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Growing up on the North Shore of Lake Tahoe in Northern California has instilled a deep fascination and sense of adventure for wild places in Michael, and began a lifetime journey that continues to draw him outdoors. After surviving a backcountry accident in 1989, his parents gave him a 35mm SLR Camera while he was recovering. With camera in hand he became fascinated with photography during his rehabilitation. After a year of recovery
Michael moved to California’s Central Coast to attend Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Every weekend (and often when he should have been attending classes…) Michael found himself at Montana De Oro State Park, camera on a tripod, learning the intricacies of nature photography. Soon Cal Poly was left behind in favor of wilder more remote Humboldt State University on California’s rugged north coast. After graduating with a degree in Fine Art, trips to local State Parks evolved into longer trips across western North America.
Michael feels the journey of photographic art is forever changing. Michael’s goal is to create a strong sense of place, and inspire the viewer to look beyond beauty to a sense of time, the cycles of the seasons, and the connectedness of the dynamic earth. Michael continues to expand his vision to other wild places that have been made fascinating through ice, sun, water and wind.
Michael begins by photographing the composition with a Toyo 4x5 View Camera. The sheet of film this camera yields has roughly 13 times the area of 35mm film. Michael uses a selection of suberb Nikkor and Schneider optics in focal lengths of 90, 150 and 240mm. The large sheet of film is scanned using a Heidelberg Tango drum scanner. This fine instrument yields the best scans available. Color correction then takes place on the master file with a Macintosh workstation to adjust color casts introduced by the scanning process, and to remove imperfections such as dust on the film. This process has taken color photography to a new level. For Michael, the advantage of creating large photographs with this method is that he absolute control over the final photograph. This makes it possible to create art that is as close as possible to Michael's vision in the High Sierra, a wild coastline, or a deep slot canyon. The goal is to create a sense of place for the viewer. It is important to note that no artificial color enhancements are made to the photograph during the correction process. After tonal adjustments are made, Michael’s photographs are created with a Chromira Enlarger. This fantastic machine exposes Fuji Crystal Archive photographic paper with Red, Green and Blue light sources. Following exposure, the Photograph is processed in liquid Photochemistry. These are true silver-based photographic prints that bring a new level of sharpness and color fidelity from the original film. These Photographs will maintain museum quality for 75+ years without fading under normal circumstances. All of Michael’s work, from the open edition 12x16’s to the magnificent 48x60’s are created with this no-compromise process.
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