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Photography has always been part of Fred’s life. Both Fred’s parents were photographers at one time in their lives. His mother worked in portrait studios, and his father worked as a photographer in the Signal Corp in the South Pacific during WW2. In fact, if it wasn’t for photography, he wouldn’t be here. In the mid 1930’s Fred’s father, who lived in the Bronx, took a banana boat to Haiti to photograph. He showed his photographs at a camera club in Brooklyn, and that is where he met his future wife.
Fred was born in the Bronx and grew up in Queens, New York. He now resides in Scottsdale, Arizona with his wife Harriet. His current studio and office are located in his guest house.
Fred remembers his parents taking photographs when they traveled. They spent many hours in the darkroom developing negatives and making prints. He learned about the photographic process at an early age while spending time in the darkroom with his parents. His parents shared their love of photography with Fred. Photography has always been a part of Fred’s life. His love of photography continues to grow.
Fred became more serious about photography as a teenager. He visited the Museum of Modern Art with his father to see their photography gallery. The second major influence was seeing the work of the great masters of photography, from Carlton Watkins to Edward Weston. This was life changing for Fred after seeing these wonderful original photographs.
Street photography influenced Fred’s early serious photography, especially the works of Henri Cartier-Bresson. Later influenced by Edward Weston and Oliver Gagliani, Fred started photographing landscapes, abandoned places, graffiti and abstracts.
Fred learned his basic photographic techniques from his parents. He has always worked to improve his technical skills to get the best possible negative for printing. Very early on, Fred followed the Ansel Adams line, “The negative is the score and the print is the performance”. In the printing process, he was able to translate what he saw when photographing into the final print.
The subject matter of Fred’s photography varies from everyday objects to landscapes. His father once said “if it moves or doesn’t move - Fred will photograph it”. The greatest complement Fred ever received was from his parents saying his photography had surpassed theirs. Fred feels that everyday when you awaken, you see the world around you with fresh eyes.
In the mid to late 1980’s, Fred photographed equestrian events, and became a member of the “International Alliance of Equestrian Journalists”. He also had many photographs published in equestrian publications. He provided the photographs for many articles, while working with equestrian writer Paula Rodenas. While photographing equestrian events, Fred became frustrated working with labs because their work was not up to his standards. Therefore, He added color processing and printing to his black and white darkroom. This way, Fred could process and print his own work.
In 1989, while still living in New York, Fred retired for a few year to take care of his father. During that time, Fred met the editor of Photo Techniques magazine and started writing technical articles for them. This kept his mind on photography while taking care of his father. Later in 2009, he wrote an article for Photo Techniques magazine describing the workings of a Fuji infrared camera. Fred became fascinated with photographing the world in infrared.
His father passed away in early 1993. Later that year, Fred moved to Arizona to be closer to the places he wanted to photograph. In 1994 he bought a business called The View Camera Store. He sells large format photography equipment and Leica cameras. From the mid to late 1990’s, Fred taught photography workshops with Phil Davis, photographer and author. Fred still teaches private workshops with serious photographers, working in black and white photography and large format camera techniques.
In 1997, Fred met and later married Harriet Raskin. Harriet has been a major supporter of his photography and accompanies Fred when he photographs. Harriet also worked with Fred in the darkroom and more recently when he prepares digital files for printing, matting and framing photographs.
Fred divides his time between the View Camera Store & Fred Newman Photography. About six years ago he had some major health problems and went from film & digital photography to only digital photography. A photographer Fred met early on recommended to proof & file all your negatives. Presently, Fred is working on scanning his negatives from 1968 to the mid 2000’s. It is a monumental task, and he tries to spend as much time choosing which photographs to scan and prepare the files for printing.
One of Fred’s other interests, as many well known photographers, is classical music. Fred and his wife regularly attend concerts performed by the Phoenix Symphony. Fred and Harriet are also avid basketball fans and attend Phoenix Suns and Phoenix Mercury games. The other great joy in his life, besides Fred’s wife are their children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews.
Fred’s love of photography continues to grow and he tries to spend as much time as possible photographing and expressing what he saw into each photograph when processing each image. The spontaneity of his early street photography has been an influence into how Fred sees the world. Fred feels the subject being photographed finds him.
Inspiration for Fred comes from how the light defines what he is photographing, whether it is a landscape or something abstract. Fred plans on visiting new locations to photograph whenever he has the opportunity and is always open to new subject matter to photograph.
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Please see information on available media in my blog on June 3rd 2017. Also please feel free to email or call me with any questions. Thank you - Fred Newman
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