Dianne Yudelson is an award winning photographic artist and master of the New Eclecticism Photography. Her work has been exhibited in Malaysia, France, Thailand, and throughout the USA. Dianne is a 2013 Critical Mass Finalist and a Julia Margaret Cameron Award winner in documentary, as well as street photography. Recent 2013 exhibitions include the Natural History Museum in San Diego California, National Geographic Museum as part of FOTODC, The FENCE 2013 and 2014 in Boston as part of the Magenta Flash Forward Festival, The FENCE 2013 and 2014 in Brooklyn as part of Photoville, the 2014 FENCE in Atlanta as part the ACP festival, and The Center for Fine Art Photography as part of 2013 and 2014 Center Forward. Dianne graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of California, Berkeley.
“My fascination with photography began upon the realization that, in addition to being a wonderful means of documentation, photography can also be used as a fine art medium. My style is eclectic. In the fine tradition of eclectic artists of our past, from DaVinci to Duchamp to Calder, I embrace the challenge of exploring varied subjects and forms of expression. By that I mean, neither subject matter nor genre solely defines my images; they are defined by my artistic esthetic."
Dianne’s 2013-2014 top honors include "Photographer of the Year" titles from three acclaimed international competitions; Black and White Spider Awards, Photography Masters Cup, and World Photography Gala Awards. In 2013 Dianne received: First Place in the International Photography Awards (IPA) in Fine Art and Collage, GOLD overall category PX3, Grand Prize Winner in the New York Center for Photographic Arts, Gold medalist in San Francisco International Exhibition, First Place Professional Women Photographers, First Place WPGA Black & White Awards, First Place Texas Photographic Society, and advertising honors in the LICC for a third consecutive year.
"Throughout my life art has been the one true common thread, the stitches that bind my chapters together. As a photographic artist, I embrace the ability to spotlight my point of view and give a voice to my imagination."
Interview With Dianne Yudelson
AAP: When did you realize you wanted to be a photographer?
I realized I wanted to be a photographer when I discovered that, in addition to being a wonderful means of documentation, photography can be used as a fine art medium.
AAP: Where did you study photography?
I am a self-taught photographer.
AAP: How long have you been a photographer?
In the summer of 2009 I came across an article in the Rangefinder magazine regarding the Black and White Spider Awards. This article reported that the competition was for amateurs as well as professional photographers. I researched online and discovered that the deadline for entries was in 2 days. During the next two days I photographed and created my composite image entitled “Vessels,” and entered it in the competition. The following February, “Vessels” won a nomination in the Abstract category at the 5th Spider Awards. Since 2010 I have considered myself a photographer and I have dedicated myself to photography from that point on, initially creating single images and then moving forward to create whole portfolios of work. Within two years, at the 7th Black and White Spider Awards, I was named Photographer of the Year, Honor of Distinction.
AAP: Do you remember your first shot? What was it?
I was about 10 years old when I took my first snapshot. Although I have always enjoyed taking pictures, I remember people commenting, “Why are you wasting film taking a photo of a lollipop discarded in the street or a chair off in the corner?” I do remember the first photograph that elicited the response “Whoa… you could sell this shot!” The comment came from a friend of mine, who was a commercial photographer. I had taken an adventurous trip to England, receiving a camera as a going away gift. Because I was traveling alone, my photos captured my personal vision of the landscape: rowboats near a river’s edge at dawn, silhouettes of statuary at sunset and the delicate curvature of wildflowers as they blew in the autumn breeze. Capturing these photographs sparked my artistic curiosity; consequently, taking the photos became one of the most exciting aspects of my journey abroad.
AAP: Do you have a mentor?
My mentors are all the eclectic artists who have preceded me. I have honored some of these artists in my series “Fusions” and “Monarchs in Art.” In these two series I have utilized stylistic elements of the artists who were important contributors to their artistic movements, “monarchs” of their medium, while interpreting the subject matter and creating an image truly representative of my own modern artistic style.
AAP: What inspires you?
I am generally inspired by all things visual, from grand vistas to the reflection of light on a teardrop. Sometimes I am immediately compelled to take a photo and at other times the visual moment triggers a thought process that leads to the creation of a photo or photo series. Every now and then, as an avid reader, I will come across a pairing of words that peak my interest. For example, I created an image to symbolize a concept I had studied in graduate school, “Synaptic Euphoria.”
AAP: How could you describe your style?
My style is eclectic. By that I mean I embrace the challenge of exploring varied subjects and forms of artistic expression. As part of this philosophy, I created a new art movement that I call the “New Eclecticism.” Neither subject matter nor genre solely defines my images; they are defined by my artistic esthetic.
As a teen, I performed in musicals. I remember saying, “I wish I could sing like Barbara Streisand.” My mother pointed out that the world already has a Barbara Streisand. We love Barbara because she is unique. To be unique you must be yourself as the world only has one of you.” From that day forward, I have understood that to be original, you must remain true to yourself and your vision.
AAP: What kind of gear do you use?
I am a Nikon girl -- camera, lenses and speedlights.
AAP: Do you spend a lot of time editing your images?
Sometimes yes and other times no. I will say that, when I am in the process of editing or creating images, time seems to disappear; I am in my own world. When I am not shooting or creating, I am thinking about what needs to be taken care of, so that I can get back to my art.
AAP: What advice would you give a young photographer?
I teach a photography group and I always advise them to keep the elements of composition in mind, photograph what inspires them and, if an idea hits you out of the blue, take a second to notate it for use later. Above all else, allow your images to serve as self-expression.
AAP: Do you have an idea or project you would like to share?
Recently, I have focused on my nature and wildlife photography. I have always loved birds and will sit in a field, by a stream or in a ditch along the side of a road for an hour or more to capture an elusive species or to wait for that moment of interaction. As a very young girl my fondest memory was sitting on my grandmother’s porch while she showed me tintypes of my great grandmother and other loved ones. Holding these tintypes in my hand and gazing into the eyes of my ancestors while hearing stories of my grandmother’s childhood was an experience I hold dear to my heart. Those tintypes were my first exposure to the art of photography. My series "Antique Aviary" is a melding of my lifelong passion for birds, my wildlife photography and my deep appreciation of the tintype image.
AAP: What was your worst memory as a photographer?
In April of this year I drove 400 miles to hand deliver my framed image “Great Horned Owl” from my “Antique Aviary” to the SMASHBOX exhibition during MOPLA (Month of Photography Los Angeles). Upon exiting my rental car, I took two steps and tripped into a 12inch pothole in the parking lot across the street from the Smashbox Studios in Hollywood and broke my foot.
AAP: What is your best memory as a photographer?
One day I was taking a drive with my 9 year old son. We were driving down a country road appreciating the tall mustard grass. Suddenly I spotted a 6 foot fence pole that was literally covered with bees. I pulled over, jumped out of the car and grabbed my camera from the trunk as well as a jacket to throw over my head. I told my son to stay in the car and take some photos with his little camera, but not to roll down the window. Bees were flying over my head and around my body to get to the pole. As I attempted to focus on the bees I realized that all these bees were vibrating up and down the pole. In order to get the shot, I was going to have to move in very close. At a couple of feet away I took the photos in my series “A Gathering of Bees.” When I returned to the car my son was a bit distraught. I said "I’m sorry if I took too long" and he said, “But Mommy, you’re allergic to bees. What if they swarmed you? What would I do?” I shall always remember the look on his face when I told him that if they swarmed me, “Take the Shot!”