Q&A: Nicholas Albrecht — Artifacts from the Desert and the Impossible Search for the Atomic Device


Have you recently been living by any life philosophy? I keep reminding myself that things can be looked at from infinite points of view. What will baffle future generations about our day and age? Why we decided that the planet was not worth conserving. Are you aware of any conspiracies? Let’s say I’m not one to believe in them but I also have a hard time dismissing them. What is it that interests you about photography? I’ve always been attracted to the camera as an excuse to knock on someone’s door. Would be weird to just knock and ask to enter. What is the worst thing about city life? Elevators. What part of the planet would you like to explore? The deepest parts of the ocean and everything under the ice shelves. What do you think is the most plausible of the supernatural? Maybe the possibility of spirits hanging around. If you had to align yourself with a leader in history, who would it be? Paolo Borsellino and Giovanni Falcone. Pick a field of science to be an expert within. Marine Biology. Specifically the darkest areas of the underwater world. Choose a job you would be willing to do for free on the side. Making sandwiches in an Italian deli on the coast. Describe the most important photo you’ve seen. A color photograph that my parents have. Every two years we would go to the U.S. and visit my dad’s side of the family. The photo shows my brother and I with our grandparents. My grandpa was on an oxygen tank. We were on the lakeshore where they would always spend the summers. Grandma was standing. A simple photo with no specific intent if not to just remember. Photography has changed in many ways, allowing for some really inspiring and provoking work. But the simplicity of those images made just for memory with no artistic intent hold a tender spot for me.

How often do you take other people’s advice? I ask for advice often. The situation will usually determine whether I follow my initial instincts or try to balance them out with what others may have brought to the table. Describe a personal hell. That’s a hard one. Which living person do you most admire? My grandmother. She’s a bit settled in her ways but never ceases to surprise me with her sense of humor. On what occasion do you lie? When my parents would ask if I had been smoking. That was a while ago though. What was the last crime you witnessed? Health insurance in the U.S. What is the best way to educate yourself? Observing then doing. Breaking then fixing. What is the next book you want to read? Coyote, America by Dan Flores. Looks at migration history of the Coyote in North America. Have started to work on something with that idea in mind. Ultimate camera? 8×10 view camera with endless supply of film (and free processing).

Most used camera? In the last year, it has been the Mamiya 7 and Fuji GFX 50R. I’m starting to come around to digital and am trying to force myself to work with it more. I still feel the most comfortable on film and would like to get to the same point with digital. Being able to go from B&W 200 ISO to Color 1600 ISO in seconds is pretty liberating. How would you explain the internet to someone from the 1950s? Forget about it. Too hard. Are you satisfied with your level of physical strength? Sort of. Definitely could do better. Describe a cheap thrill. Downhill at night on a bicycle with no hands while it’s raining. Pick a historic moment from the last hundred years to bring a camera to. The Maxi Trial (Il Maxiprocesso), where Cosa Nostra was finally held accountable. 8×10 camera with that endless supply of Portra 400 and access to all 475 Mafiosi being prosecuted. Are impulses more important than consequences? Not in my opinion. Which talent would you most like to have? The list would go on forever. But I’ve always wanted to be able to sing (well). What is your plan for the next 24 hours? Finish up some organizational stuff on the computer, hang with a friend for a quick chat, make dinner, and sleep like a baby.

To see more of Nicholas Albrecht’s work visit — nicholasalbrecht.com