Life and Photography
My scientist father and artist mother raised me on the beaches, mountains, and deserts of southern California. I remember lying on Will Rogers State Park’s beaches, studying sand grains an inch from my eye, each a different color and shape. During family outings to the Mojave, I felt the earth turn under the sky, and in the clear nights saw our position among the stars. I moved north to attend the University of California at Berkeley expecting to become a scientist, and left with degrees in mathematics and an abiding love for and commitment to fine art photography. What had happened? Nothing original—I had found an Ansel Adams’ book, These We Inherit. Then Dave Bohn at the ASUC Studio supported my new found interest with instruction on par with my academic programs.
In 1970 the romantic “back to the land” movement took me still farther north, to a clearing in the woods on Washington’s rainforest coast, one ridge from the Columbia River. Settling into a yearly hundred inches of rain, I learned the seasons of garden and firewood. Trees, birds, butterflies, and all things wild were the stuff of daily life. In 2000 I crossed the Columbia to live in Astoria, Oregon—still under the same skies of the Columbia-Pacific region.
In the mid 1970s I began photographing natural history, starting with remnants of ancient forests. Landscapes, both classic sense-of-place and more abstract, remain of great interest.
Forty years of teaching college photography has been a great satisfaction. Helping people find their own voices to explore the joys and challenges of life is a real highlight. Figuring out how to explain the technological and artistic issues increases my own understanding and helps my own work. Now I’ve semi-retired to teaching just summertime intensive workshops, after a decade of regular assignments at Clatsop Community College. Art and natural history photography and marriage make a good life.
Like many children I chased butte