Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Atwells Street, Providence, RI Sunday, 8/26/07

In an e-mail conversation I was having with a friend the other day, Paul says to me:

I've always thought your hand-held work came naturally to you. I remember all the keepers you were getting at the Statue of Liberty. Because I know you worked the tripod with Gagliani, I figured you had more view camera experience, but now I guess I might be wrong about that. Paul

To which I replied:

I appreciate your kind kudos, but there's several things to remember about me and my background in photography, Paul. 1) I have a degree in journalism from UTAustin; 2) I spent 10 years working as a PR/event/photo illustrator with the News Service of UTAustin; 3) I was personal friends with both Russell Lee and Garry Winogrand; 4) I was an assistant for Oliver Gagliani's workshops; 5) I have a published book of black & white view camera landscape work: 6) and I've had a camera in front of my face either under a darkcloth squinting at a ground glass or peering through a viewfinder now on 45+ years. With that comes all kinds of visual experience. What I enjoy most is that moment of discovery, that mostly random, serendipitous realization of some combination of things that seems a bit ironic to me. I think we all stumble on things like this everyday, but my mind set is to organize those scenes into something visually cohesive that communicates my emotional response to a viewer of my photographs. I didn't come by this easily, haphazardly perhaps, and the road has been long with this thing called "life" side-tracking me from time-to-time. I don't walk down the street looking for pictures, I walk along and let pictures look for me. Set me down just about any place and generally I'll find something visually of interest to me. It's not formulaic, or planned, though it is highly derivative -- because I believe, no, I KNOW that everything we see and respond to is interpreted by previous experience.


FZipperer said...

Frank A,
Amen and right on!! Even as a self taught photographer, with not all that experience, this is what I strive for.
Frank Z

pitchertaker said...

I, too, am self-taught, but with the good fortune to be mentored by a number of legends. When the Navy sent me to Adak, Alaska in the late '50's, I figured out the darkroom stuff so I could send images to the family back home. Been hooked ever since.


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