Harry Lichtman

Harry Lichtman (website)
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Where are you from?
I am from Newmarket, New Hampshire USA.  A small town in coastal New Hampshire, USA

Why did you want to become a Photographer?
I never really thought of becoming a photographer. I must have had an early interest back when I was around 10 years old, as I can remember leaving my Dad’s SLR camera on a jewelry shop counter during a family trip to Jamaica. A shark’s tooth necklace caught my eye and interest, I I left the store with a new necklace, but the camera was gone for good.  My Dad fondly reminds me of that mishap.  I am a visual person and my interest in photography developed out of other pursuits, primarily hiking and backpacking.  I enjoyed bringing a camera along to document my travels, but soon realized that an artistic component could better portray the emotional connection I get when exploring the wild places out there, or even common scenes that struck a personal cord with me.  Things like composition, subject matter, and most importantly lighting became real important aspects of my work.  This meant a lot more thought went into my images – how to portray a scene under very specific conditions to give the effect or mood I wanted.  Basically, I choose to shoot subjects that inspire me and that incorporate activities that I would be doing anyway.  It’s a way of bringing people into my world a little, and maybe inspire someone to go somewhere, do something or share an experience I had without a viewer actually having to take part.

Why did you choose this particular shot to be your favorite photograph?
most of my shots are landscape or nature oriented, my passion for Bruce Springsteen’s music led me to choose this image as one of my favorites.  He is one of the few performers, song writers, and musicians that really inspires me by bringing an energy and passion to his work.  I developed an early connection to his songs in the late 70’s and his stories and music have accompanied on my travels all over the world.  Usually, the songs are just bouncing around in my head during long solo hikes when there is no one else to talk to.  His songs, his message, his cinematic visions that paint a vivid scene – in some ways do what I try to do with a camera.  I had the opportunity to go to a 1999 concert in Boston with 11th rows seats.  I had run a road race the morning tickets went on sale, and carried a cell phone while I ran so I could start calling for tickets when I finished the race.  Well, 6 hours later after hitting the redial on my phone I landed 2 tickets in the 11th row to the 5th of 6 sold out shows in Boston during the Reunion Tour.  Since this was pre-911, I had my wife sneak my zoom lens into the show in her purse while I concealed my SLR under an armpit.  I pieced the camera together during the show, and apprehensively raised the camera to begin my most nerve racking camera shoot to date.  I didn’t want to get hauled out of the arena for  breaking the no camera policy.  A security guard came over to me while I was shooting, and I thought I was about to be escorted out of the show.  But to my surprise, he actually led me down the aisle to I could get some unobstructed shots.  This just blew me away.  It’s a moment that will likely never be repeated.  I can revisit a place to try again when shooting a landscape if things don’t work out initially.  There was no 2nd chance for this opportunity.  So, that night lives on and shines brighter than most of my landscape images.  While not the most technically perfect shot, it captures the energy and passion that a Sprinsteen show instills in my own photography.  When driven by passion, magic can happen.

Anything else you want to add?
Hope that story wasn’t too boring for non Springsteen fans!  I invite you to check out my landscape photography to see the other driving forces in my life.


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