Born in the Netherlands, and emigrated to Canada in the 1950’s with his parents, Fred Braakman, always had an interest in art. He practiced drawing and painting during his formative years however, when he entered university, he decided to focus on a technical career, and obtained a degree in chemistry.
Fred Braakman met his wife during his education at the University of Alberta, and both pursued their careers together. He continued to maintain his interest in the arts on a part time basis, and eventually enrolled in private instruction in painting under Eileen Raucher Sutton for three years. Along the way he developed an interest in photography and pursued this medium to the present day. He has taken courses in photography and digital imaging, and continues to improve and enhance his skills in this medium. He recently attended a workshop in Arizona with master landscape photographer, Alain Briot.”
Braakman tends to approach his photography with the eye of a landscape artist, with the intention to develop a distinctive style. “I spend most of my free time photographing nature, away from the maddening crowds.” says Braakman.
“My interest in photographic art has broadened over the years since I started taking photography seriously as an art form. I have worked with both film based photography, and digital, and work comfortably in both mediums. I work in two darkrooms, the chemical based darkroom, and the digital darkroom.
I am a member of the Monochrome Guild, a group of film based photographers in Edmonton, Alberta, who are dedicated to preserving that art form. Digital photography best allows me to express my personal style in color, while film based photography allows me to express my vision in the black and white medium.
My photographic art has been influenced by my earlier training as an artist, having studied under well know artist Eileen Raucher Sutton, also based in Sherwood Park , Alberta. My photography has been influenced by Alain Briot, who resides in Pheonix, Arizona, a master photographer in both film and digital photography, and Bruce Barnbaum, who resides in Washington, and is well known for his craftsmanship in film based photography. In addition I have had training by Dan Burkholder, a photographer from New York, in the art of melding together traditional film based photography, with the digital age.
My goal as a photographic artist, rather than just produce “photographs”, is to produce works of art. I strive to express my personal vision of what I see when I produce the image on the medium of choice. The camera produces an image in its raw form, and it is the duty of the artist to create a memorable reproduction of the subject matter as he envisions it, in his own personal style. The artist has at his disposal more tools than just the camera and the lens to portray that vision.
I have shown my work at the McMullen Gallery, the Works in Edmonton, and Picture This Gallery in Sherwood Park. My artistic training –utilization of repetition of shape, form, line, and color – are found in many of my images. Proper placement of these factors in the frame is not always easy, and requires a careful eye when composing the image.
My goal is to utilize my personal style in a way that expresses my vision of how I would like to see the world, one that is in harmony with man and nature. I love photography as an art form, and will continue to develop my artistic skills”.
– Fred Braakman