Next Workshop:Medium format film photography - November, 2014
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About RA Friedman
RA Friedman is a photographer who lives and works in Philadelphia. His work utilizes digital technology and traditional photographic tools and techniques that connect with the history of the craft. A Technical Theatre graduate of Harpur College, Binghamton, NY, he studied drawing with Charles Eldred and Linda Sokolowski. He received his M.F.A. in painting from LSU, Baton Rouge. From 2009-2011 he was a fellow for “Journeys South” an initiative of the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Project.
Self-initiated projects have included a traveling vintage photo booth and a multi-figure pinhole shoot at Penn’s Rotunda during the 2012 Philadelphia Fringe. Friedman’s work has been shown by the Merchant’s House Museum in NYC along with pieces by Sally Mann. His photos have appeared in The Sun Magazine, New York Magazine, Supplementaire (UK). He is a regular contributor to The Laboratory Collective Magazine and publishes a weekly email and blog called The Concrete Muse.
Statement of Purpose
As a photographer, I get to muck around in all that would be too pretentious, trite, or incomprehensible in any other medium. The camera allows the detritus of modern life to permeate and facilitates reveries. If I push onward, it bestows the privilege of reimaging the world, leaving me ever surprised and renewed.
I’ve covered hundreds of miles on foot in all corners, in all seasons, in all kinds of weather witnessing the pulsing, intimate and poetic aspects of Philadelphia. It is never the same from day-to-day. The urban environment is a strange collage-- bits and pieces, remnants of things that fly in the face of logic and possess a life their own, where dream-like vistas unfold-- fascinating, complex, fragile and evanescent.
My hope is that the work does not become an elegy to what was, but rather that it functions to persuade its audience to become aware of their surroundings and reconsider what is. I want my photographs to lend credence to the idea that innovative and uplifting re-crafting of urban structures and spaces is not an aesthetic add-on, but pivotal to the life of the city.
Using a pinhole camera, high-speed instant film, and a single moving light source, I’ve developed an analog capture technique wherein I take multiple images and combine them digitally to form a unity.
My aim is to free my photographs of the nude from the tradition of making images for the (usually male) gaze. Instead, I work to enfold the inventiveness and energy of the subject into the image making process. The photographs evolve over months, multiple sessions with each model, and hours of working the images. I bend the photographic process and slow it to a mere crawl, compressing time and visual incident into the small canvas of each print.
Tsirkus Fotografika (Yiddish, circus; Polish, photography), 2008-present is an itinerant vintage portrait studio where most of the shooting is done using hot lighting and a large format 1940’s era Graflex camera. The project works in Philadelphia and NYC, often finding in front of its lens steampunks, flappers, reveling late-night denizens.
Contact me about booking Tsirkus Fotografika.
A Tsirkus Fotografika Weddings
A photographic experience that is unique and memorable for those in the NYC metropolitan area. I bring years of experience and have shot literally thousands of portraits.
I provide everything for an extraordinary and fun analog photographic experience. Photos are made using an antique camera and lens that are over seventy years old, vintage-style backdrops, Hollywood-style lighting, along with an essential box of props. An assistant/stylist is also on hand to make sure your guests look their best and everything goes smoothly.
My prices are very reasonable with an average event running approximately $1500. Contact me about options and booking Tsirkus Fotografika.
Please don't hesitate to contact me for more information about my work or to sign up for a workshop. I usually reply within 24-48 hours.