It’s what photographers call daylight.
It was Freson’s light source of choice.
It’s obviously less controllable than other forms of lighting but the results can be magical.
It can can give people a luminous, spiritual glow.
At a time when so many briefs are to make the people in front of the camera look real, authentic and believable, it’s odd that we generally drain the colour from the image, add filters or use artificial lighting.
Go through Robert’s images below you’ll see the images positively radiate with life.
Yet feel 100% natural.
So here’s what I know about Mr Freson:
He survived Germany’s occupation of Belgium, then, in 1947, left for Switzerland to study photography.
He then took his master’s degree in photography and and brand spanking new bride to live in the United States.
He dropped his portfolio off at mecca of fashion photography Vogue.
Only a few a few days later he received a telegram inviting him to work under Irving Penn, at that point*, probably the best photographer in the world. (*Possibly at this point too?)
He stayed learning his craft from Penn for the next 13 years.
Here are a few of the portraits he took of his boss.
In 1962, he left Penn to go it alone, but rather than still life or fashion like his mentor, he chose photojournalism.
In the sixties he was very in demand, he seems to have shot virtually anyone famous in the sixties; from Sophia Loren to Dwight D. Eisenhower to Salvador Dali, basically everyone.
He also shot ads, notably Whitbread for Colin Millward at CDP in London and the Jamaica campaign for DDB in New York.
For the next forty years he kept two studios, one in France, one in Carnegie Hall.
In the 1970’s he moved into food photography, his book ‘The Taste of France’ became a bestseller and is still sold today.
He’s still around, in his seventieth year as a photographer.
(Although I had no joy trying to get in contact to interview him).
Robert today. (Or maybe yesterday…could’ve been the day before…)
Any photographers reading: Use the comment section, tell us why exactly is daylight so special?