Photo London 2016, which runs this year from 19-22 May, has attracted a line-up of big names. Karen Sheard picks the festival’s highlights and must-see events

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Photo London 2016 The Edmond J. Safra Fountain Court at Somerset House, where the main exhibitions will be held © Jeff Knowles 2

Photo London 2016
The Edmond J. Safra Fountain Court at Somerset House, where the main exhibitions will be held
© Jeff Knowles 2

Now in its second year, Photo London, the major international photography fair, will take place at Somerset House from 19-22 May 2016. Photo London, described by The Guardian as ‘The UK Photography Event of the Year’, is a London-wide photography fair that was created to give London an international photography event befitting the city’s status as a global cultural capital.

More than 80 of the world’s leading galleries will be participating, offering a programme of exhibitions and events throughout the capital, including a range of public talks with key names such as Don McCullin, Mary McCartney and Nick Knight. See the full programme of events here. We take a look at what promises to be some of the many highlights to the event.

Exhibitions at the Embankment Galleries, Somerset House, 19-22 May

Entry to these exhibitions is included with tickets for general fair admission.

Don McCullin: Photo London Master of Photography 2016

Photo London 2016 A Palestinian Woman Returning to the Ruins of her House, Sabra, Beirut, 1982 © Don McCullin, courtesy Hamiltons Gallery, London

Photo London 2016
A Palestinian Woman Returning to the Ruins of her House, Sabra, Beirut, 1982
© Don McCullin, courtesy Hamiltons Gallery, London

War photographer Don McCullin, who was recently named as the Photo London Master of Photography 2016, will have a selection of his work featured in a special exhibition, presented by Photo London in association with Hamiltons Gallery.

McCullin has captured some of the most evocative images of the last century in his long career as a war photographer. Visitors to Photo London will also have a rare opportunity to hear him speak in a public conversation at Somerset House with Tate Photography Curator, Simon Baker, from 2.30pm-3.30pm on Thursday, 19 May.

Craigie Horsfield: ‘Twelve’, from the collection of the Wilson Centre for Photography

Photo London 2016 ‘Craigie Horsfield 'Carol X. Well Street, East London. March 1982.' 2015 108.5cms x 96cms © Craigie Horsfield

Photo London 2016 ‘Craigie Horsfield
‘Carol X. Well Street, East London. March 1982.’ 2015 108.5cms x 96cms
© Craigie Horsfield

For Photo London 2016, the Wilson Centre for Photography will curate an exhibition of works by Turner Prize-nominated artist Craigie Horsfield. The Wilson Centre is the private collection of Michael G Wilson, OBE.

‘Twelve’ will bring together a selection of Horsfield’s expressive portraits, offering an opportunity to view the distinctive works together for the first time. Horsfield is known for his intimate style and sensitive employment of diverse printing techniques. Several of his large-scale works will be displayed in the atmospheric East Embankment Galleries of Somerset House.

Walter & Zoniel: The Untouched

Photo London 2016 Tinie From the series “Alpha-Ation” © Walter & Zoniel

Photo London 2016 Tinie
From the series “Alpha-Ation”
© Walter & Zoniel

Artist duo Walter & Zoniel will create the largest tintype in the world made as a live event. For Photo London they will capture a life-sized portrait of a British icon upon a giant sheet of metal, requiring the subject to sit for as long as 30 seconds without moving. The artists will turn the Deadhouse of Somerset House into a huge camera to begin shooting the series, with the resulting artwork on display during the fair.

Key talks

Nick Knight with Hans-Ulrich Obrist

Photo London 2016 Saunder 1997 © Nick Knight

Photo London 2016 Saunder 1997
© Nick Knight

Wednesday, 18 May, 2.30pm-3.30pm

Nick Knight, OBE, the British image-maker, fashion photographer and documentary photographer, will be in conversation with Hans-Ulrich Obrist, co-director of Exhibitions and Programmes and Director of International Projects at the Serpentine Gallery. Obrist is an art curator, critic and historian.

Nadav Kander in conversation with Sandy Nairne

Photo London 2016 Audrey with toes and wrist bent, 2011 © Nadav Kander Courtesy Flowers Gallery

Photo London 2016
Audrey with toes and wrist bent, 2011 © Nadav Kander
Courtesy Flowers Gallery

Wednesday, 18 May, 4pm-5pm

Nadav Kander is an internationally renowned London-based fine artist, photographer and director, best known for his portraiture and landscape work. He will be interviewed on his unique practice, with special attention given to his most recent work. Sandy Nairne, CBE, FSA, is an English historian and curator.

Other exhibitions throughout London, running as part of Photo London

Paul Strand: Photography and Film for the 20th Century

Victoria & Albert Museum, 19 March-3 July

‘Angus Peter MacIntyre, South Uist, Hebrides’, 1954, by Paul Strand © Aperture Foundation / Victoria and Albert Museum, London

‘Angus Peter MacIntyre, South Uist, Hebrides’, 1954, by Paul Strand
© Aperture Foundation / Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Paul Strand was one of the greatest photographers of the 20th century, whose images have defined the way in which fine art and documentary photography are understood and practised today.

The exhibition displays around 200 objects spanning Strand’s entire career, including his breakthrough trials in abstraction and candid street portraits, close-ups of natural and machine forms, and extended explorations from the American Southwest to France, Italy, Scotland, Ghana and beyond. A significant number of additional vintage prints from the Victoria & Albert’s own collection are on display.

Vogue 100: A Century of Style at the National Portrait Gallery

Until 22 May

‘The Second Age of Beauty is Glamour’, 1946, by Cecil Beaton, on show at Vogue 100 © The Condé Nast Publications Ltd

‘The Second Age of Beauty is Glamour’, 1946, by Cecil Beaton, on show at Vogue 100
© The Condé Nast Publications Ltd

Vogue 100: A Century of Style, is a showcase of the remarkable range of photography that has been commissioned by British Vogue since it was founded in 1916, with over 280 prints from the Condé Nast archive and international collections being shown together for the first time.

William Henry Fox Talbot at the Science Museum/Media Space

Until 11 September

William Henry Fox Talbot and Nicolaas Henneman at the Reading establishment, 1846 © National Media Museum, Bradford

William Henry Fox Talbot and Nicolaas Henneman at the Reading establishment, 1846
© National Media Museum, Bradford

Rare original prints by the 19th century pioneer William Henry Fox Talbot will be displayed in an exhibition at the Science Museum/Media Space in London.

In the 19th century, as the industrial revolution boomed, Fox Talbot revolutionised culture and communications by inventing the negative–positive process. This technique formed the basis of photography around the world for more than 150 years and immortalised him as ‘Father of the Photograph’.

Discover the influence Talbot’s revolutionary technology, techniques and practices had on his contemporary practitioners, and see original prints from his seminal publication The Pencil of Nature alongside the oldest-surviving daguerreotypes by fellow photography pioneer Louis Daguerre.

Other participating locations across London include the Whitechapel Gallery, National Portrait Gallery, Photographers’ Gallery and Hayward Gallery.

See the full programme of events

Photo London will be held at Somerset House, Strand, London WC2R 1LA from 19-22 May. For more information, visit www.photolondon.org.

An adult day-pass ticket costs £27, including booking fee. Tickets for the talks cost £12.96. For the full list of entry prices, and to book, visit photolondon.seetickets.com.