Places Faces

I grew up thinking everyone had a darkroom. My dad built ours in the basement; tucked away in a corner where the coal chute used to be. It had rough wooden walls, two discolored sinks, lots of shelves filled with dark brown glass bottles, and a worktable with an enlarger that almost touched the ceiling. It was a mystical place. My dad would turn off the bare overhead bulb, switch on the amber “safelight” and gently fit a sheet of Kodak paper under the adjustable wings of the metal frame. A foot switch rigged to the enlarger freed his hands to dodge and burn while the white second hand on the black timer would tick down, {20, 19, 18,,, 0}, light off. Then the real magic happened. Shadow became light and light became shadow as the image slowly emerged. I was hooked.

This book contains photographs taken during my first few years as a photographer when everything was new and animated. No subject was off limits and the rule-makers weren’t yet whispering in my ear. If asked, I would have said I was photographing whatever “caught my eye” but even then, 50-years ago, without knowing it, I had preferences – friends, family, home, school, street scenes, people living their lives, telling stories – enduring preferences that still guide me today.

I hope the joy, energy, and excitement of discovering photography flows through these images.

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