Try and visualize a 13 year old kid in his darkened bedroom, a red light swinging from the ceiling developing prints from a photography kit his uncle had given him for his birthday (1944). This is when I started my interest in photography. Watching a small 5×7 image emerge from a developer tray was mesmerizing. I was fascinated, and at that moment, I was bitten by the bug, never to recover.
I am mostly self-taught although I have attended a number of workshops over the years. The most memorable – in the mid-60s with Ansel Adams, where the revolutionary zone system was first learned, and also with the accomplished Morley Bear sharing his knowledge at that time and later, at the George Lepp Institute (around 2010) at Morro Bay.
I began using Photoshop Version I in 1988 and every iteration that has come after. This was when a new Seagate 10 megabyte hard drive was considered huge, never to be filled up. Although every home I’ve lived in since the early 60s has had a full-on darkroom, reluctantly, along with many others, I gave up film and a smelly dark room to plunge head long into the new digital era, never to look back. My first digital camera, a Nikon D-1 was an amazing piece of gear where its file size of 2.7mp was, by today’s standards, miniscule.
In 1562 Michelangelo proclaimed “ANCORA IMPARO” – I am still learning. This describes my own photographic experiences. I’ve been constantly challenged by endless software upgrades, cameras with ISOs in six or more digits – it’s been mind boggling. Using digital tools to create photographic art has been for me both challenging and satisfying where the end results are many times surprising and unexpected.