Photography is in my blood. My father, Donald, attended RIT to study this art and later worked for the yellow God in Rochester. He eventually opened his own studio with my uncle Alfred in Utica, NY. I spent a lot of time on the other side of the lens growing up. Our entire family (and neighborhood for that matter), were frequent models for the various shoots he conducted while producing photo content for the likes of General Electric and numerous other catalog customers. I enjoyed tagging along with my Dad when he was on an assignment. These “jobs” helped me to understand the world as he saw it through his lens.
The Morris Brothers studio also contained his lab. I spent countless hours as a young teen, with my hands dipped in developer. I was amazed at the appearance of each image, and eventually learned to manipulate the timing to create quite different results for the same print. The real fun started when Dad and Uncle Al installed their first photo processing machines. Working in the pitch black, opening and hanging rolls of film (remember that stuff?) on the processing racks, while all the time laboring to keep my fingerprints off the negatives. This coincidentally led to my mastery of the touch up process when finishing the prints. I can still smell those chemicals and remember how long it took to get those stains off your hands!
My Dad had a lot of cameras; his prize was his Hasselblad. Occasionally, he’d let me take a few shots (with it securely anchored to a tri-pod in the studio). Nice camera! I was reared on SLR cameras and received the benefit of learning why shutter speed and exposure are important aspects of this art form. Dad encouraged creativity. The best shots were blown up and hung on the walls at the studio. My Dad was, and still is, a smart cookie. I could have easily followed him into the business, but I think he smelled the change in the wind. Companies were taking their business overseas, competition from Japan was growing and Fuji Film was impacting his, and Kodak’s business. Digital photography and the influence of computers were beginning to emerge in the early 80s. My Dad had different ideas for me, and I went down a different road.
I’ve recently picked the camera back up again, and have completely embraced the digital age! My viewpoint (they say you are born with an eye for it), interest in architecture, and love of the black and white lab, have all come together resulting High Peaks Photography. My hope is to capture the history and great peaks in cities and towns across our great country. Hope you like us (yes, we’re on Facebook too!), and remember to always enjoy the view!