The first photograph that I remember seeing sat on my parent's dresser. It was a photograph of an old woman, austere and unsmiling, and to me as a child, very scary. I didn't know who she was, but I was told that she was my grandmother -- my grandmothers died years before I was born. The photograph now sits in my bookcase long after my own parents have died, but I see the photograph very differently now. I look at it with reverence and know that my grandmother's light was captured long ago in this image.
Over the years my interest in photography grew and I came across a magazine called CAMERA. One of the photographs inside was by Oscar and Theodor Hofmeister. It showed a mother, father and daughter walking on a hilltop towards a village church. My naivete did not even suggest that it was posed. I assumed that the photographer was as invisible as any modern street photographer might be. But the photograph felt as of a time past and lost; it had a remarkable painterly beauty. In some odd way it has served as my blueprint of the feeling that a photograph should convey.
My own journey into the realm of photography has been a trial, error and learn wherever, whenever you can type of thing. I had studied printing with a wonderful teacher by the name of Mark Feldstein at Hunter College. This was at the suggestion of Barbara Millstein of the Brooklyn Museum for whom I had worked and who mentored me in photography (both she and Mark Feldstein have both passed away in recent years). She recognized my printing deficiencies immediately and suggested studying with Mark as a remedy.
I had worked as an assistant in the commercial photography world and knew fairly quickly it wasn't for me. Photography seemed to become too much of a very unromantic chore and I preferred to remain in love. I had studied digital photography for 2 years at The School of Visual Arts and rejected it in favor of the slower but more kinetic photo-chemical processes. My technical darkroom discoveries prompted me to write a cookbook article published in Shutterbug. I remain convinced that we've barely scratched the surface of film's photographic potential even though the charm of silver based films and papers have all but disappeared. My work has been shown in several major New York galleries, in the Museum of the City of New York and nationally published in both LensWork and Shutterbug.
Recently, I have stopped photographing and printing. The reasons primarily are both health reasons and the lack of high quality silver gelatin materials. But whatever I see, it is still with amazement and a photographer's eye towards the beauty that I had enjoyed capturing on film. In what were my frequent peregrinations through this City and beyond, I explored, re-explored and photographed the sometimes dreamlike qualities that I saw around me. Now, I just appreciate the beauty of being in this world and playing my guitar as my creative outlet.
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