Photographing the Milky Way

Your content will be up shortly. Please allow up to 5 seconds

The Dude Abides Behind the Camera | Jeff Bridges’ Photographs

By Jules Ebe on May 2nd 2013

A Self-portrait on the set of “True Grit”

Best of Both Worlds

Just when I thought Jeff Bridges couldn’t get any cooler, I come across a media release for ICP (International Center of Photography). On Wednesday, May 1, 2013 Mr. Bridges was Honored for his work in photography at the 2013 Infinity Awards Dinner.

What?!?! How did I not know?

As one of my favorite actors, I was floored by the images in his book “Pictures”. Since 1984, he has been creating a collection of wide photographs using his Widelux camera. The Widelux is a fully mechanical swing-lens panoramic film camera. The resulting images are an intimate and sometimes playful look into the world of motion pictures. Mr. Bridges stated in an interview with the New York Times that he prefers the quirky camera for its ability to “see” like the actual human eye and ability to play with long exposures.

“The Widelux is a fickle mistress; its viewfinder isn’t accurate, and there’s no manual focus, so it has an arbitrariness to it, a capricious quality. I like that. It’s something I aspire to in all my work — a lack of preciousness that makes things more human and honest, a willingness to receive what’s there in the moment and to let go of the result. Getting out of the way seems to be one of the main tasks for me as an artist.” ~ Jeff Bridges, from “Pictures” 2003

The wide angle and long exposure time also allows many of his acting friends to create diptychs of funny faces within a single exposure. Photographing on set in between takes, Mr. Bridges is able to capture moments in a book that he then gives to the cast and crew of the film he is working on at the time.

“To this day, looking at a proof sheet for the first time is like opening a Christmas present I’ve given to myself. What a great surprise – to see what the camera saw; what worked and what didn’t; to feel the moment of the picture all over again.”

All proceeds from the purchase of his book “Pictures” – alongside individual prints – go towards the Motion Picture Fund and organizations that fight hunger in the United States.

Mr. Bridges hopes to publish a newer book and intends to continue photographing the sets of his movies.

Yes – please!!! I cannot wait to see what abides.

Jeff Bridges Going Wide

Matt Damon: “Tragoedia/Comoedia,” on the set of “True Grit.”

The stuntman Gilbert Combs in “Fearless”, 1993

John Turturro as “Jesus” in the “Big Lebowski”, 1998

Michelle Pfeiffer and crew on the set of “The Fabulous Baker Boys”, 1989

A fake New York City skyline on the set of “The Fisher King”, 1991

To purchase his book Pictures”, click here. For more about Mr. Bridges photography, check out his website.

Until Next Time . . .

Stay Inspired ~ Jules

[via NYT and ICP]


is a Southern California based Conceptual Artist and Photographer. Her work has been featured in several print publications and selections can be seen in local gallery exhibitions. Connect with her on Facebook and Google+.

Q&A Discussions

Please or register to post a comment.

  1. David Superville

    does anyone else hear his voice when they’re reading his quotes?

    | |
  2. Eric Johnson

    To the surprise of many, a lot of celebrities in media throughout the history of television, radio, & film practice photography art. It makes sense, being that 2 key factors in composing a captivating photograph are an outstanding personality and exclusive access, both of which celebrities often possess. Along with The Dude, both Bryan Adams and Brad Pitt are also established photographers.

    | |
  3. marcel bauer

    this is just way too cool

    | |