David Freese

David Freese worked for 30 years as a corporate/industrial freelance photographer who concurrently pursued his image making passions as an artist and as an educator. He now devotes his full attention to various fine-art photography projects/books and to teaching in the Film and Media Arts Department at Temple University.

Freese is the photographer/author of three books: West Coast: Bering to Baja, 2012; a companion book, East Coast: Arctic to Tropic, 2016; and Mississippi River: Headwaters and Heartland to Delta and Gulf, 2020, which completes a trilogy on North American waters in a time of rapid climate change. His work has been published in aPhotoEditor, Communication Arts, Hyperallergic, Il Post (Italy), Lenscratch, MIT Technology Review, Monthly Photography (South Korea), Photo District News, Polaroid International, Popular Photography, Slate Behold the Photo Blog, Smithsonian Air and Space, Time-Life Books, and View Camera.

David has exhibited nationally and his photographs are in the collections of the Center for Creative Photography, Cleveland Museum of Art, Crocker Art Museum, Denver Art Museum, Haggerty Museum of Art, Haverford College, Library of Congress, James A. Michener Art Museum, Peabody Essex Museum of Art, Polaroid Collection, Sheldon Museum of Art, as well as many other museum and corporate art collections.

He has received a Polaroid Artist Support Grant and both a Fellowship in the Visual Arts and a Special Opportunity Stipend from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts as well as artist grants for photography by the Ruth and Harold Chenven Foundation, the Puffin Foundation, and the Aegon Transamerica Foundation.

Artist’s Statement

When someone says to you “Hey, come over here, you gotta see this!”, that person is, in fact, perfectly describing my raison d’étre. As a photographer, and I believe this is true of any visual artist, I will get extraordinarily interested and fascinated about something in our world. It could be anything. And then I want to see and experience it in a truly profound way. In fact, I will end up exploring and photographing such a quest to exhaustion. It’s a desire to tell people where to look – a visual refinement that starts at the macro level, the overall theme, and then proceeds down to a place, then to the frame and, finally, at the micro level, to choosing the subject within the frame. This process of selection, one of the oft described hallmarks of photography, is how the photographer communicates and directs one’s attention. A selected body of work is presented and seen. I hope that a mutual experience is encountered and taken to heart – that my interest becomes your interest. It is wonderfully rewarding if such a communication occurs, but I do not fret if it does not. We all select our own cup of tea. My curiosity is satisfied and, when all is said and done, so too are my photographic whys and wherefores.

The images shown here are from my most recent book – Mississippi River: Headwaters and Heartland to Delta and Gulf.