Photography Masters

Biography: Portrait photographer Alvin Langdon Coburn

Biography: Portrait photographer Alvin Langdon Coburn

Alvin Langdon Coburn (1882 – 1966) was an early 20th-century photographer who became a key figure in the development of American pictorialism. He was greatly influenced by his mother, a keen amateur photographer, and began taking photographs at the age of eight. He travelled to England in 1899 with his mother and his cousin, F. Holland Day. Coburn developed substantial…
Biography: 19th Century photographer Esteban Gonnet

Biography: 19th Century photographer Esteban Gonnet

Esteban Gonnet (1829 – 1868) was a French photographer who emigrated to Argentina, where he focused his work as a photographer. Gonnet became a photographer after arriving in Buenos Aires in 1857. He was a surveyor, working with his cousin Hippolyte Gaillard, also a surveyor. Gonnet’s work reflected the rural lifetime and customs, showing the life and customs of aboriginal…
Biography: Civil War photographer Alexander Gardner

Biography: Civil War photographer Alexander Gardner

Alexander Gardner (1821 – 1882) was a Scottish photographer who immigrated to the United States in 1856, where he began to work full-time in that profession. He is best known for his photographs of the American Civil War, U.S. President Abraham Lincoln, and the execution of the conspirators to Lincoln’s assassination. In 1850, he and his brother James travelled to…
Biography: 19th Century photographer Thereza Dillwyn Llewelyn

Biography: 19th Century photographer Thereza Dillwyn Llewelyn

Thereza Dillwyn Llewelyn (1834 – February 1926) was a Welsh astronomer and pioneer in scientific photography. Due to Llewelyn’s interest in astronomy, her father constructed an equatorial observatory at Penllergare Valley Woods for her sixteenth birthday. Llewelyn collaborated with her father in a number of astrophotographic experiments, including the production of some of the earliest photographs of the moon in…
Biography: 19th Century photographer Charles Clifford

Biography: 19th Century photographer Charles Clifford

Charles Clifford (1820 – 1863) was a Welsh photographer based mainly in Spain. Clifford, known mostly for his daguerreotype, calotype and wet plate collodion images of scenes from around Spain, he was, together with the French photographer, Jean Laurent, one of the leading photographers of his day in Spain. Queen Victoria and Prince Albert are known to have purchased some…
Biography: 19th Century Javanese photographer Kassian Cephas

Biography: 19th Century Javanese photographer Kassian Cephas

Kassian Cephas (1845 – 1912) was a Javanese photographer of the court of the Yogyakarta Sultanate. He was the first indigenous person from Indonesia to become a professional photographer and was trained at the request of Sultan Hamengkubuwana VI (r. 1855–1877). After becoming a court photographer in as early 1871, he began working on portrait photography for members of the…
Biography: 19th Century Berlin photographer Leopold Ahrendts

Biography: 19th Century Berlin photographer Leopold Ahrendts

Leopold Ahrendts (1825 – 1870) was a photographer in Berlin. He worked as a painter and lithographer. By the mid 1850’s, Leopold Ahrendts had already achieved a prominent reputation as an urban and architectural photographer. His work was well received by the Prussian court, as well as in the Berlin art world and the public sphere. Art magazines praised his…
Biography: 19th-century Landscape photographer Carleton E. Watkins

Biography: 19th-century Landscape photographer Carleton E. Watkins

Carleton E. Watkins (1829 – 1916) was a noted 19th-century California photographer. Carleton E. Watkins was born in New York in 1829, and moved to San Francisco around the beginning of the Gold Rush in 1851/2. From the age of twenty-five he was taken on as an apprentice in a portrait studio. He became interested in landscape photography and experimented…
Biography: pioneer Mexican photojournalist Augustín Víctor Casasola

Biography: pioneer Mexican photojournalist Augustín Víctor Casasola

Agustín Víctor Casasola (1874–1928) was a Mexican photographer and partial founder of the Mexican Association of Press Photographers. Born in Mexico City, Casasola apprenticed as a typesetter and later became a reporter for El Imparicial, which was one of the official newspapers of the Díaz government. With innovations and improvements in photography and printing presses at the end of the…
Biography: Architecture photographer Édouard Baldus

Biography: Architecture photographer Édouard Baldus

Édouard-Denis Baldus (1813 – 1889) was a French landscape, architectural and railway photographer. Twenty-five-year-old Édouard Baldus arrived in Paris to study painting in 1838, shortly before Louis Daguerre first showed his magically precise photographic images to the world. In Paris, the self-taught Baldus worked outside the École des Beaux-Arts and atelier system, but submitted work to each of the annual…
Biography: pioneer Istanbul photographer Pascal Sebah

Biography: pioneer Istanbul photographer Pascal Sebah

Pascal Sébah (1823–1886) was an pioneer photographer who worked in Istanbul. In 1857, at the age of 34, he opened a photographic studio at 10 Tom Tom Sokaği, the street where the Austrian Post Office was situated and which was the continuation of the Rue de Postes. He called his studio ‘El Chark Societé Photographic’. The main street of Péra…
Biography: American West photographer Edward S. Curtis

Biography: American West photographer Edward S. Curtis

Edward Sheriff Curtis (1868 – 1952) was an American photographer and ethnologist whose work focused on the American West and on Native American people. Edward was born in Wisconsin to parents Ellen and Johnson Curtis. His sister, Eva, was born in 1870 and his brother, Asahel, in 1874. Edward also had an older brother, Ray, born in 1861. After Asahel’s…
Biography: Abstract photographer Brett Weston

Biography: Abstract photographer Brett Weston

Brett Weston (1911 – 1993) was an American photographer.o He was the second of the four sons of photographer Edward Weston and Flora Chandler. In 1925, Edward removed Brett from school and took him to Mexico, where the thirteen year old became his father’s apprentice. Surrounded by revolutionary artists of the day, such as Tina Modotti, Frida Kahlo and Diego…
Biography: photographer Max Dupain

Biography: photographer Max Dupain

Max Dupain (1911 – 1992) was an Australian modernist photographer. Dupain received his first camera as a gift in 1924, spurring his interest in photography. He later joined the Photographic Society of NSW, where he was taught by Justin Newlan; after completing his tertiary studies, he worked for Cecil Bostock in Sydney. By 1934 Max Dupain had struck out on…
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: 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).…