Time and Light
My dear friend Fredrik Brauer is one hell of a photographer with a gift for seeing how light can highlight the beauty and ugly in everything that he shoots. So I have a few questions for him base on our time travels through spending moments in the darkness and in lightness.
William Downs: When you were in the Navy? What did you enjoy the most?
Fredrik Brauer: The ocean-- there is just something so beautiful about eating, sleeping and working on a ship.
WD: Will you encourage your son or daughter to enter the military?
FB: I think service is important, so my answer is yes.
WD: Did you ever photograph for the Navy, either during or after?
FB: I didn't photograph for the navy but I did photograph in the navy. We had a darkroom on the base.
WD: Do you think time spent out in the middle of the sea trained your vision to see gigantic space? I feel like your work has this quality about it. Something like Gursky, but maybe not…?
FB: I think it has a lot to do with the air in between you and the subject. I believe the air deserves lots of attention since its the largest mass in the image. I think this is true about my work, well I hope, I have been obsessing about it for several years now.
WD: We both have great stamina when it comes to discipline in working. What do you do when your #Notworking?
FB: It’s hard to #Notworking, but when I do I like to hang with my crew or spend time with my kids. I also watch a tremendous amount of RedSox baseball.
WD: Can you talk about your love for jazz music. Do you play an instrument besides your camera? Where were you when you first heard “Bitches Brew”?
FB: I was 17, and I was in my room at my parents’ house in Stockholm. The tunes just cut through the static and made everything seem clear as crystal.
WD: Can you tell you what your favorite cocktail and favorite beer are?
FB: Vieux Carré – that’s my drink. It’s a boozy little fella so watch out. And I love cheap ice cold beer in a can; expensive beer makes me feel full and sad.
WD: Where is your favorite spot to get a beverage in Atlanta and Sweden?
FB: In Atlanta, it’s Octopus -- if you are going to go out, go out late! In Stockholm, it’s a spot called Mosebacke. It’s a great jazz club on top of a mountain overlooking all the rest of Stockholm. It’s amazing!
WD: What is your favorite time of day to make a photograph? How much does your work depend on mother nature?
FB: I really like mornings-- the earlier the better, before all the people wake up. There is also fewer particles in the air from pollution, and I feel that makes the light sharper. But I love all light.
WD: How many cameras have you lost, broken or had stolen while on a job or while traveling.
FB: I have never lost a camera or had one stolen. I had a lens break not too long ago, and it cost me over $500 to fix it. That sucked!
WD: Do many of your clients ever fly you places to take a photograph?
FB: If necessary, yes. I’m flying to NY in September for a two-day shoot.
WD: What’s the worst condition that you have ever been in while taking a photograph?
FB: Christmas Eve in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. There is a darkness there that I can't forget and I know I don't want to experience again.
WD: Can you talk about your current project about New Orleans? What attracted you to this place? Was it the light?
FB: The air I talked about earlier is plentiful and in that I think the light becomes more prominent. To me, New Orleans is the heart and soul of this country. I love it! After a while, my work in there became centered around the levies. The way they cut through neighborhoods, divide people but also keep them safe; well, at least that’s the purpose. Also, I find it just visually irresistible, and I'm just fascinated by engineering in general. Although I plan to work on this for some time, I hope to have a nice body of work to show in the new year.
Fredrik is a photographer based in Atlanta,GA. He has been in business for the past ten years. His focus has been Architectural, Landscape to make visual story telling with emphasis how light and air shape the nature of the two dimensional image.
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