You’ve arrived at my blogspot, so I assume you’re interested in photography, and hopefully even interested in what I have to say about it.

If you are a photographer who’s interested in the whys and wherefores of photographic techniques, tools, and craft of making fine art photographs, then you’ve found the right blog. If you’re also interested in the art of photography, you may want to visit my Art of Photography blog.

I spent years developing my own negatives and analog prints in my own darkroom. Dodging, burning, masking, SCIMs, USMs, cold lights, color heads, tweaking developer formulations, print toning, print spotting, etc, etc. I still shoot film, but for the past several years I’ve been scanning (both drum and flatbed) and processing images in software and printing on wide-format inkjet printers.

I’ve been addicted to photography for nearly 5 decades, and that’s given me a lot of time to experiment and fine-tune methods and recipes in the darkroom (and lightroom). I started like everyone does, taking pictures of family, trips to the zoo for “wildlife” shots, and visiting whatever big city I lived in at the time, to catch the street life and architecture (mainly the architecture, I was never excited about taking pictures of people I didn’t even know). I’d develop these tiny 35mm negatives and print them in my converted tiny bathroom.

Then I discovered the landscape, pure nature, and old architectural subjects. These subjects had so much texture and story to them that I hadn’t noticed before. And I became hooked; I’m still searching for these stories to this day.

For the first 35 years of my hobby I only took black and white photographs. But something changed in me about 10 years ago that started me exploring the use of color in my work. I found developing color films to be just as easy as B&W, and it solved a problem for me when trying to make a B&W image of subjects that screamed “I need to be in color!!”

Did I say “film?”  Yea. I still use film, and 90% of that is large format 4×5 film. I’ll write about why that is in this column.

I’ve learned most of what I know about photography through self-learning; I’ve never been formally trained in photography (or art for that matter).  I’m just someone who loves photography and creative photographs, believes he has something to say and uses photography to say it, and wants to share those stories with you.

Self learning requires gaining knowledge wherever one finds it, however. Thanks to other more experienced and successful photographers– those who published their experiences such as Ansel Adams and Fred Picker and Edward Weston  (all long gone), I was always inspired to keep growing as a photographic artist. I’ve enjoyed every minute of it, even the frustrations and the money spent. God bless the Internet and all the great information it provides!

I know there is a plethora of photography mentors on the internet today, but I don’t think there can be too many. I hope to use this blog site as a way to share my own experiences in taking and making fine art photographs, and to expand your perspectives beyond the “point, shoot, email” approach. I’ll eventually tell you which mentors I follow and why.

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