rutöd:AAP: When did you realize you wanted to be a photographer?At a certain point I can't remember. I guess, at the moment when I was pleased with my photographs.AAP: Where did you study photography?I'm self-taught...AAP: How long have you been a photographer?In total, maybe twenty years, with shorter and a long breaks and also a hiatus for more than ten years.AAP: Do you remember your first shot? What was it?Tough question, my very first photographs were still largely staged. That reminds me of the corpse of a young man, with countless clothespins on the upper body, or a self-portrait in which I am seen with a pair of shoes on my shoulders.AAP: How could you describe your style?Style is not something that you choose; it happens, to a certain extent, over time. In photography, a signature style is often more difficult to discover, sort of like in painting. A graphologist might interpret my works thusly: "Easy to read, no scrawling, he's going on rapidly and purposefully in problem-solving and asks the right questions at the right moment." I could then add: "Regarding the content, rather puzzling over long distances."AAP: What kind of gear do you use? Camera, lens, digital, film?One digital camera, one good lens.AAP: What or who inspires you?Since my work is not staged, I'm only inspired when the photographic event unfolds before my eyes, a reverse brainstorming so to speak.AAP: Do you spend a lot of time editing your images?Yes, to edit my own photographs is sometimes a lengthy process. The pictures have to go through some tests to be integrated into an ongoing project. This decision-making is sometimes damn hard to reach; it helps to let a few weeks or even months pass.AAP: What advice would you give a young photographer?Not to listen to any advice...AAP: What mistake should a young photographer avoid?None! Because there is no such thing as error, in fact, and consequently no recipe for success.AAP: Your best memory as a photographer?A fair for undertakers and the fashion show taking place there, including a coffin on the stage.AAP: Your worst souvenir as a photographer?The cluelessness of so many "experts."AAP: If you could have taken the photographs of someone else who would it be?I am satisfied so far with my work, as I want to get into the skin of others. Of course there's truly great work that I would like to see in my portfolio, "Royal Harare Golf Club" by Martin Parr for example, one or two pictures by Helen Levitt.AAP: An idea, a sentence, a project you would like to share?First the bad news: The publication date of my book "Milky Way" has been moved to next year. Now the good: I'm very happy about the positive echo that my series "Right Time Right Place" caused since its release about a year ago, including my participation in festivals in Los Angeles, Copenhagen, Delhi, or recently at the Miami Street Photography Festival. In January 2014, my project will be a solo exhibition to be seen. “eigensinnig“ (stubborn) is the name of the new gallery in Vienna, whose founder Toni Tramezzini, is aiming to show something that is rarely seen in this city: something that's not serial, not conceptual, not staged photography.
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