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Ossining Photographer Looks To Open Students' Eyes

OSSINING, N.Y. – Ossining’s Mark Friedman wants people to look around more.

The Ossining photographer said the ability to observe, from the tiniest detail to the slightest sound, is lost on most people and it’s the reason the art of photography is dying. Friedman is hoping to renew the spirit for photography once again with a free, eight-week class at the Ossining Public Library. Classes begin next week but Friedman is giving residents a taste of some of his favorite work with an opening reception at 2 p.m. Saturday outside of the library’s Budarz Theater.

“There is no one way to take photographs just like there is no one truth,” Friedman said. “But the key is to look and find your own truth and your own inspiration when it comes to what you love. You just have to look for it.”

Friedman’s work includes shots he’s taken around Westchester, throughout the country and from a trip to Tanzania. Rather than seek out a specific image and potentially risk missing a great shot, Friedman said he draws inspiration from the world he sees and tries to keep an open mind when a shot presents itself.

“You have to look at everything or you might miss something,” he said. “I can teach you the basics of how to take a photo but you have to be willing to look for yourself. And you need to know and understand the tools you have.”

Friedman’s latest classroom series, known as “The Digital Darkroom,” covers a wide variety of topics on the details of photography. While he welcomes new students, Friedman warns that the class is not for beginners.

“I could talk about photography for hours on end so people really need to know what a camera is and how to use it even if they’re not familiar with all it can do,” he said. “We’re not going to be able to cover everything in the little time we have so I’m asking people be familiar with programs like Photoshop and Lightroom.”

The first class, on color management, starts at 1 p.m. on Sept. 15 at the Ossining Public Library’s second floor conference room. Those looking to learn more about Friedman’s work are asked to visit his webpage. Residents are not required to sign up to attend classes, but can call the library at (914) 941-2416 for more information. 

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