My Story

After receiving my degree in political science from Northwestern University, I taught in the Chicago public schools. At the same time, I became interested in photography.  From 1969 through 1985, I worked as a freelance photographer in Chicago. I learned the craft of photography by working for professionals in many areas of photo and film production - including advertising, catalogue, corporate, educational, documentary and photojournalism. I worked as a newspaper stringer for the Lerner Newspaper chain for five years and wandered the streets of Chicago doing 'street photography'. I also did work for various other publications including Women's Wear Daily, W Magazine, the Chicago Reader and the Chicago Sun-Times.  My influences and heroes include W. Eugene Smith, Henri Cartier Bresson, Robert Frank, Robert Capa, Andre Kertesz and Alfred Steiglitz.

Around 1985, photography stopped being fun for me, as I struggled to make a living in what was an increasingly competitive profession, and I put the camera aside. It no longer felt like the means of creative expression that I had originally sought in my early twenties.

In 2004 I moved to Santa Barbara CA from Costa Mesa in Orange County, California, and bought my first digital camera. Santa Barbara became my muse and I began to feel a new connection to the camera and the photographic process. Over the next few years I photographed the often dramatic flora and environs of Santa Barbara, a number of state and national parks including Big Sur, Yosemite, Zion, Bryce and Joshua Tree, various spots along the California coast, in New York, Chicago and Stevensville, Michigan. In 2009, I took a trip to Thailand and Japan, that found me returning to the sort of 'street photography' I did in the 70s and 80s. I began to learn to use the camera more and more as a visual journal, a photographer's sketchbook, so to speak - something that digital photography enables. The magic of the latent image being developed before one's eyes in the 'wet' darkroom has been replaced by the virtually instantaneous image created by the digital camera - a blessing for a 60's era, baby boomer like myself, who thrives on the immediacy of digital. This immediacy has allowed the digital camera to feel much more like an extension of my eye than film ever did.

I created my original website at the beginning of 2009 in order to share my favorite photographs, old and new, with my friends, colleagues and family and anyone else who might be interested. I published my monthly Photo Journal for almost a year and used it as the primary vehicle for introducing new photographs to my website. In addition to a variety of digital images that I have made over the last 8 years, I've also published quite a few black and white film based photos from the 70's and 80's, when I freelanced in Chicago (see under Galleries: 'Children of the 70's'). I think the contrast between the old and new photos is interesting, at least for me. I hope they provide some interest to you as well.

The beginning of my photo blog in 2014 ushered in an entirely new period of my photographic journey that has spanned almost 50 years. I have returned to doing more work resembling 'street photography' and documentary photography, along with some landscape and nature work. I am currently working on a 365 day project 'View From My Balcony' and am in the process of assembling a large retrospective of photos from throughout my photographic lifetime.