Now would be a good time to enjoy your favorite drink, whatever that may be. :)
I am strictly self taught in the world of photography. Photography is a creative outlet for me, a passion, and a way of life. I spend a great deal of time reading books about photography, watching dvd workshops and as much time in the field or studio as I can. You can learn anything you want in life, you just have to want to and dedicate time to it. I have taken photo’s with many different kinds of cameras through the years. At fourteen, I started out with a Minolta Hi Matic E range finder I bought from a classmate in high school. I still have this stored safely in a display case just for it and its accessories. I was hooked and couldn't get enough! I jumped into being a staff photographer for the school newspaper and yearbook my freshman year and stuck with it all four years. The training there was about as informal as it gets. I learned from trial and error and there is no better way in my opinion. The next year my mom bought me the first 35mm SLR I would use for the next several years. At sixteen I got my first job and bought my first darkroom from that same employer. It truly is a small world. I have owned and shot every format up to 8x10. Each camera I have owned and the many different formats I have shot have all taught me various lessons about photography. Photography has seen some very exciting changes since the 90’s and now we have more control over our images than ever before! Traditional wet darkrooms have given way to dry electronic ones. Silver halide coated gelatin has given way to sensors, electronic chips and pixels. We were here to witness the rebirth of photography into the digital age! The magic has happened all over again. It seems almost everyone has a camera these days, but to be proficient at it still requires a certain degree of skill, study, practice and dedication. I have had to adapt to the constant changes, technologies and creative techniques that have came along over the years or risk being left behind. Think of all that is still to come! It’s exciting!
I spent two years at IUPUI Herron School of Art getting accredited in watercolor while still in high school. I did this on a full scholarship. However, I never pursued a career in art after school. I simply do not like to sell my original paintings, and I have almost every one I have ever done. So, I started out in sign shops, designing, painting, welding, sand blasting, installing, bending neon, etc. Soon after, within 3 or 4 years, I decided to change direction and pursue a career I was a bit more passionate about and what I felt was more in alignment with my life’s purpose. I made the leap into a Kodak and Fuji certified commercial pro photo lab. Since then, I have worked in a certified commercial pro photo lab almost my entire working life, and still do. Now that things are digital, my job description has changed a bit from darkroom technician to graphic designer simply because it's the closest job description that fits... albeit a bit inaccurate in my mind.
I spent many years as a custom darkroom technician but was quickly promoted to production manager. I’m a digital image manager to this day, overseeing hundreds of images and files per week in my day job. In this role, I have used Photoshop since its' initial release, and some retouching software only select people in this industry have even heard of. I became an expert in hand printing, film development, and even Photoshop over the last 24 years. I have spent many years developing all types of films, printing everything from B/W, RA-4, Type R, Cibachrome, photo paper and even inks on about every substrate that exists. I have printed on almost every type of printing device that exists. I did copy work professionally for years and shot in the studio using a Dicomed and Phase One 4x5 digital back when they first became available. I also used film based 4x5's (Toyo, Sinar, Calumet) as well for the studio shots. In fact, I made my own 4x5 field wood camera before film became scarce. Many of the shots on this site were taken with that very camera, and I still have it. I have a couple of old shots of it in my "Studio" gallery should you like to see the quality of it and my wood working abilities. I have done copy trans, dupes, etc. All of this has given me great insight into how I think my shots should be taken. I understand what works and what doesn't in print, how certain colors will reproduce and the realistic expectations and limitations of a given printing device. Therefore, I feel I have a broader idea of how I want to compose and shoot my photos because I know what works best for final printing and a given substrate. I understand and see color very well and have even attended classes on G7 color methods and color management taught by none other than Don Hutchinson. I served as a technical adviser / consultant to the Indianapolis Career Education Center on a volunteer basis for many years, and was a keynote speaker twice. It has been a very fulfilling career to say the least, and it isn't even close to being over yet!
My free time is spent either taking photos, studying or researching something, drawing and painting, bowling, building a custom fishing rod or chasing fish on a lake somewhere! :)
Send me an email Email so that I know you were here. :)