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In 1970 I knew that I had some sort of interest in photography but I wasn’t sure exactly what that meant. As a young high school graduate in 1966 most of my images from my Polaroid Swinger camera were of my friends. I had little idea that a camera’s use could transcend the capture of youthful exuberance. When I bought my Pentax Spotmatic around 1970 I knew I wanted to do more with that camera but I really did not know what “more” meant. I remember around 1976 sitting on my parent’s lawn in NJ with my girlfriend at that time, an art therapist, and asking her for advice on what direction I could take with my camera. She was rather without an answer but said something like, “Oh, I don’t know. Lay on your back and take a picture of the tree.” And then my life unfolded but my photography was put on a shelf.
Fast-forward four decades (yikes, that is what seems to have happened) and I am retired and have the time and means to do things I could not do earlier in my life. I was lucky to have come of age in the era of the digital and to have latched onto technology early on. It has been relatively easy to embrace digital capture and digital post-capture work. I remember the impact of an Ansel Adams image, Moonrise, and how I felt drawn toward trying my hand at something similar. And my first efforts were directed to the outdoors and I looked at what was in my surround. In my case, I was very fortunate to be living on the north fork and felt that I had great beauty all around me. But I began to feel that this sort of photography was a very well populated area.I came to the realization that there are many talented people taking photos on the east end. Portfolio reviews made me accept that I need to distinguish myself, to identify my work as uniquely as possible. So, I set out to explore what more I could do with digital images. I like to think that I am now more willing to take risks and explore post capture manipulation to achieve an artistic vision that is now just awakening. It always helps, however, to start with a great capture. But now I feel a bit like a hunter-gatherer who will put together a pleasing visual meal from the best parts of what I have found.
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