Click on the thumbnails for gallery!
I know, I know, the thumbnail pix look good. but for better experience, CLICK ON THEM! :)
PS, I just took the first batch below this morning (20 June 2013)
PS, I just took the first batch below this morning (20 June 2013)
How did I get here?
I was interested in photography since I was a boy. Before about the mid 1960's we did what everyone else did, shot snapshots and brought them to the drug store to get developed and printed.
Sometime in the mid 60's when I was about 11 years old at some point I got a film camera, and studied how to develop film. I had a cheap camera that shot black and white film that was 2 1/4 inches wide. Somehow I managed to scrape together enough money to buy a used enlarger, got relatives to give me stuff I needed at Christmas, such as plastic print developing trays (my aunt said, "well I don't know what you are using them for - I guess to put things in").
My first experiences were developing this wide film in cereal bowls in my darkened (as dark as I could get it) bedroom. The negatives came out badly, but I was not deterred. I printed them and showed them off to friends and family.
At some point about when I was between my junior and senior year in highschool (about 1972) I convinced my dad to get me a Nikon. At this point I learned real developing. I had managed to create a real dark room in my basement, learned to use film spools and tanks to develop the film (no more light damage of the negatives). I shot exclusively black and white, 99% Tri-X, for those shutterbugs out there. At one point I even purchased it in 100 foot rolls - made for movie cameras and did what we called "rolled my own" with reusable film canisters. This was much cheaper than buying the prepackaged 24 or 36 image rolls. I shot LOTS of film!
I had been interested in art in general and photography in particular and took a photo class in college. The instructor told me there were two things I didn't understand: LIGHT, and producing serial pictures (variations of the same subject). I took the constructive criticism in stride and took lots of landscapes in Colorado and out West. Ansel Adams' work, of course being my inspiration. I produced a series of photographs, enlargements which I then framed in hand crafted walnut and glass frames. I called this series: First Class Photographs. I was only able to sell a few, not enough to pay for the supplies. Photographic paper and developing supplies were expensive, and by now, out of my own house, I used the wonderful University student arts lab, but after that I did not have access to a dark room.
Art is nice, but one has to have a career, I finished college, did some work in molecular genetics and went to medical school. This was the "black hole" of my life as far as producing art. I am pretty sure I had a camera, and from the period 1979 until about 1986 I took few photos, all color, developed at the drug store. I would request the occasional reprint or enlargement.
When I first finished residency (in anesthesiology) I took a job traveling around the country. I took my camera and took lots of shots in the various places I traveled. This was more snapshots photography than artistic, some though, some beautiful pix of fall colors in West Virginia around Charleston, and some great shots in Jamaica. But color developing is complex and expensive, so I continued to use the commercial photography developers such as the corner drugstore or mail order developing.
I was a late adopter of digital photography - even though I was an early adopter of computers. My first computer was a Mac II purchased at what would now be considered an incredibly high price in 1988. And I went the extra mile and got a scanner which at that time cost well over $1000. I did digital image manipulation, but my assessment at the time, correctly I believe, was that the digital cameras that started to come available were crap compared to film imagery.
In the summer of 2000, however, I finally broke down and purchased a Sony Mavica 1000 CD which burned each photo into a jpg onto a mini-CD. What I liked about this was the permanence of the image. The digital images captured to memory chips are ephemeral in nature compared to black and white film. I have tintype photographs of ancestors from the 1850s that when scanned show incredible detail. NOTHING lasts that long. Black and white negatives are thought to last 200 years, a well produced silver black and white print approximately 100 years - if cared for. But digital images?? Forget it. Dude, they are GONE when you trade in your computer (for most people) and frequently well before that.
I used a combination of my digital camera and film cameras for a while. I liked the fact that digital was so easily worked on the computer, but I did and still do like the longevity of film.
About 2005 I came much more into the digital age. I got a Nikon CoolPix negative scanner. This will create high quality 28 megabyte files from a single 35 mm negative - so my digital photography is now "backward compatible" with my entire collection of negatives.
People ask me when they see my photos, "What kind of camera do you use?". And I tell them. But I have this urge to say something like "Asking me what kind of camera I use, what with all the great low cost equipment now available, is like asking Shakespeare what kind of pen he used". This is a little "smarter" than I like to be, but honestly, it's about light, composition, feel, mood, not about equipment.
However, here it is: I use a PENTAX K200D with a Pentax lens: 28 - 250 zoom, f 3.5-22 . The pictures you are viewing here have been modified only in the following way: I use "HDR" (high dynamic range) software called Photomatix. The final image processing after creating the HDR image is with a legacy Mac only product called Color-It which was an early cheap-o version of Photoshop. I LOVE Color-it and have to keep a few Macs around with the pre-Intel processors in them just to keep using this.
I use Color-It primarily to crop, change image size and the like. I can use it to correct spots (or scratches if I scan a print or negative). I don't usually do anything else with it. The relatively high degree of saturation is from settings in Photomatix.
I have not tried to have a "show" yet, being busy with my "day jobs", but I would like to. However, I would offer here that if anyone would like to purchase a book of photographs (on display at my office) or a canvas or paper print, they may contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org