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Darin  Back
Darin  Back
Darin  Back

Darin Back

Country: United States

Darin Back is mostly known by his stark black and white portraits he's been shooting since 1992. He started his career in the early 1990's after a small photography trade school, he left early to work as an assistant. He spent two years assisting in Minneapolis, a modeling season (1991-1992) in Miami assisting photographers for German Vogue, Italian Vogue. Eventually he went west to Los Angeles (1993-1995) to assist with Greg Gorman, Dewey Nicks for a few years. After working on his first advertising commercial he met Lori Goldstein, the stylist for photographer Annie Leibovitz. After a few assignments with Annie, he headed back to Minnesota for 12 years (2001-2013). During that time he was represented by Redux Pictures from 2009-2014. Darin headed east and north to Maine (2013-14), lived in a train caboose for a year, trying to find some much needed rest and inspiration. He finally made his way back home to Florida where he continues to shoot portraits, live on the beach and travel.

He won 2nd place in the "Single Series Image" published April 1, 2020 in Lensculture
 

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Geert Broertjes
The Netherlands
I try to look at the world as open and honestly as possible. No prejudices about people and not take things for granted. I'm a sensitive person, which means that I use my feelings as a guideline for everything I do. I think more with my heart than with my head. As a photographer I'm fascinated by the diversity of people. What are their motivations, on what do they base their choices in life and what is their purpose. This fascination began at an early age, when I was traveling with my parents through Europe. I used the old camera from my grandmother and I was immediately intrigued by this medium. After high school I studied Media & Information Management. But I soon realized that this was not for me and that my interest in photography was still there. So I began to study photography at the Photo Academy in Amsterdam where I graduated end of 2013. One of my strengths is that people quickly feel comfortable with me. This is because I have a sincere interest for the people I photograph and I'm open minded. This advantage I use in my photography. The photos I make are created from the feeling and trust that people have with me. They are personal, intimate and real. I'm not looking for the reality, because in my opinion, that doesn't exist. What I try to capture is a poetic, melancholic and romantic version of life. For my own projects I work with analogue cameras, because this expresses the mood I'm looking for. The magic of analog is that you never know for sure what the result will be. I encourage the viewer to use his or her own imagination. Since graduating I have been working as a freelance photographer for many different clients. I like the alternation between commercial assignments with a short span and my own long-term projects. About One Year In a very short space of time, Geert Broertttes lost the most important women in his life. His aunt, grandmother and mother passed away. He shared his grief with his girlfriend, who became a recurring theme in this series. But even this relationship ended, a couple of months after his mother passed. Broertttes photographed the process instinctively. It was only afterwards that he noticed the coherence of his work. It became a poetic story about love, loss and grief. The beautiful photographs, all shot analogue in raw black and white, reveal the dark feelings he experienced during this intense period in his life. All about One Year About Project K In March 2019 Geert had been suffering from abdominal pain for a while and it was getting worse. He had a rectal bleeding on the toilet and lost two liters of blood. After a few days in the hospital the doctor came with bad news. Geert had a tumor in his colon. They told him that he could not be saved anymore because the cancer had already spread to his lymph nodes, liver and lungs. After a second and third opinion in different hospitals the image was drastically adjusted. "It was all very strange and confusing, but after a few intense weeks the oncologists came with the message that I could get better." In April was the first operation, half of his colon was removed, then he underwent three chemotherapy treatments and in august he had another operation to remove pieces from his liver and gallbladder. His cancer is genetic. He got it because of the Lynch syndrome that his father was carrying, he past away last November. When Geert was diagnosed with colon cancer, Lotte asked him if she could make a portrait of Geert: "pure, without the presence of poisonous medicine in his body". That moment turned out to be the start of project 'K', in which we chose analogue photography to represent the three most common cancer treatments: chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery. Directly after his chemo, we used Geert's urine to soak the fim rolls with chemo. This way, we represented chemotherapy. To represent radiation, 4x5 inch film was irradiated in AMC hospital: the square in the middle of the film symbolizes Geerts' colon tumor which has the same size. Lastly, we partially burned some negatives to represent the surgery. With this series, we wanted to visualize the world you live in as a patient, and the huge contradiction in the treatments: it is made to make you better, but it breaks you down as well. Project "K" is about the fucked up reality in which strength and vulnerability play the lead role and hope is the constant factor. We are Geert Broertjes & Lotte Bronsgeest "Lotte explores the vulnerability of the body and the transience of life play an important role in her work, in which she always searches for the point where beauty meets confrontation. People are often quick in their judgement about each other, basing their opinions on the clothed body. Lotte is intrigued by discrepancies between opinions and reality." "Geert is fascinated by the diversity of people. What are their motivations, on what do they base their choices in life and what is their purpose. His work is a poetic, melancholic and romantic version of reality. He encourages the viewer to use his or her own imagination. His work is personal and emotional." We both graduated in 2013 from the Photo Academy in Amsterdam, that is where we met. We work as freelance photographers for different clients and create our own projects. Project K Website
Morris Engel
United States
1918 | † 2005
Morris Engel (April 8, 1918 - March 5, 2005) was an American photographer, cinematographer and filmmaker best known for making the first American film "independent" of Hollywood studios, Little Fugitive (1953), in collaboration with his wife, photographer Ruth Orkin, and their friend, writer Raymond Abrashkin. Engel was a pioneer in the use of hand-held cameras and nonprofessional actors in his films, cameras that he helped design, and his naturalistic films influenced future prominent independent and French New Wave filmmakers. A lifelong New Yorker, Morris Engel was born in Brooklyn in 1918. After joining the Photo League in 1936, Engel had his first exhibition in 1939, at the New School for Social Research. He worked briefly as a photographer for the Leftist newspaper PM before joining the United States Navy as a combat photographer from 1941 to 1946 in World War II. After the war, he returned to New York where he again was an active Photo League member, teaching workshop classes and serving as co-chair of a project group focusing on postwar labor issues. In 1953, Engel, along with his girlfriend, fellow photographer Ruth Orkin, and his former colleague at PM, Raymond Abrashkin, made the feature film Little Fugitive for $30,000, shooting the film on location in Coney Island with a hand-held 35 millimeter camera Engel had designed himself. This camera was compact and lightweight so it would be unobtrusive shooting in public. As such, it did not allow simultaneous sound recording; the sound was dubbed later. The film, one of the first successful American "independent films" earned them an Academy Award nomination for Best Writing, Motion Picture Story and a Silver Lion at the Venice Film Festival. The film told the story of a seven-year-old boy, played by Richie Andrusco, who runs away from home and spends the day at Coney Island. Andrusco never appeared in another film, and the other performers were mainly nonprofessional. Though their first film was a critical success, Engel and Orkin, who had since married, had a hard time finding funding for their next film, Lovers and Lollipops, which was completed in 1956. The film was about a widowed mother dating an old friend, and how her young daughter complicates their budding relationship. Like the first one, Lovers and Lollipops was filmed with a hand-held compact 35 mm camera, with sound dubbed in post-production. This was followed two years later by the more adult-centered Weddings and Babies, a film about an aspiring photographer than is often seen as autobiographical. This was Engel's first film to have live sound recorded at the time of filming, and is historically the first 35 mm fiction film made with a portable camera equipped for synchronized sound. In 1961, Engel directed three television commercials, including an award-winning one for Oreo cookies. The other two were for Ivory soap and Fab detergent. A half-hour short film The Dog Lover was made the following year, a comedy about a shop merchant whose life is turned upside down by the stray dog his kid brings home. He made a fourth feature in 1968 called I Need a Ride to California, which followed a group of young hippies in Greenwich Village. Post-production was shelved until 1972 when it was finally completed, but for unknown reasons, it was never released during his lifetime. It finally received its premiere in October 2019 at New York's Museum of Modern Art (MoMA); it was first released on home video in March 2021. In the 1980s, Engel began taking panoramic photographs on the streets of New York City. Engel and Ruth Orkin remained married until Orkin's death in 1985. In the 1990s, he returned to filmmaking, this time working on video. He completed two feature-length documentaries: A Little Bit Pregnant in 1994 and Camellia in 1998, each revolving around a different child in the Hartman family. First, in A Little Bit Pregnant Engel focused on the 8-year-old Leon's reactions, anxiety and wonderment to the impending birth of his baby sister Camellia. For the second film, two years later, Engel returned to the same family, who gave him a year of access to the now 2-year-old daughter Camellia, capturing her daily life and routines, and her relationships with her family and others. Both films were shown in private screenings, but never had a public release due likely to the Hartman family presumably holding the rights. Engel died of cancer in 2005.Source: Wikipedia Morris Engel was born in Brooklyn to immigrant parents from Lithuania. An early interest in photography led him to enroll in a class at New York’s Photo League, a group dedicated to raising social consciousness through modern photography. Some of the most influential photographers of the time were associated with the Photo League; Engel worked closely with Aaron Siskind on the project Harlem Document from 1936-40 and later assisted Paul Strand in filming Native Land. Like many Photo League photographers, Engel documented life in New York City, producing and exhibiting photo essays on Coney Island, the Lower East Side and Harlem. In 1939 he had his first exhibition at New York’s New School. In 1940 he joined the staff of the newspaper PM, but he left the publication one year later to sign on with the U.S. Navy as a member of a combat photo unit. He participated in the D-Day invasion of Normandy. In 1951 Engel momentarily quit still photography to pursue a career in filmmaking. He made a series of low-budget films with a custom 35 mm camera. His first feature film, Little Fugitive (made with his wife, the renowned photographer Ruth Orkin), earned an Academy Award nomination in 1953 for Best Original Screenplay and was screened in more than 5,000 theaters across the United States. Engel’s photographs are widely exhibited and found in the collections of the International Center of Photography (New York), the Museum of the City of New York, the Museum of Modern Art (New York) and the National Portrait Gallery (Washington, D.C.). His films continue to be screened at venues such as the Whitney Museum of Art (New York), the Brooklyn Museum and the American Museum of the Moving Image (New York).Source: American Photography Archives Group
George Rodger
United Kingdom
1908 | † 1995
George Rodger was a British photojournalist noted for his work in Africa and for taking the first photographs of the death camps at Bergen-Belsen at the end of the Second World War. Born in Hale, Cheshire, of Scottish descent, Rodger went to school at St.Bees School in Cumberland then joined the British Merchant Navy and sailed around the world. While sailing, Rodger wrote accounts of his travels and taught himself photography to illustrate his travelogues. However, he was unable to get his travel writing published; after a short spell in America, where he failed to find work during the Depression, he returned to Britain in 1936. In London he was fortunate to find work as a photographer for the BBC's The Listener magazine, which was followed in 1938 by a brief stint working for the Black Star Agency. With the outbreak of the Second World War, Rodger had a strong urge to chronicle the war. His photographs of the Blitz gained him a job as a war correspondent for Life magazine. He covered the war in West Africa extensively and towards the end of the war followed the allied liberation of France, Belgium and Holland. He also covered the retreat of the British forces in Burma and was probably the only British war reporter/photographer to be allowed to drive along and write a story on the Burma Road by travelling on it into China, with special permission from the Chinese commanding generals. Most notably, Rodger was the first photographer to enter the concentration camp at Bergen-Belsen in 1945. His photographs of the few survivors and piles of corpses were published in Life and Time magazines and were highly influential in showing the reality of the death camps. Rodger later recalled how, after spending several hours at the camp, he was appalled to realise that he had spent most of the time looking for graphically pleasing compositions of the piles of bodies lying among the trees and buildings. One of the first photographs taken after liberation of Bergen-Belsen in 1945. This traumatic experience lead Rodger to conclude that he could not work as a war correspondent again. Leaving Life, he travelled throughout Africa and the Middle East, continuing to document these area's wildlife and people. In 1947, Rodger became a founder member of Magnum Photos and over the next thirty years worked as a freelance photographer, taking on many expeditions and assignments to photograph the people, landscape and nature of Africa. Much of Rodger's photojournalism in Africa was published in National Geographic as well as other magazines and newspapers. Source: Wikipedia
Lalla Essaydi
Morocco
1956
Lalla Essaydi (Lalla A. Essaydi) is a Moroccan-born photographer known for her staged photographs of Arab women in contemporary art. She currently works in Boston, Massachusetts, and Morocco. Her current residence is in New York. Essaydi was born in Marrakesh, Morocco in 1956. She left to attend high school in Paris at 16. She married after returning to Morocco and moved to Saudi Arabia where she had two children and divorced. Essaydi returned to Paris in the early 1990s to attend the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts. She moved to Boston in 1996 and earned her BFA from Tufts University in 1999 and her MFA in painting and photography from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in 2003. Influenced by her experiences growing up in Morocco and Saudi Arabia, Essaydi explores the ways that gender and power are inscribed on Muslim women's bodies and the spaces they inhabit. She has stated that her work is autobiographical and that she was inspired by the differences she perceived in women's lives in the United States versus in Morocco, in terms of freedom and identity. She explores a wide range of perspectives, including issues of diaspora, identity, and expected location through her studio practice in Boston. She also looks at the ways of viewing reality while questioning limits of other cultures and challenging Orientalist art, engaging tradition, history, art, and technology. Her Grand Odalisque from the series Les Femmes du Maroc (2008), for example, cites the French painter Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres' painting La Grande Odalisque (1814), although her model is dressed. She also presents the resistance of stereotypes maintained by Western and Eastern societies. The inspiration for many of her works came from her childhood, in the physical space where she, as a young woman, was sent when she disobeyed. She stepped outside the permissible behavioral space, as defined by Moroccan culture. Essaydi said her works will become haunted by spaces she inhabited as a child. Several pieces of her work (including Converging Territories) combine henna, which is traditionally used to decorate the hands and feet of brides, with Arabic calligraphy, a predominantly male practice. While she uses henna to apply calligraphy to her female subjects' bodies, the words are indecipherable in an attempt to question authority and meaning. According to Essaydi, "Although it is calligraphy that is usually associated with 'meaning' (as opposed to 'mere' decoration), in the visual medium of my photographs, the 'veil' of henna, in fact, enhances the expressivity of the images. Yet, by the same token, the male art of calligraphy has been brought into a world of female experience from which it has traditionally been excluded." The women depicted in her exhibition of photographs, Les Femmes du Maroc, are represented as decorative and confined by the art of henna. Essaydi thus poses her subjects in a way that exemplifies society's views of women as primarily destined for mere beauty. Henna, however, is extremely symbolic, especially to Moroccan women. It is an association with familial celebrations of a young girl reaching puberty and transitioning into a mature woman. The use of henna in her work creates a silent atmosphere of the women "speaking" to each other through a quality of femininity. It is predominantly a painting process where women who are discouraged to work outside the home find a profitable work in applying a tattoo-like material. Beyond creating powerful pieces revolving around the art of henna, Essaydi includes interpretations of traditional Moroccan elements, including draped folds of cloths adorning women's bodies, mosaic, tiles, and Islamic architecture. Lalla Essaydi’s photo series, Les Femmes du Maroc comments on contemporary social structures, as well as acknowledges the history that has aided in constructing representations of Arab female identity. Les Femmes du Maroc is one of her three major photographic series, which is influenced by nineteenth-century European and American Orientalist art. However, Essaydi appropriates Orientalist paintings by incorporating a new subject & style derived from her own personal history and experiences to emancipate Arabian women and to demonstrate a tradition that is misunderstood by a Western audience. The title of the series is an appropriation of a painting by the French Romantic Artist Eugène Delacroix. Therefore, each photo in the series is influenced by Orientalist art that is then appropriated. Essaydi's photographic series include Converging Territories (2003–2004), Les Femmes du Maroc (2005–2006), Harem (2009), Harem Revisited (2012–2013), Bullets, and Bullets Revisited (2012–2013). Her work has been exhibited around the world, including at the National Museum of African Art, and is represented in a number of collections, including the Art Institute of Chicago; the Museum Fünf Kontinente Munich/ Germany; the San Diego Museum of Art; the Cornell Fine Arts Museum, Winter Park, Florida; the Fries Museum in Leeuwarden, The Netherlands; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; and the Williams College Museum of Art in Williamstown, Massachusetts. She was named as #18 in Charchub's "Top 20 Contemporary Middle Eastern Artists in 2012-2014". In 2015, the San Diego Museum of Art mounted the exhibition, Lalla Essaydi: Photographs. Source: Wikipedia Lalla A. Essaydi grew up in Morocco and now lives in USA where she received her MFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts/TUFTS University in May 2003. Essaydi’s work is represented by Howard Yezerski Gallery in Boston and Edwynn Houk Gallery in New York City. Her work has been exhibited in many major international locales, including Boston, Chicago, Minneapolis, Texas, Buffalo, Colorado, New York, Syria, Ireland, England, France, the Netherlands, Sharjah, U.A.E., and Japan and is represented in a number of collections, including the Williams College Museum of Art, The Art Institute of Chicago, the Fries Museum, the Netherlands, and The Kodak Museum of Art. Her art, which often combines Islamic calligraphy with representations of the female body, addresses the complex reality of Arab female identity from the unique perspective of personal experience. In much of her work, she returns to her Moroccan girlhood, looking back on it as an adult woman caught somewhere between past and present, and as an artist, exploring the language in which to “speak” from this uncertain space. Her paintings often appropriate Orientalist imagery from the Western painting tradition, thereby inviting viewers to reconsider the Orientalist mythology. She has worked in numerous media, including painting, video, film, installation, and analog photography. "In my art, I wish to present myself through multiple lenses -- as artist, as Moroccan, as traditionalist, as Liberal, as Muslim. In short, I invite viewers to resist stereotypes."Source: lallaessaydi.com
Margaret Watkins
Canada
1884 | † 1969
Margaret Watkins (1884-1969) was born in Canada. Best known for art and advertising photography executed in New York in the 1920s, Watkins was active in the Clarence White school of photography and a participant in the shift from pictorialism to modernism. Her working life spanned a Victorian upbringing in Hamilton, Ontario, and the witnessing of the first Soviet Five-Year Plan. Watkins' modernism, which involved experimentation and a radical focus on form, transgressed boundaries of conventional, high-art subject matter. Her focus was daily life and her photographs, whether an exploration of the objects in her New York kitchen or the public and industrial spaces of Glasgow, Paris, Cologne, Moscow, and Leningrad in the 1930s, strike a balance between abstraction and an evocation of the everyday, offering a unique gendered perspective on modernism and modernity. Watkins established a studio in Greenwich Village and in 1920 she accepted the position of editor of the annual publication Pictorial Photography in America. Clarence White asked Watkins to join the faculty of his school, where Watkins met other notable photographers, including Alfred Stieglitz and Paul Strand. She worked for Macy's department stores and for the J. Walter Thompson advertising agency, capturing simple domestic objects with a clarity of modernist vision rare in commercial photography at the time. Her landscapes, portraits, nudes, still lifes, and abstractions received praise and attracted controversy. Exhibitions were held in the United States and in Europe. In 1928, Watkins decided to visit her four elderly aunts in Glasgow, Scotland. She traveled throughout Europe, photographing extensively and producing a body of work documenting post-revolution Russia. Her aunts began to take ill, and Watkins remained in Glasgow to help care for them. She drifted from the spotlight of public recognition, and few photographs or negatives exist from this time. Watkins lived in Scotland in seclusion until her death in 1969.
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