Who is Frank DeFreitas?
In Washington, D.C. Presenting Holography
& Laser Arts and Sciences @ The Smithsonian.
I have been providing laser and hologram presentations, workshops and outreach programs since 1983. I am now officially "semi" retired, which means retired ... but still active "here and there" with presentations, speaking engagements, and welcoming guests from around the world that visit my home studio and history of holography archives room in Allentown, PA, USA.
I was born in Cooper Hospital in what is (today) one of the poorest cities in the United States: Camden, New Jersey. Today it also has one of the nations highest crime rates and the greatest number of murders in the entire USA (one every 33 hours on average). There are all types of discrimination in this world, but I was made very much aware of economic, social and educational "caste" discrimination in America (of all places) at a very early age. Fortunately, I have always had a "bring it on" outlook to life, albeit a respectful one, which served me well through the years.
Since 1983, my past clients include: The Smithsonian Institution, Wash. D.C. (The Hirshhorn Museum & Ripley Education Center); The Franklin Institute, Phila; Stevens Institute of Technology; Liberty Science Center, NJ; The Discovery Center of Science and Technology, PA; Lehigh University Physics Dept.; University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology; California Institute of Technology; Northampton Commmunity College; Lehigh-Carbon Community College; Allentown Art Museum; Rodale Press; WFMZ-TV; NASA / Northrop Grumman; Georgian Court University Physics Dept.; AT&T; Lucent Technologies; U.S. Navy; Fuji Film Corp.; Dupont; the Urban Systemic Initiative (NSF); and many elementary, middle and high schools. National Science Foundation-funded programs; scouts; home school groups; corporate events; birthday parties; and teaching the first online class for holography, with America On Line, in 1995.
I am an elected member of Sigma-Pi-Sigma; the National Physics Honor Society; American Institute of Physics; for my work in laser and holography educational programs.
I saw my first laser hologram in 1968, attended my first holography exhibit in 1976, began my own laser & holography studio in 1983, and started my world-famous holography web site in 1993. I began as a kid, and after an entire lifetime, there is plenty more to say. But for now I'll just say that sooner or later in your own journey in holography, no matter where you are in the world, you will eventually come across "Frank DeFreitas".
With my early computer / analog hybrid hologram, 1985.
My 30+ years in holography have been divided into 15 years part-time and 15-years+ full time. I was both a hologram producer and a holography instructor. My history is with traveling outreach: I would take my laser and holography educational programs on the road. Back then, one would find many outreach persons traveling from one area of the country to another, visiting schools, galleries, museums and festivals. I've presented to hundreds of thousands of people over my 30+ years. I could be in a university laser research laboratory one day, under an outdoor festival tent the next, and appearing at a kids birthday party on another. My smallest event was three people, my largest event was seventy thousand. As the saying goes, I've been "around the block" with lasers and holography in my lifetime.
As a side note (that may or may not be of interest), I am one of the very few people on Earth to have their name and occupation on the surface of another heavenly body: Titan, the great moon of Saturn (Cassini / Huygens mission). My entry reads "My name is Frank DeFreitas and I create three-dimensional laser holograms on Earth". This info is contained on a CDROM in a sealed chamber inside the space craft lander.
In my Allentown holography lab, 1983.
I have a technical education. My background is in printing technologies, and I am a graduate of the Philadelphia School of Printing and Advertising (with a focus on typography, typesetting and graphic design / prepress). Never underestimate the power of print, whether on paper or online. Print is the most influencial and powerful human-created force in the world, and it is where I have always wanted to be. Not surprisingly, it is where I am, since I consider holography to be yet another form of communication technology. I have designed and built my own lasers, optical equipment, and have formulated my own processing chemistry and production methods. My work is truly, and literally, my own.
Although lasers and holography can be distilled to their most basic form as science (primarily physics), this physical sciences reference is of popular value no more than that of the very early printing press or linotype (both of which would fall under the heading of mechanical physics). Neither the printing press nor the linotype machine would be an initial thought if one would think physics / science of today. Likewise, the optical mathematics of a simple camera system would fill a volume, yet many take breathtaking photographs whether comprehending the formulae or not at all. The same will hold true for lasers and holography as time moves on. Both will one day be thought of strictly (and simply) as tools to get the job done: lasers to make the holograms, and holograms to provide the images. I know this because I am already there: I am not a scientist, nor am I an artist. I am a holographer. I make holograms.
In 2015, I will be 59 years old and I have been married for 38 years. My wife and I have 3 grown daughters, all involved in science and medicine. I have had my private studio and reference library / exhibit room in my downtown historic Allentown, PA home for 32 years. People travel from around the world to visit, to learn, or to just say hello (please call first). As we enter our twilight years, my wife has now joined me in the lab, as we collaborate and produce our own hologram special projects. Our most recent project (2015) focuses primarily on ancient Biblical artifacts that document the events recorded in the Christian Holy Bible.
After spending 30 years in the field of lasers and holograms, I was given a vision and calling to begin developing Christian applications. The objectives for my work are several fold: (1) to help reach those persons in areas of the world where more traditional evangelistic methods are dangerous, even life threatening (stealth technology); (2) to research archival recording methods for Scripture and historical artifacts (3D laser holograms); (3) to one day communicate the Gospel to other worlds beyond our own: from upcoming human colonies on the Moon and Mars, to the deepest regions of outer space (space based laser communication); (4) to prepare youth for the evangelism of the future, utilizing (and further developing) these new technologies.
Presenting lasers and holography at a school in 1983.
My own personal philosophy / quote is this: "Science is the study of the physical manifestations of God in action". I do not believe that science and God are at odds with each other at all. With science, we gain knowledge and wisdom about God's Creation, and as a result, grow closer in our walk with Him.
Today in 2015, after a lifetime in holography as "Holo-Man".
Thank you for visiting.