Saturday, February 4, 2012

James Friedman - new author on 591 Photography

© James Friedman 2012 
Minor White, photographer, and self-portrait, Arlington, Massachusetts, 1976

I am very pleased that Ulf has invited me to become an author for 591. I have admired the superb and wide-ranging presentations on 591 and marvel at Ulf''s uncommon ability to have created such a unique and energetic forum for photographers and the medium.

Like many of my generation, I began photographing at an early age. And, like many American families in the 1950s, we had a Kodak Brownie Hawkeye camera and that was what I used. The first time I looked through the camera's viewfinder as a five year old, I was hooked: the world, as translated through the lens, appeared balanced and harmonious, traits that provided much needed comfort to me as a child and throughout my life.

While still a student, I recall my teacher, Minor White (1908-1976)  telling me during a critique of my photographs that "It takes at least twenty years to become a photographer." I had no idea what he meant (I pretended that I understood the meaning of his assertion and I realized that his comment was a criticism of my work) but, as an obtuse twenty two year old, I believed that already I had earned the right to call myself a photographer.

© James Friedman 2012 Tina Turner, Columbus, Ohio, 1969

After completing school and beginning to work on self-directed projects while teaching at an American university, slowly I began to understand what Minor White had tried to tell me: that it would take years of immeasurable study and unending practice to comprehend how to adapt photography's inherent idiosyncrasies to my particular way of picturing the world.

However, I find it curious that some of my most enduring work (and photographs to which Minor White responded positively) was done in the earliest stages of my involvement in photography without having spent years refining my craft. I never had the opportunity to ask Minor White about that.

© James Friedman 2012 
My Last Door (inspired by painter Georgia O'Keeffe), Santa Fe, New Mexico

James Friedman
Website: www.jamesfriedmanphotographer.com 
Recipient of the Aaron Siskind Foundation Individual Photographer's Fellowship (selected from 800 international applicants)
Recipient of 7 Individual Excellence Awards from the Ohio Arts Council
Nominated for the "Excellence in Photographic Teaching Award" that recognizes outstanding international teachers of photography
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I am glad to receive James, a renowned photographer and teacher of photography as a member of our circle of authors. His long experience and fresh view on photography will benefit to the development of 591 Photography. If you are a regular viewer of 591, you may already have come across pictures by James Friedman. I am a great fan of his work. 

It's an honour to have you here in our group. Welcome James!. - Mr Urbano (aka Ulf Fågelhammar)

9 comments:

Walter Neiger said...

James, welcome on board!

GC said...

Superb to have you in the gang!

Louis said...

Thank you, Walter and GC. Best, Jim

Rhonda said...

Welcome Jim! Great introduction! And good to have another American on board! :)

kkuntze said...

herzlich willkommen jim!
k*

Philip said...

Now you can start a series on photographers writing about photographers who take pictures of photographers taking pictures.

Philip said...

Now you can start a series on photographers writing about photographers who take pictures of photographers taking pictures.

Paolo Saccheri said...

Hi Jim
I'm happy to know yor work better and see your contributions on 591!!!
Welcome on this space ship!

V said...

Very Welcome!! :)