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James Alfred Friesen
With an affinity for all things visual, drawing and painting were the focus of my youth. I studied Art, Theatre and Set Design in university, but shortly thereafter I taught myself photography & photoshop. My other modes of artistic expression had always dealt with the internal, with varying degrees of relatability, but photography was a way to engage with the external, and more obviously connect with others & a sense of mutual recognition.
I now work primarily as a commercial architectural photographer, since 2006. My commercial photography services can be found here. I use a very high resolution camera to allow very large prints with incredible detail, and often composite multiple images to create even larger panoramic scenes that can be printed enormous and beautiful at any size.
My experience in commercial work has helped define my relationship to the camera as a tool and not the mysterious thing it once seemed, and the image, not the process, as the sole commanding concern. I often feel more like a craftsperson than an artist in my photography, since the best art is what I see in front of me. In nature I see the True Artist. Sometimes I reinterpret the scene as I see it, and enjoy doing a little digital "re-imagining", but so often I'm just trying to nail down as accurately as possible the type of natural expression nature does so effortlessly. I see the compositions that many abstract & expressionist painters strive for, the lines and the fields of colour, existing in the great outdoors. I am especially drawn to minimalist compositions, and enjoy finding pleasing scenes in overlooked places, even more than the obviously spectacular locations.
Born in Victoria, BC, I currently reside near Vancouver, BC with my wife and three children, after briefly living in the US and Japan. When I’m not working on commercial photographs of buildings and interiors, I’m often out photographing anything else that catches my eye, but especially landscapes.
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