One Camera, One Lens and Natural Light: The Complexity of Simplicity with Danny Wilcox Frazier

March 11, 2021
10:00–11:15AM EST
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Photo by Danny Wilcox Frazier / VII. Wild horse races at the Oglala Lakota Nation Pow Wow, Pine Ridge Reservation, South Dakota. Lakota celebrate traditional life throughout late summer with Sun Dances and horse races across the reservation. Pine Ridge sits in the poorest region of America, but is a section of the country rich with culture and traditional life.

This technical webinar will look at how to focus on ‘less is more; stripping down to the minimum and responding to light, moment, and composition that stays true to the life living out before you.

When starting Driftless I had just entered grad school and was sick of the digital revolution and how photography was becoming more about technology than storytelling. Conversations in the industry and academia at the time seemed to lose sight of what I think photography does best, address social issues with a direct and compassionate visual voice. Life's love and pain...economics, politics, war, pollution, disease; all the issues impacting communities the world over and needing to be witnessed. Documentary was taking on new forms and approaches at the time, while some practiced with devotion to tradition; women and men producing impactful work like those Cornell Capa called, "concerned photographers.” The industry, generally speaking, seemed more focused on more lucrative commercial concerns like megapixel wars and social media clicks. With those mind-numbing debates behind me and entering a space meant for personal and professional exploration, my approach in Driftless was to strip away all photographic concerns, to work with the simplest tools, and focus intensely on all I heard, saw, and felt.

For this talk, I want to bring people into the simple idea of putting their subjects before all else. To cherish the opportunity to learn firsthand about those we photograph and the issues surrounding our interactions and collaborations with them. To put aside gear, deadlines, Instagram, and anything else that gets in the way and focus on living with the story.