The Opposite of Drab © Richard Dweck

Richard Dweck’s portfolio was chosen as a 2020 Rfotofolio Selection recipent We are pleased to share his work here on Rfotofolio.

Would you please tell us about yourself?

I have had two successful careers before I started my third career in photography in 2016. My first one was as a general contractor before returning to college and getting a degree in architecture and computer science. My second one was founding and building a software company focused on big data for the biotech industry (think Human Genome Project).

Where did you get your photographic training?

I started with a once a month, two-hour workshop, for the first 18 months. I then received some one-on-one help from another photographer. But 95% of my training has been following my own path, viewing as many exhibitions and books on photography as possible, and photographing constantly.

Who has had an influence on your creative process?

Initially I was influenced by the workshop leader, Richard Dischler. I then joined a collective of fine art photographers three years ago (Bay Area Photographers Collective). Their peer review sessions have been very helpful in refining my work to bring out my unique voice. 

Please tell us about an image (not your own) that has stayed with you over time.

So many from André Kertész and Josef Koudelka but if I had to pick one, I would say it was one of Koudelka’s Gypsie photographs that he took in Slovakia in 1966. It’s a scene of boys playing on an icy road. It’s chock full of action, emotions and perspectives.

What image of yours would you say taught you an important lesson.

On my first trip to Japan to do photography, it took me two days to reach a remote coastal town. When I got there I couldn’t find anything to photograph. I remember Richard Dischler saying that when you can’t find your photograph, look closer or look further away. I took two small steps, looked down and found this on the ground, created by nature:

© Richard Dweck


It really taught me to walk more slowly and look ever more carefully for my photographs.

Hanging Around © Richard Dweck
Peace © Richard Dweck

Please tell us about the work you submitted to the Rfotofolio Call.

No matter where I travel, when I photograph spaces without people, I’m attracted to a particular palette. It’s made up of subtly expressive colors, textures and shadows that convey the feelings, moods and perhaps the thoughts of the inhabitants. I use my palette to answer the question: When people aren’t in spaces they typically inhabit, how much of their personalities can still be captured?

What part of image-making do you find the most rewarding.

Having someone who’s viewing my work express the thoughts or emotions that I had when I took the photograph.

How do you work through times when nothing seems to work?

Keep going knowing that it will always work in the end.

What tools have you found essential in the making of your work?

I great pair of hiking boots, an indestructible camera backpack and a multitude of different tripod configurations.

Ascendant © Richard Dweck

Is there something in photography that you would like to try in the future?

I keep returning to places to photograph. I feel that I’m able to photograph at a deeper level each time. I’d like to try living at one or more of those places to see how very deep I can really go.

How does your art affect the way you see the world?

I look at EVERYTHING much more closely and carefully and therefore I am appreciating what I see all the more.

How has the pandemic influenced your work methods? Or has it?

Of course, international travel went out the window. Instead I spent a huge block of time going through my existing work–organizing it into coherent series, taking the time to create a well thought out artist statement for each series and creating many new opportunities for me to exhibit this work.

In terms of what I’m photographing, portraiture and architecture have temporarily taken a backseat to the more easily navigable landscape photography.

What’s on the horizon?

My work from the series, that you were one of the first to recognize, is now winning multiple awards and hanging in a beautiful museum. I’m going to continue to promote this work while shooting a new series that I’m very excited about on reflected water.

To learn more about the work of Richard Dweck please visit his site at Richard Dweck.


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