Lee Friedlander and a New Camera / New Photographer in the House

Anna and I went to the Lee Friedlander retrospective at the MIA today.

It was probably one of the best exhibits I've been to in that gallery and right up there with the Picasso exhibit at the Walker and the Hopper exhibit in D.C. as far as teaching me something about the Arts.

What was so great about it was how easy it was to explain principles of photography to Anna while walking through and looking at his shots. The rooms were arranged roughly chronologically but sub-sections of the rooms were also thematic.

I had a great time just walking with Anna and asking questions and listening to hers and following her interests. She was very interested in any pictures he took of his family and also of his use of mirrors and his photographs of his own shadow.

Several things I either learned or had confirmed through the exhibit:

1. It's not high tech equipment that makes a photographer, it's an eye for things.

2. Obsession is essential to art.

3. A photographer should always, always, always have his camera with him.

4. Even when it is cluttered, ordinary life is still interesting.

5. The context is as important as the subject, if not more so.

Afterwards I got Anna a camera at Pawn America. HP Photosmart 425. Nice buy and widely available used. I'm going to be on the lookout for another one for Emily and maybe even one to replace Dietrich's old Olympus.

Here is Anna's very first shot with a real camera!

And a couple others for good measure.

Gotta get rid of that time stamp.


Janine the Bean said...

That's so great. This is the sort of thing that I miss living in a small town. Great shot of you and Jen. That's...wow...I say no more. ;)

Keep taking photos Anna.

Pete said...

Wow ... just, wow. AWESOME picture of you and Jen, John. I nearly fell off my chair.

JPB said...

It's a pretty good Friedlander imitation, though isn't it? I just noticed that. OK, maybe one photographer in the family is enough. That way I get to stay behind the camera.