If you are a passionate Whattaroll reader, you must have noticed that we have featured many awesome portrait photographers so far in our Hero of the Week section. Truth is, we’ve often been told how difficult it is for some of you to shoot street or landscape photography. How can you make a park or landscape look better than it is in real life? Well, nothing beats what the eyes can see, but the approach you adapt for taking the shot makes the difference.
RA Friedman defines this approach as “always looking for things that are a kind of keyhole vision into a different, more real place; one that somehow meshes with my own inner compass… The images are about rediscovering the kind of spaces that have been bled out of our souls” Brooklyn and the city of New York are some of his playgrounds. You might think that the most iconic city in the world is the hardest city to rediscover, and it is not an easy task. But, our featured film photographer today will prove you wrong. Currently engaged with a number of projects, including one entitled Photographers Squared and involves a large book project crowd-funded on Kickstarter. (http://www.photographers-squared.com) RA Friedman’s art is definetely worth looking at!
1. Name someone whose art makes you shiver.
2. If you had to choose a camera + film to shoot with for the rest of your life,which combo would it be and why?
It would be what I’m currently using: a Hasselblad 500cm, 80mm Carl Zeiss lens, and Tri-X film. The camera is extremely reliable and consistent in its results. I’ve come to visualize my shots in tune with the way this technical combination “sees.” There are shots it cannot get, but there a lot it can; I have even captured action on the street. More importantly, it’s the images that I make with this set up that feel the most satisfying.
3. If you could time travel to the past and be the assistant of a great photographer, who would it be?
4. Can you share the weirdest situation you’ve faced being a film photographer?
I once had a security guard try to detain me and a friend and confiscate an ancient roll film camera I was using. I had walked onto the abandoned grounds of an asylum in Northampton, Massachusetts. When I told the guard she’d have to arrest me if she wanted my film, she let us go.
5. If you had to choose a movie that defines you both, personally and aesthetically, which one would it be?
The Unbearable Lightness of Being.
6. Do you remember the photo you took that made you feel proud for the first time? Can you share it with us?
Back in middle school I shot some photos in Liberty, NY, one of an abandoned store. The shot was very much like a Walker Evans. I unfortunately don’t have it digitized.
7. At Whattaroll, we believe that inspiration can come from many different sides. Can you write down and share with us a paragraph from the book you’re reading at the moment?
I’m barely reading at this point because my time is so tied up. I will, however , offer a paragraph from Plexus by Henry Miller, one of my favorite authors:
“Every day we slaughter our finest impulses. That is why we get a heart-ache when we read those lines written by the hand of a master and recognize them as our own, as the tender shoots which we stifled because we lacked the faith to believe in our own powers, our own criterion of truth and beauty. Every man, when he gets quiet, when he becomes desperately honest with himself, is capable of uttering profound truths. We all derive from the same source.”
8. Describe your shooting routine.
On the surface, it’s pretty simple: I often walk far and long and take my camera. I try to get out at least every other day. Sometimes I search out new spots; other times I return to places I’ve been before. I carry the mínimum amount of gear and try to just take in where I am, be flexible and let things lead me, lose myself.
9. Speaking of portraits, who’s the face you’d love to photograph but haven’t had the chance to have in front of your camera yet?
It’s not so much the “who” as the “what.” Hopefully that “face” will find me.
10. Who do you think we should feature in the next Hero of the Week section?
If you would like to get to know his art a little deeper, please visit: