My Photographic Heros no 10: Lee Friedlander

My Photographic Heros no 10: Lee Friedlander

Lee Friedlander

“I often find that the best and most innovative photographers have multiple interests, not just photography.” Eric Kim. I have been saying this to my students for years that they need to think about what their interests are outside of photography and develop these passions and they will be able to develop their own unique vision because it is grounded in their interests and knowledge. If you do not know what it is, ask yourself this question: What do you read first thing in the morning when you open up your computer or turn on your smart phone what is the first regular website that you visit and what do you look for when you surf the internet? I f you have things you look at and read that is where you should start for your ideas of what interests you. As you will know more about this than anyone else.

Lee Friedlander for me is one of the original photographers of the American Social Landscape. A term that I particularly like, as it is how I see what I do as a photographer, I am out in life attempting to document my version of the Social Landscape that we inhabit as a society and for me that is why he is important. He is not adverse to changing camera formats and is constantly reinventing his work, but his Black and White aesthetic still runs though all he does. He has worked in colour but his primary output has been as a Black and White photographer. He has covered a diverse range of subjects over his long career as a photographer, that for me is also interesting.

YouTube & Vimeo videos with and about Lee Friedlander

Discussing the New Documents show this is a long video.

It really surprised me how little video material or interviews there are online about and involving Lee Friedlander.

What I learnt from Lee Friedlander

Be proficient with your camera and use it extensively, the only way Lee Friedlander could have got his images was to be making images where ever he was. Don’t be afraid to add complexity to images,  By adding elements you are adding more information to the frame and the resulting image, keep doing it till the image falls apart then remove something to bring back the pictures harmony. That is the most important thing. Find your own level of complexity that you feel comfortable with.

Links to articles on his work.

American Suburb X on Lee Friedlander  

10 Lessons Lee Friedlander Has Taught Me About Street Photography by Eric Kim

When you Google his name their is a lot of info that you can find on him online. Go have try and enjoy reading all the different links.

Books by/on Lee Friedlander


Friedlander by Peter Galassi (Amazon US link), (Amazon UK link)

Lee Friedlander: Self Portraits by John Szarkowski (Amazon US link), (Amazon UK link)

Children: The Human Clay (Amazon US link), (Amazon UK link)

Street: The Human Clay, By Lee Friedlander (Amazon US link), (Amazon UK link)

Portraits: The Human Clay, By Lee Friedlander (Amazon US link), (Amazon UK link)

Workers: The Human Clay, By Lee Friedlander (Amazon US link), (Amazon UK link)

Lee Friedlander: At Work (Amazon US link), (Amazon UK link)

Sticks and Stones: Architectural America (Amazon US link), (Amazon UK link)

Western Landscapes, Lee Friedlander (Amazon US link), (Amazon UK link)

Lee Friedlander: A Second Look: The Nudes (Amazon US link), (Amazon UK link)

Lee Friedlander: America by Car (Amazon US link), (Amazon UK link)

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