Since I was a child I’ve always had a passion for black and white photography. I spent many hours with my 35 mm camera (and sometimes with larger format cameras) enthusiastically making exposures around northeast Ohio. And then I’d spend hours more in my home darkroom, staining my fingers with developer to make glossy 8 x 10 prints.
As I got older, I started my daytime career, but continued to take photography courses in the evening. I dreamt of the day I would be the next Ansel Adams. But there was a problem—my photographs weren’t anything like those of Ansel Adams. Oh sure, they were technically good, but the photographs were … boring. And I got discouraged.
So I did what most people do—I left the darkroom behind. I continued to use my camera, but for a different purpose. I now photographed the happy, cherished moments of family life: parties, holidays, music and dance recitals, family vacations, birthdays and holidays.
Those photographs were important. They had meaning to my family and friends. In moments of reflection, however, I still dreamt of taking creative, artistic photographs for a wider audience. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the energy, time or “know-how” to make that happen.
And then, two things happened to change which changed all that:
First, I found more time for photography. I took early retirement from my full time job. My wife shows tremendous patience in home repairs and maintenance. In addition, my two daughters, now beautiful young women, don’t keep me as busy as they once did.
Second, the world went digital. The digital camera was invented, and software was designed to manipulate its pixels. And costs for the equipment and software dropped to a reasonable level.
With more time and the new methods to do it, I decided to seriously commit to fine art black and white photography . I purchased modest photographic equipment and software, and set up a digital darkroom. And, most importantly, I decided it was time to learn to express myself effectively using the new digital medium.
And so I started taking monochrome photography seriously. I read about good digital techniques, and how to be more expressive in photography. And then I did something else—I practiced with thousands of photographs. And for the first time, I began to really learn the craft of B&W. I’ve come far, and yet I have a long way to go.
This website chronicles that learning process. I approach it as enthusiastically as I did when I was much younger. And this time I can do it without the brown developer stains on my fingers.