It's really difficult to decide how to summarize my 50+ year engagement with photography, which has so many facets and mental byways. Shelves groan with books I've studied through the years and still find inspiring, and my own pantheon of photographic heroes is enormous and still growing. There are many old negatives still awaiting digitization, and lots of recent material that hasn't made it to my Flickr photostream, and/or that awaits further digital processing. And of course the Nova Scotia Faces project looms perpetually. My Flickr Albums offer some quasi-coherence to the sprawling photostream, and I've identified a few images that seem to me Consequential in the grander scheme of things.

I've never thought much about public presentation, preferring the Closeted status, but occasionally I've made good prints of my images and been quite pleased with the results. Betsy is the truly accomplished photographer of the family, and I'm pleased to be a consultant and facilitator in her glorious enterprises.

Exploring a reconstruction of the succession of Interests I've pursued over the last 50 years has led me to opening musty boxes and files and journals, and so to rediscovering long-mothballed projects and tantalizing roads not taken. Some will find the light of day eventually, via weblets, Flickr albums, perhaps even Blurb books.

My first introduction to photography as a medium was via The Family of Man, first published in 1955 and, in book form, part of my life from that time. I dabbled in photography in high school, but didn't own a real camera until I bought an Alpa in the fall of 1962, and started doing serious printing with help from my sister-in-law Marjanna who had a darkroom at home. During my undergraduate years in the early 1960s, I became a serious student of photography and especially engaged in recording city landscapes around Boston, at a time when "urban renewal" stalked the earth and threatened to remake neighborhoods for the pleasure of planners.

Salute the Old Boston
Betsy and I have worked at photography together for more than 50 years. We were Harvard Yearbook photographers (which afforded free film and darkroom access), and we both took Harvard's very first still photography course (taught by Len Gittleman) as Juniors, and then were lab assistants in our Senior year. We hung around with Graduate School of Design people and contributed to the GSD's Connection Magazine. I was employed as a progress photographer on the State Street Bank building (see Flickr sets of workers on the site, the building as it rose, and some construction details for starters). I've scanned a lot of negatives from those years, but more remain to be worked on.

We were more sporadic about photography during the two years in Sarawak (1965-1967), but this Flickr collection is a fair representation. We were limited to 50mm lenses, and had Alpas and a Nikon S2.

During the Stanford years (1967-1972) we had a darkroom at home and worked mostly with landscape (on the San Mateo coast, in Death Valley) and photographing friends. We used the Alpas and Nikon, a Calumet 4x5, a no-name 8x10 (mostly with paper negatives), and bought a second Nikon S2 with a 21mm Zeiss lens. We explored parts of the Bay Area and spent a week in Death Valley in 1969, on an extended photo odyssey. After Kate was born in May 1970, I did lots of photographs of her (this is the beginning of that set).

In Nova Scotia I did a lot of photography in the first few years (1972-1975) as a part of my research, but was less engaged with the medium thereafter, except for capturing hundreds of illustrations for use as slides in class (one colleague referred to them as my "magic lantern slides of the Holy Land"). I had the conviction that students would be engaged by images and remember narration associated with images... because that was my own experience, as I sought to contextualize and explain patterns. I continued to buy books and to read about photography.

I did even less with photography during the Lexington years, though I can't really explain why, except to note that I had my hands full pursuing other forms of information. I did buy a Minox 35mm camera and took it to Brazil in 2002, but the images from that trip are not of much interest. I started to use a Canon digital camera in 2004, and it took a while to get my balance with the new medium. The lucky accident of water damage to the Canon led first to a Nikon Coolpix and not too much later to a D40 DSLR, the cusp of a slippery slope.

In the last 5 years we've both done a lot of photography, mostly collected on Flickr (my Photostream and Betsy's Photostream and her Website). We have upgraded to full-frame Nikons, use a wide range of Nikon lenses, and have been exploring the remarkable possibilities of iPhone photography as well. Betsy has had a glorious series of gallery exhibits of her work, in several media (giclée, glass, silk, and aluminum prints, and recently some collaborations with Kate in quilts). We seem to be about to embark on engagement with the offerings of the nearby Maine Media Center, and that may lead to grander somethings.