An Exclusive Interview with Keith Goldstein

Keith Goldstein was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1957. Keith was interested in art for as long as he can remember, with his mother being his biggest influence and supporter, encouraging him in his earliest artistic endeavors. Keith’s first connection with photography came about in high school when he was given a collection of photography magazines to draw from. Instead of drawing from them, he began to read them, becoming extremely fascinated with the medium. It wasn’t until he dropped out of college after his second year, and was working in a warehouse, that he decided on photography as a means to creative expression. Keith began studies at night school with David Attie and moved into New York City, receiving his BFA with Honors in photography from the School of Visual Arts. It was there, working with Tad Yamashiro, that he began to experiment with a more emotive way of expression. Wanting to explore this further, Keith went on to continue his experimentation with Carl Toth at Cranbrook Academy of Art. After receiving his MFA in Photography, he subsequently moved back to New York City and began, through a course of personal experiences, to unravel everything that he knew and was for the next 15 years of his life.

Keith has been exhibiting his work since 1980. His work has been published in many publications including – ABC News Australia, Now Public, Flak Magazine, JPEG Magazine, File Magazine, Snaps Magazine, SHOTS, Boulevard, Mercury Records, Diversion Magazine, Cadillac Motors, I Magazine, Penquin/Putnam, Simon & Shuster, St. Martin’s Press, and on many book covers. Keith’s tools to finding his place and exploring his feelings towards the world have always been simple – one camera and a couple of lenses. “Being unencumbered does allow you the most freedom”, he says. Keith has been making his living as fine art photographer, a stock shooter, a corporate event photographer, and a photo editor.

In this “Exclusive Interview” section, today we have the opportunity to talk with Keith Goldstein, as his photograph was winner of Photo of the Month – 38th Month, 2nd Place. Let’s discover more about Keith Goldstein, and his forays into photography in the following interview with him.

An Exclusive Interview with Keith Goldstein

An Exclusive Interview with Keith Goldstein, winner of Photo of the Month – 38th Month, 2nd Place.

Light & Composition: Greetings from Light & Composition, Keith. How does it feel being selected as the winner of Photo of the Month, 38th Month, 2nd Place?

Keith Goldstein: I feel extremely honored and flattered that my image was chosen for 2nd place in photo of the month.

L&C: Your photographs, “Fish Monger”, was selected as Photo of the Month, is a wonderful street photograph with artistic perspective, correct lighting, and very well presented. Overall, a great composition! Tell us more about your experience of taking this photograph.

Fish Monger, by Keith Goldstein

Fish Monger, by Keith Goldstein

Keith: “Fish Mongers” was taken while I was a student at the School of Visual Arts. I was in their first overseas program studying abroad in Tangiers, Morocco. Everyday I loved to just get up and walk the city with my camera and pocketful of film. It was my first time traveling overseas and everything was so much of interest. I felt lucky to be able to have this opportunity to travel. Morocco was like a waking dream. I loved the culture, the people, the history, the city, the light was extraordinary. I found myself walking through a small local street market and saw this little crowd of people standing about. I walked over and saw them looking down at this small pile of fish placed on a burlap bag and arranged neatly for sale. I only had time to make one image as I was starting to be pestered by some small boys.

L&C: Besides this winning photograph, many people liked and voted for other photographs of yours in the Photo of the Month contest. You must be proud. How do you see your journey to the world of photography so far?

Keith: I have been on this journey for a long time. Being older and still doing photography is quite different from when one is young. I feel more mature in my vision, more confident. It is nice to look back and see where I have come from. Concerns and themes are pretty much the same, but my approach is more calm and directed. Still there are those days and moments when I want to throw everything away! It only shows me that I am human!

L&C: As we know, you born in New York City. Do you think the rich diverse cultural and artistic heritage of New York portrayed a different essence to you?

Keith: Where I spent my time as a small boy, I look back and think was boring. Not extremely culturally diverse. I had to deal with the apathetic nature of the suburbs of New York City and prejudice. It wasn’t until my teens when I went off to college and then moved to New York City did I experience the immense cultural diversity that makes up our planet. It made me hungry for exploration.

L&C: Do you like a particular genre of photography and if so, why?

Keith: I believe as I age I have become more interested in “street” and documentary genres. They satisfy my need to keep moving and explore new neighborhoods, countries, cities, and cultures. It helps me to explain my experience of living and my sense of place in the world.

L&C: One of the keys to any style of photography is visualization. Please tell us how you started this process and what you did afterwards.

Keith: I believe one’s style should just form and develop as one practices the medium through time and experience. Style are the products of who we are, our personal make-up, our personal diverse interests, the equipment we use, the books we read, the movies we watch, etc.. These all indirectly/directly inform our style, our selves. Through time and experience, one begins to notice certain aspects within our images. These attributes begin to become more informed within us and show within our images as we gain more experience.

L&C: Keith, have you ever exhibited your work? If so, then tell us about your first exhibiting experience.

Keith: I have been exhibiting my work for many years. In the beginning of my exhibiting career, I would do all of the usual portfolio drop-off reviews that were sponsored by local galleries. Finding the right gallery to exhibit in is as important as as having the gallery choose your work. It is important that one’s work fits into the gallery. This means following a gallery’s exhibitions for many months to see if it is the right fit.

L&C: Are you involved with any photography organizations? How does this help you in your photography?

Keith: Other then work, freelancing, exhibiting, and a supportive group of photographer friends and family, I am not that involved with photography organizations.

L&C: What advice would you give our readers who want to take part in the journey around the world with photography?

Keith: Just do what is close to your heart. One can’t expect to be a good or a great photographer overnight. Like life, photography should a part of that journey. The more you live, the more experiences you gather, the more it will show in your images. Don’t be afraid of failures or depression. Work through them. Learn from them. They are the digestions of your highs!.

L&C: Thank you, Keith, for sharing your feelings and experiences with us.

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