My career as a photographer began at the U.S. Army Signal Center & School in Fort Monmouth, New Jersey. That might seem like an unlikely place to begin a creative life, but that’s where the foundation was laid. Well, I suppose I could go back to my Jr High years, when I took a darkroom class, but the Army was really where I learned about f-stops and shutter speeds. (Set the shutter speed to the ASA. On a clear sunny day in open sun, f/16 is your basic exposure) (To this day, to say “This is an F/16 day” means that it is a good one.) But, I digress.
In the Army, I was trained as a “crash damage analysis” photographer, and spent a lot of time with busted up helicopters. There was documentary-style work, too. Ceremonies, public service projects, and visiting generals and congressmen took up a lot of time. In the standard black and white 8 x 10 (with a quarter inch border), clear focus and good exposure were the overriding values; creativity was not.
Clark University and the School of the Worcester Art Museum added the missing ingredient of creativity, and I began a lifelong interest in photography as an expressive medium. Studying with Dennis Wixted, Irene Schwachman, and Robert Heinecken shaped my vision, literally, of what creative photography looked like. But a life as an artiste? I discovered that even Duane Michaels shot for Better Homes and Gardens. Hours in the darkroom were not conducive to earning a living or having a family, so reality intervened and other paths were taken.
In recent years, time, travel, and digital technology have enabled a re-development of my creative life. The 8 x 10 is gone, along with the quarter inch border. Sharp focus and good exposure remain, and have been joined by rich, saturated color. Documentary, literal abstraction, patterns, and color have become regular themes in my work.
“Scrapbook” Photo/collage/drawing, images of a life. UMASS Med. School
“At the Train Station a Little Early” Nice, France, 2006
“A Day at Kew” Botanical prints, 2008
“A lunch in the South” (South Lebanon, that is) 2009
“Mannequins and Men” Beirut storefronts and shopkeepers 2010