In 1964 Jessica Fridrich was born in Ostrava in the Czech Republic into a family of two children. One of her earliest memories includes watching her father mix oil paint on an old wooden palette while he patiently explained why a particular ochre needed a breath of beet red and why that barren tree was so essential to the composition. In the Fridrich family the love of art was passed down from generation to generation, starting with her paternal great grandfather who made a living as a professional portrait photographer before World War I.
Ms. Fridrich also credits her father for sparking an early interest in astronomy and optics and for igniting her lifelong fascination with light. Eventually she chose to pursue a career in science and engineering, but her love of the fine arts and the technical aspects of imaging were never far behind.
When Ms. Fridrich came to the US in 1991 to study applied mathematics at Binghamton University, she fell in love with the picturesque Finger Lake region with its waterfalls and all the close connections to Nature that a small upstate New York town offered. Jessica still enjoys all these small town advantages as a tenured professor teaching in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering where she has made a name for herself as a leading expert in digital camera forensics and steganography which is the art and science of covert communication in digital images.
A 1993 cross-country trip with her spouse to the American Southwest ignited Jessica's passion for the deserts and canyons of the colorful Colorado Plateau. The unique smell of wet sand after a storm, the bottomless deep night sky, and the distant howl of a coyote are permanently etched in her memory. Ms. Fridrich turns to the work of Michael Fatali and the books of Laurent Martres for inspiration and frequently returns to the Southwest to capture and share its atmosphere and timeless beauty through photography.