Brooklyn, New York
Images © Elliott Kaufman
Second Place – Series
ASMP: What was your inspiration for taking this photo?
Elliott Kaufman: That these buildings and spaces which had an important former and important life had fallen into disrepair and became forgotten gems of our culture. Whether they were roadside cafes, grand court houses, power generators or legitimate theaters they each had a unique quality and opportunity for unique photography.
ASMP: Is there anything unique about your style or approach?
EK: This was straight forward but intuitive 4×5″ documentary architectural photography, using available light to its best advantage.
ASMP: What type of lighting did you use for this image or series?
EK: All available light.
ASMP: How long have you been shooting this type of photography?
EK: 5-8 years
ASMP: What other photographers’ or artists’ work inspires you?
EK: George Krause, Ray Metzger, Willam Christenberry, Walker Evans, Paul Strand, Kenzo Isu, Lee Friedlander, Abdelardo Morrell, Cartier Bresson.
ASMP: When did you join ASMP and what do you find most valuable about your membership?
EK: I joined in 1984 for a few years but realized that I did not have the time to spare, then lapsed for a while and the re-joined in 2004.
ASMP: What is the more important relationship you’ve formed through your ASMP membership?
EK: Camaraderie with my peers, legal advice and counsel.
ASMP: What kind of gear do you use?
EK: These were all done with a Sinar 4×5″ camera using Fijifilm NPL Negative film. More recently I use the Canon 1ds Eos Mark II.
ASMP: What do you know now that you wish you had known when you first started your career as a photographer?
EK: Follow your instincts, do what your heart tells you to do and don’t think that you know more than your clients.
ASMP: Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about yourself and/or your work? Go ahead, surprise us with something unique and unusual.
EK: I have always been fascinated by architectural history and roadside commercial archaeology. (I was once a charter member of the Society for Commercial Archaeology) I did the book, American Diner published in 1980 by Harper and Row. I am completely self taught as a photographer and when I decided to do architectural photography, (after working with 35mm Leicas). I actually taught myself how to operate a 4×5″ camera. Once I saw the possibilities of that, I was off and running.