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Judy Brown


Judy Brown Photography

“Following a career as Professor of Physics at Wellesley College and Research Scientist at the  MIT Media Lab, I combined my long-time passions for animals and photography.  I am particularly interested in form, texture, and lighting in images.  I am attracted to subjects for their simplicity and beauty of form.   

My Elliott portfolio, of a spirited pony in his stall, has been given a number of solo shows,  including two exhibitions in the Griffin Museum satellite galleries, and at an MIT Architecture Department Tele-exhibit.   Selections from my Antique Skin and Elliott portfolios, as well as other pieces, have been selected for over a dozen juried exhibitions including  “The Horse: A Juried Exhibit” at Asbury University in Wilmore, KY, the “Member’s Show” at the Texas Photographic Society, and “The Contemporary Nude” at the SE Center for Photography.

Most recently, I have spent much of my time photographing the animals on a nearby farm in South Natick, MA,  consummating a childhood passion for farms and animals while growing up in rural Texas.  

In the last decade, I have taken several courses in the Certificate Program at Rhode Island School of Design,  and in the New England School of Photography’s evening program. I have also taken several studio art courses in drawing and design at Wellesley College.   Workshops have included “Equine Photography in Southern France” with Tony Stromberg, “A Certain Alchemy” with Keith Carter at Maine Media, and “Atelier 26” with Meg Birnbaum at the Griffin Museum of Photography.”

Video Transcript

“I’m Judy and I’m a photographer, though, every time I say I’m a photographer I think I’m really a physicist because I was a physicist for many decades before I became a photographer. I started photography, somewhat seriously, many decades ago when I went to Wellesley College where I was a physics professor, as I said.

I arrived in the physics department and found this wonderful darkroom that was not used by anyone down in the basement, and I had always wanted to develop my own pictures because my cousin, my little cousin seven years younger than me, had done his when I was growing up.

I bought a little booklet by Ansel Adams, a little green booklet, and learned how to develop pictures and so, for some three years I developed and printed black-and-white photographs. We started doing holography in my optics lab. Spending time in the darkroom seemed a lot like my work spending time in the darkroom with holography. I felt a little trapped, and in a darkroom.

One fall day, it was absolutely spectacular weather outside, absolutely beautiful, and I spent the afternoon in the darkroom and when I came out I said, ‘Why am I doing this?’

As I neared retirement, not sure whether it was nearing retirement or desired to do something new, I took a Photoshop class. I absolutely loved it, which I knew I would because I had dabbled in Photoshop for a few things and I always forgot what I had painstakingly learned by the time I got back to it. This time, I spent all of my time for a semester on Photoshop and it was great. I really, I really learned a lot so I was hooked at that point.

I had a really great teacher, he was extremely critical, which few people are. You take these classes and they don’t really give you good feedback. This guy really told it like it was and I learned a lot from him. I relied heavily on a friend I made in the class who gave me some excellent advice. We had a landscape assignment and she said, ‘You should always take pictures of what you love.'”

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4 responses on "Judy Brown, Fine Art Photographer"

  1. Many thanks to all of you for your very kind and generous comments. Jeffrey, I do have more recent work using color, albeit less ambiguity, which might interest you.

  2. Hi Judy! I love hearing about people taking the time to exploring their passions- no matter what stage in their lives. It’s so interesting seeing how one passion can manifest into another, its really quite interesting where life takes us!

    I really enjoyed the photography you shared with us, the exploration of texture and ambiguity is really intriguing. The way you shoot your photos, with such specific textures and the softness of black and white photography, makes me feel like I can almost reach out and touch your photographs. I’d even love to see what you would do with other subjects!

    Overall, you really do have some fantastic work!

  3. Hello Judy! I love that you come from a non-fine arts background and are exploring your passion for photography now. I was an Applied Math major for a couple years before I transferred to an art school, which effects the way I think and create as an artist, and I think the same is true for you!

    Live forms have the ability to be so ambiguous depending on our point of view, and I love that you take the viewer to that place. You have such an eye for composition and I appreciate that you work with photoshop as well! It is so important to experiment with different tools to get a desired final look.

    Art mimics nature in so many ways, so I hope to see you continue using live and organic forms as subjects in your photography. Juxtaposing that with something more rigid, inorganic, and man-made could make for a compelling dichotomy in your work as well. Thank you so much for sharing your work with us, I can’t wait to see what you make next!!

  4. Hi Judy! It’s so great to hear about your experiences as a physicist — I find many of my favorite artists are those that bring knowledge of other fields to their work, and I’m excited to see how it shows up in yours!

    Your photographs are so intriguing; the ambiguity that arises from some of the forms is especially captivating. When I first saw the photograph of the horse’s back, I had no idea what it was. At first I thought maybe it was a pair of hunched shoulders, but it wasn’t until I saw the other photos of the horse that I realized what it was. I can’t wait to see what you do in the future, especially if you decide to start using color in you photography!

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