Elizabeth Weinberg: Of Recklessness and Water

The Brooklyn-based photographer on the lure of the sea

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"I have become very familiar with the tidal and sun patterns of the Rockaway peninsula," says photographer Elizabeth Weinberg. Despite having shot the likes of Santigold, Das Racist and Ariel Pink, the reason we’re talking to the Brooklyn-based Weinberg today is because of her growing personal photo series ‘Of Recklessness and Water' which, since developing a slight fascination with waves, has seen her return to the beaches of New York again and again...

I have always loved the beach, and I always take pictures, so when I got an underwater housing for one of my cameras a few years ago, I began shooting at the beach and at lakes, and couldn't believe I hadn't mixed the two before!

Dazed Digital: Tell us about yourself…
Elizabeth Weinberg:
I'm a professional photographer based in Brooklyn, NY. I shoot portraits, fashion, lifestyle, and documentary work. I moved to New York over seven years ago from Boston, where I went to school for photojournalism. I love the ocean, bicycles, and iced coffee all through the year.

DD: How did you come up with the idea for the water series?
Elizabeth Weinberg: I have always loved the beach, and I always take pictures, so when I got an underwater housing for one of my cameras a few years ago, I began shooting at the beach and at lakes, and couldn't believe I hadn't mixed the two before!

DD: Where were they shot?
Elizabeth Weinberg: Most of the work is shot along the beaches of New York, like Rockaway, Long Beach, and Fort Tilden. Some others were shot in lakes and ponds upstate, and a select few are in Southern California. The lake and pond work is obviously much calmer.  Even if someone is jumping into a lake, the water itself is still.  With the ocean, the person can be still (or try to be) and the sea around them is always in motion.  

DD: You seem to cross lots of different styles of photography, how would you describe your work?
Elizabeth Weinberg: Natural, visceral, effortless. Whether I'm shooting for an advertising client or for a personal project, I strive to keep my style the same. I keep things very simple, nothing very posed, only natural light (or close to it), camera angles that bring the viewer into the picture so they feel like they're there.  To me, the most successful pictures remind people of a long-forgotten dream or experience they’ve never had.

DD: What are you working on at the moment and what's next for you?
Elizabeth Weinberg: I am working on editing the large body of work I shot this summer at the beaches throughout New York, and have recently shot a lot of exciting editorial portraits and documentary series for some great magazines. I have some photos in some group shows in Brooklyn, as well. It's just now starting to feel like fall in New York so there will be lots of apple picking on the horizon!

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