What is street photography? You don't need a dictionary to define it. Study the work of Henri Cartier-Bresson, Andre Kertesz, David Seymour (Chim), Robert Doisneau, Willy Ronis, Brassai, Walker Evans, Elliott Erwitt, Mark Riboud, Garry Winogrand, Helen Levitt and Robert Frank, who are only a few of the masters of street, and you'll have a much better appreciation for what … [Read more...]
I’m an amateur, in the true meaning of that word. I’ve been making photographs since I built a darkroom in my parents’ fruit cellar at thirteen. I did professional work (meaning I charged for it) for a brief period in the sixties, and hated it.
I was born and raised in Michigan. I’d planned to get my degrees at University of Michigan and teach English Literature, but at the end of my junior year the Korean war was in full swing, and since there were no academic draft deferments my dorm was emptying out. I decided I’d rather fly than walk, so I entered the Air Force Aviation Cadet program and was flying fighter-bombers out of K2, the base at Taegu, when the war ended. After the war I started going downtown and shooting the local scene. I shot a lot of pictures of people. I was doing street photography though I didn’t know it at the time.
In 1955 when my Air Force commitment was up I considered becoming a photojournalist, but by then I had a family and I loved flying, so I stayed in the Air Force. During the next twenty-two years I went back to Asia twice: once as commander of a radar site at Can Tho in the Vietnam delta and nine years later as commander of the group that owned the remaining radar sites in Southeast Asia.
I retired in 1977 as a full colonel and started a small corporation doing software engineering. At the end of 2008 I closed my company and began doing amateur photography full time. I’m still doing it. Over the years I’ve done plenty of landscape, wabi sabi, formal and informal portraiture, still life, etc., but my favorite thing since 1953 in Korea has been street photography.