Starting this month, our lobby display will feature the stunning travel photography of Jim DelGiudice. This collection, titled Seeing in French, features photos taken during Jim’s half-dozen trips to France throughout the years. Each photo is meant to tell a small story, capturing content that ranges from the everyday to the extraordinary. Jim was kind enough to answer our questions about his life, his work, and his incredible travels.
FTPL: How long have you lived in the Somerset area?
JD: I’m actually a Morristown boy, but I moved to Basking Ridge in 2011. Since 2013 I’ve been free-lance lecturing fulltime–hence my relationship with the Somerset County libraries.
FTPL: How long have you been taking photos? When did you notice that you had artistic talent?
JD: Oddly, I hadn’t really taken a lot of pictures until I graduated from journalism school in Syracuse. It was my sister, actually, a teaching artist herself, who inspired me.
FTPL: What attracted you to photography in the first place?
JD: I’m only an average painter/draftsman–photography allowed me to deal with more complex subjects.
FTPL: What inspires your work?
JD: Pattern and order both in man-made and natural subjects. And the humor and irony in life which break up that order.
FTPL: Who are your biggest influences?
JD: My favorite is Henri Cartier Bresson’s documentary photography, which is also artistic, joyous and sympathetic.
FTPL: Which photo of yours is the most important to you?
JD: It’s actually in this set. It’s an abstract shot of the light refracted through stained glass in a cathedral. Completely effortless composition.
FTPL: What are you drawn to about capturing France on camera?
JD: Although I’ve traveled a good bit in my life, other than New Jersey I’ve spent the most time photographing in France (6 trips in 36 years). I think I’ve finally figured it out!
FTPL: Do you think there is something unique about life there that is difficult to translate via photography? Is there something universal?
JD: Great question! Couldn’t have answered it 5 years ago. And it isn’t just France. Today the cellphone has made it all translatable and universal. We are now all citizen journalists. Just wait another 5 years!
FTPL: How do you go about trying to tell a story in a single photo? Is the preparation process daunting? Spur-of-the-moment? Potentially both?
JD: Not at all daunting. Totally spur of the moment. Remember, photography is still a process of recording. If God throws you lemons…you know what you have to do.
FTPL: What is your next project?
JD: I’ve retired from teaching and commercial photography. Now it’s all about writing lectures. Since I started this new phase I’ve given about 875 talks. This year we break 1000!
The library is always looking for artists, crafters, and collectors to feature on our art wall and in our display cases. For more information, please email email@example.com with a little about yourself and a link to your website or social media accounts. You can also attach samples of your work. Preference is given to residents of Franklin Township.
Thanks for reading!