Photography Masters

Biography: Pioneer of Mug Shot – Alphonse Bertillon

Biography: Pioneer of Mug Shot – Alphonse Bertillon

Alphonse Bertillon (1853 – 1914) was a French police officer and biometrics researcher who applied the anthropological technique of anthropometry to law enforcement creating an identification system based on physical measurements. This system, invented in 1879, became known as the Bertillon system, or bertillonage, and quickly gained wide acceptance as a reliable, scientific method of criminal investigation. In 1884 alone,…
Biography: Fashion photographer Henry Talbot

Biography: Fashion photographer Henry Talbot

Henry Talbot, born Heinz Tichauer (1920 – 1999) was a German-Australian fashion photographer noted for his long association with the Australian fashion industry. Born in Germany to Jewish parents, he studied graphic design at the Reimann School in Berlin. Henry first travelled to London, England under pressure from rising tensions. There he worked as a window-dresser at a department store.…
Biography: 19th Century photographer Francis Bedford

Biography: 19th Century photographer Francis Bedford

Francis Bedford (1815 in London – 15 May 1894) was an English photographer. Francis Bedford was the son of the successful church architect Francis Octavius Bedford. He was christened at St Giles in Camberwell on 11 September 1815. He began his career as an architectural draughtsman and lithographer, before taking up photography in the early 1850s. He helped to found…
Biography: Fashion, Portrait and War photographer Cecil Beaton

Biography: Fashion, Portrait and War photographer Cecil Beaton

Sir Cecil Walter Hardy Beaton (1904 – 1980) was an English fashion, portrait and war photographer. Beaton’s interest in photography began when, as a young boy, he admired portraits of society women and actresses circulated on picture postcards and in Sunday supplements of newspapers. When he got his first camera at age 11, his nurse taught him how to use…
Biography: Fashion photographer Erwin Blumenfeld

Biography: Fashion photographer Erwin Blumenfeld

Erwin Blumenfeld (1897–1969) was a photographer and artist born in Germany. Blumenfeld got his first camera in 1908, and with it he began photographing and developing. Although he had no formal education in this field, but he still thought of himself as a photographer. In 1913, he started off his career by doing an apprenticeship with Sclochauer and Moses. During…
Biography: Pioneer 19th Century photographer Carleton Watkins

Biography: Pioneer 19th Century photographer Carleton Watkins

Carleton Watkins (1829–1916) was an American photographer of the 19th century. Carleton Watkins was born in Oneonta, New York on November 11, 1829, the eldest of eight children. Lured by the opportunities of the California gold rush, he traveled to California with fellow Oneontan Collis Huntington (later to become one of the “Big Four” owners of the Central Pacific Railroad).…
Biography: Architecture photographer Charles Marville

Biography: Architecture photographer Charles Marville

Charles Marville (1813 – 1879), was a French photographer, who mainly photographed architecture, landscapes and the urban environment. Sometime in the1850s Charles Marville was asked to document the old quarters of the French capital by the government’s Commission for Monumental Historical Monuments. Marville purposely took the photographs of Paris’s architecture and streets scenes when it was raining, so that the…
Biography: Architecture photographer Gabriele Basilico

Biography: Architecture photographer Gabriele Basilico

Gabriele Basilico (1944 – 2013) was an Italian photographer. Born in Milan, Basilico trained as an architect and graduated from Milan Polytechnic in 1973. Architecture informed his work throughout his life but with the recent exception of a book on (and sponsored by) Scavolini kitchens, the interior world did not feature any more than the residents of the apartment blocks…
Biography: Documentary photographer José Medeiros

Biography: Documentary photographer José Medeiros

José Medeiros was born in 1921 in Teresina (Nordeste). His father taught him photograph techniques when he was only 12. At the age of 18, he moved to Rio to study architecture but followed his passion and began working with reviews, taking photos of celebrities. After the war, the French photographer Jean Manzon invited him to join the new review…
Biography: French pioneer photographer Charles Nègre

Biography: French pioneer photographer Charles Nègre

Charles Nègre (1820–1880) was a pioneering photographer born in Grasse, France. He studied painting under Ingres and Delaroche, another of whose pupils, Gustave Le Gray, introduced him to photography. After a short period of making daguerreotypes, he embraced the calotype process, becoming adept at retouching negatives and printing. He used his pictures as aids to painting and developed his skills…
Biography: pioneer Antarctic photographer Herbert G. Ponting

Biography: pioneer Antarctic photographer Herbert G. Ponting

Herbert George Ponting (1870 – 1935) was a Brisitsh photographer. He is best known as the expedition photographer and cinematographer for Robert Falcon Scott’s Terra Nova Expedition to the Ross Sea and South Pole (1910–1913). In this role, he captured some of the most enduring images of the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration. After winning several photographic contests he was…
Biography: photographer Harold Feinstein

Biography: photographer Harold Feinstein

Harold Martin Feinstein (1931 – 2015) was an American photographer. At the age of 15 he began to practice photography. He joined the Photo League where he received his education in the field. By 19 he had his work purchased by Edward Steichen for the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art. Feinstein had his first exhibitions at the…
Biography: pioneer Aerial photographer Eduard Spelterini

Biography: pioneer Aerial photographer Eduard Spelterini

Eduard Spelterini (1852 – 1931) was a Swiss pioneer of ballooning and of aerial photography. Spelterini was very talented musically and had such a beautiful voice that he enrolled at the Paris Conservatorium for three years of singing tuition, where he was one of the top students. Then he fell ill with Tuberculosis and the young man was forced into…
Biography: Portrait photographer Laure Albin Guillot

Biography: Portrait photographer Laure Albin Guillot

Laure Albin Guillot (1879 – 1962) was a French photographer. In 1897 she married Dr Albin Guillot, a specialist in microscopy. Working from her studio at her home on Rue du Ranelagh, she published her first fashion photographs in the French edition of Vogue in 1922. From 1924 to 1950, she exhibited regularly at the Salon international de photographie and…
Biography: Soviet Spy and City Life photographer Edith Tudor Hart

Biography: Soviet Spy and City Life photographer Edith Tudor Hart

Edith Tudor-Hart (1908–1973) was an Austrian-British photographer, communist-sympathiser and spy for the Soviet Union. Being a Soviet agent doesn’t seem to have come naturally to the photographer Edith Tudor-Hart (née Suschitzky). For one thing she used the code name “Edith”, which was not subtle. For another, when she moved to London from her native Vienna in 1933 she liked to…
Biography: pictorial photographer Emma Justine Farnsworth

Biography: pictorial photographer Emma Justine Farnsworth

Emma J. Farnsworth (1860-1952) was an American photographer from Albany, New York. Farnsworth had training in the arts. After receiving her first camera in 1890, her photographs were displayed at the World’s Columbian Exposition (1893). Before the end of the decade, she had been awarded almost 30 medals at various exhibitions in the world. Her work was also displayed at…
Biography: Nudes/Portrait photographer Robert Mapplethorpe

Biography: Nudes/Portrait photographer Robert Mapplethorpe

Robert Mapplethorpe (1946-1989) was born in New York. He earned a B.F.A. from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, where he produced artwork in a variety of media, mainly collage. The shift to photography as Mapplethorpe’s sole means of expression happened gradually during the mid-seventies. He took his first photographs of his close friend, the singer-artist-poet Patti Smith, using a Polaroid camera,…
Biography: photojournalist Marc Riboud

Biography: photojournalist Marc Riboud

Marc Riboud (1923 – 2016) was a French photographer. Riboud was born in Saint-Genis-Laval and went to the lycée in Lyon. He photographed his first picture in 1937, using his father’s Vest Pocket Kodak camera. In 1943 the 20-year-old Riboud joined the French Resistance, and was part of the Maquis forces in Vercors. After the war he studied engineering at…
Biography: Street/Portrait photographer Christer Strömholm

Biography: Street/Portrait photographer Christer Strömholm

Christer Strömholm (1918 – 2002 in Stockholm), was a Swedish photographer and educator. He is known for his intimate black and white street photography portrait series. Strömholm discovered photography via graphic art in the late 1940s. His photographs from this period are hard black-and-white compositions featuring walls, shadows and minimalist settings. During his sojourns in Paris in the 1950s and…
Biography: City Life photographer Fred Lyon

Biography: City Life photographer Fred Lyon

Fred Lyon was born in San Francisco in 1924. During WWII, Lyon served as a Navy photographer in Washington, D.C. His news and feature stories were released to wire services and national magazines. Lyon covered White House press events, and has captured five U.S. presidents during his career. After the war Lyon moved to New York. At the Philip Wilcox…