A Life in Photography
As far back as I can remember, I’ve loved photography.
As a kid, I spent many hours in a homemade darkroom, watching my father dodge and burn. I loved the weird smell of the chemicals and seeing the pictures literally come to life before my eyes. The whole process was magical.
As a teen, I practiced by driving around Marin County shooting pictures of my friends and the unspoiled landscape.
As I got older, photography was my entry to the rich music scene of the 70’s and 80’s in the Bay Area. As a shooter, it was a unique opportunity to get up close to artists, and often on stage or back stage.
This experience ultimately led to meeting the entertainment editor of the Sacramento Union newspaper when I was in college. We hit it off, and I got assignments photographing most of the music acts that passed through SF and Sacramento during the early 80’s. X, Jimmy Page, Ted Nugent, The Pretenders, Talking Heads, Joe Perry, Foghat, Petty, Translator, Eric Clapton, Big Country, Ronnie Montrose, The Ramones to name a few.
Along with my college degree in Finance I received a second degree in Fine Arts Photography, both from Sacramento State University.
Post college, photography inspired me into mountaineering. It took me to Mt. Rainier, Mt. McKinley (Denali) and the Annapurna Sanctuary in Nepal.
And then family life came. I put my camera down for a 20-year break, but now as an empty-nester, I am re-inspired. I shoot on photo walks, travel – almost every place I go. I’ve transitioned to the digital age but am committed to the ethos of old school photography. I shoot full frame, with no cropping and no significant post-production effects.
A photographer is sometimes a passerby and sometimes a sojourner. But that only changes his perspective, not the act of continually looking. A photographer cannot cure like a doctor, cannot defend like a lawyer, cannot analyze like a scholar, cannot comfort like a priest, cannot bring laughter like a rakugoka [a comic storyteller], cannot transport like a singer. He can only look. That’s enough. No, that’s all there is. To a photographer, looking is everything. That’s why he must continue looking from start to finish. He gazes at the subject straight on, he faces the world with his whole being transformed into a pair of eyes. A photographer is one who stakes everything on looking.
Taiyo no Empitsu
(The Pencil of the Sun). 1975