When photographer Fred Neudoerffer goes to the Albany Tulip Festival, he doesn’t really look at the thousands of colorful spring flowers. He takes pictures of a one or two-inch area on a single tulip.
“You’re seeing just a closeup of the texture, color and details of the petal,” Neudoerffer says. “It looks at the flower from a perspective that most people don’t look at.”
He calls these photographs “The Petal Project,” and you can see some of them on Sunday at the 65th annual Stockade Villagers Outdoor Art Show in Schenectady.
Last year, which was his second time exhibiting at the show, he won first prize for “Flat Water Rush.”
“A leaf had gone over this little waterfall and got trapped on top of the grass,” he says of that image.
Neudoerffer, who lives in Cohoes, took the shot on the Mohawk River a half-mile below the Cohoes Falls, where the water can be a foot deep or dry up in a matter of hours.
The tulip petals and the river images, from a series called “The Flats,” are just two of many projects he has dreamed up.
“Some projects I’ve been working on for 30 years or more, and some projects are relatively new. I’m a detail photographer,” Neudoerffer says.
An eye for detail
His eye for the minutiae in objects and landscape comes from his work at NeuStudios, his commercial photography business in Cohoes.
“Most of my clients come to me because they want to see the details of their product. I have over many years sort of incorporated that sensibility in my artwork,” Neudoerffer says.
For his fine art photography, he uses a digital 35 mm large format camera.
65th Annual Stockade Villagers Outdoor Art Show
WHEN: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday
WHERE: Front, Green and North Ferry streets in Schenectady’s Stockade District
WHAT: 100 artists show and sell their work at outdoor booths
HOW MUCH: Free
REGISTRATION: Artists may sign up in advance or on day of event. Prizes are awarded. There is a separate category for young artists age 8 to 18. If it rains, show will be held from 12 to 4 p.m. Sunday.
MORE INFO: 952-0946 or StockadeArtShow on Facebook
“I don’t use photoshop to assist in my photography,” he says.
“Drive By Shooting” is a project he started several years ago.
“For many years, I drove back and forth between New Haven and Cohoes on a weekly basis. And I just had an idea from an article I read about a drive-by shooting in New Haven. The idea is simply creating art instead of violence but using the same technique that a drive-by shooter who creates violence would use.”
While driving along, he grabs his camera from the passenger’s seat and snaps a picture of something that catches his attention.
“I’m not looking through the camera when I’m taking these pictures. I just point the camera. The idea is that I get certain images that I’m not expecting to get because, like a violent shooter, I’m not necessarily paying attention to the background.”
His first project, which he launched in the late 1970s and recently revived, is “The North American Farm, May It Rest in Peace.”
“It’s a black-and-white project of farms, farm buildings and farm machinery in North America that have been abandoned or lay unused.”
An oakroom first
Less than a year after winning the prize at the Stockade show, Neudoerffer received another honor. He was juried into the prestigious Oakroom Artists and is the first photographer to join the group as a full member in the Capital Region organization’s 60-year history. Later this month, Neudoerffer and Kathy Klompas, another Oakroom artist, are doing an exhibit together in the Casola Dining Hall at Schenectady County Community College.
A Neudoerffer photo is also currently in a pop-up group show at the JRM Artists’ Space on the second floor of the National Bottle Museum in Ballston Spa. Since 2007, Neudoerffer has been the director and curator of that gallery, which supports the museum.
He also exhibits his work in a gallery in his NeuStudios, which is open by appointment.
For information, go to neustudios.com.
Reach Gazette reporter Karen Bjornland at 395-3197, [email protected] or on Twitter @bjorngazette.
The Stockade Art show has been rescheduled for Sunday, Sept. 11 due to the forecast of rain. This article has been changed to reflect the new date.