The rudiments of my interest in photography began during my junior year at a boarding school in Michigan. As always, my best friend was a socially unsuccessful geek, in this case the school photographer. The position wasn’t actually functional, but it gave him sole access to the darkroom, where I would work with him while everyone else was in study hall. I remember printing photos and singing a loud, off-key version of Clementine with him. It was silly, adolescent fun, but it introduced me to the inner world of photography in a way that blossomed later on, at a time when I was at a loss to know what to do with my life.
I spent my senior year at Los Angeles High School, where I offered my services as football photographer. I provided pictures for the school paper without being on their journalism staff, and I gave team members free 8 x 10 prints of themselves in games. Their appreciation went a long way toward giving me a sense of safety during this white boy’s first exposure to integration. It wasn’t until the following year at UCSD that my Republican heritage was washed away forever.
Much of my photographic experience has been covered in previous posts, so I’ll leave the remaining bits of my story to the introductions of individual photos that follow. I’ve selected this group of pictures because for the most part they’re photos I would not submit to On The Road in the normal course of my posting there. My OTR submissions are more of places and things, so for this go-round I’m showing more shots of people.
I invite you to visit my web site, but I warn you that there are far too many pictures there. I apologize for that. I use the site as a repository for all my photos that I can see possibly appearing in some publication, and I’ve given no consideration at all to the needs of potential visitors who might stumble on my work. My overarching goal has been to demonstrate the many techniques and styles I’ve picked up along the way. Visit at your own risk.
In 1965, while at boarding school in Michigan, I borrowed my friend’s Leica and loaded it with a roll of Kodachrome. I had no idea what good photos looked like. I just pointed the camera at things and clicked away. The building in the front of this scene housed staff offices. The big building behind it housed the dining hall, the infirmary, and other functions I no longer remember. The stream in the foreground emptied into Lake Michigan about a hundred yards beyond this point. Cabins were scattered along the beach for boys’ housing, while girls stayed in a dormitory about a mile up the road.