Bob Kolbrener

Carmel, CA
Artist's Website

My pursuit of fine art photography took a major leap forward when in 1968, having been an amateur photographer for five years, I innocently wandered into Best Studio, now the Ansel Adams Gallery in Yosemite National Park.  Before me in all their glory were six Ansel Adams photographs of epic size and imagery.  The burning incense and classical music set the tone for an experience that I can easily recall today with exactitude.

The next spring, 1969, I was again in Yosemite.  This time I was a student at Ansel’s workshop.  During the next eight years I attended another Ansel Adams workshop in Yosemite, as well as his workshop in Carmel, California; instructors included Imogen Cunningham and Wynn Bullock.  In 1973, I was hired the by the Ansel Adams Gallery for a summer of teaching photography in Yosemite.  In 1977 Ansel invited me to join him as an instructor, along with Yousuf Karsh at Ansel’s spring workshop.  My memories of Ansel and his workshops evoke the feeling of energy.  Just being in Yosemite and knowing that the Great Man was also there was an inspiration to all.  We hung on his every word and gesture!

During this same time, my wife and I established a commercial photography business in St. Louis, Missouri which was structured to give us the “freedom of time” to photograph in the Great American West.  We would work for five months and then head out for a month of fine art photography.  Living as nomads for two months of the year for over thirty years has resulted in an on-going body of work rich in substance and diversity.

In 1996 we gave up our commercial business and moved to the Carmel Highlands to pursue my personal work on a daily basis.

More than forty-five years ago I made a commitment to continue in the Ansel Adams tradition of “straight” photography.  There is not use of computers or multiple imagery.  There is no print or negative enhancement such as bleaching or intensification.  All of my photographs are made in the Great American West using 2 ¼” and 8 x 10” cameras.  I print up to 40 x 50” inches the “old fashioned way” using fiber based paper, tray processing and selenium toner.  My goal is to produce prints which truly celebrate those most exciting photographic moments!

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