Portrait by Rick Cummings

I have been taking photographs since childhood. I am old enough that my first camera was a Brownie. Then I graduated to my dad’s castoffs. I fondly remember a Yashica with an unusual 55 mm f/1.2 lens. It provided a view just a bit tighter than usual, and that aesthetic has stayed with me. In the late 1970’s I studied with Phil Davis at the University of Michigan, and learned how to make an image say what I wanted it to. A big part of that is only saying one thing in an image. Phil’s approach was quite technical, and I absorbed many tools; the engineer in me loved that part. For example, I gained an appreciation for the zone system and the requisite previsualization of an image.

Over the years I have worked with a 4X5 field view camera (didn’t Ansel Adams have a pack animal?) and a Stereo Realist, but have stayed primarily with the 35 mm format through its evolution to digital SLRs. About 10 years ago I began to feel the need for a wider venue, to share my work with others. I purchased an Epson 4000 for printmaking and a Nikon Coolscan V film scanner. After I got tired of maintaining a printer I moved to sprinkling my work online, and use a print-on-demand shop, for the rare hardcopy. Cameras are changing so fast now and have become so cheap! I work with several, from a cellphone to a small superzoom to a DSLR. When I am doing thoughtful compositions I still use my Canon T3i; excellent sharpness with a EF 25 -105 lens, and great low light sensitivity, but it’s heavy enough that I think twice about taking it with me.The superzoom beats it for macros anyways. Now I do a little work in video too. My work is in several private collections, and I’ve had a couple of shows around town, and a couple years on the Open Studios tour. I teach photography and flow visualization to engineering and fine art students at the University of Colorado.