“Start somewhere… End somewhere else… Experience everything in between.” ~ Kym Perfetto
My somewhere start?
Salt Lake City, Utah in October of 1953.
Everything in between?
The first most important of all the in-betweens came three years later when dad took a job at the San Francisco International Airport and the four of us; dad, mom, Nonna Maria (my maternal grandmother) and I, all became Californians. Why move? How should I know, I was only three and nobody asked for my opinion. And that’s okay – I like the Bay Area.
Five at Five Questions
- When and how did you start on your photographic journey?
When I was a child, my parents gave me a Brownie Starmite. It was a little gray thing that took 127 film and a little flashbulb. I don’t think there’s a single extant photo that came from that camera. My next camera was a “Rolleiflex” camera. You know, the one where you flip open a lid in order to look down into the viewfinder? I still have two of those in my possession and I suspect there’s some value to them. My next camera was my first SLR, a Canon A1. I was hooked but didn’t have the financial means to properly pursue the hobby. With my first DSLR, a Canon 60D, it was a whole new game. It also helped that Lightroom and Photoshop became more affordable.
- What subject do you like photographing the most?
Man, that is tough. Before COVID it was landscapes and nature. I planned vacations that could provide the best possible opportunities to shoot mountains and rivers and waterfalls. With COVID I found myself headed to empty beaches where I experimented with oceanscapes. I went into COVID deserted San Francisco and started shooting cityscapes, which I still very much enjoy. Now? Right now I’m hooked on black and white and I seek out places that provide opportunities to photograph scenes and subjects that lend to a black and white format. I like scenes that can spark the viewer’s imagination, such as a country road that disappears around a bend. I like visiting old graveyards because they are a trove of stories.
- Have you been influenced by other photographers, if so by whom and why? If not, who is your favourite photographer?
I can’t say that I’m influenced per se. I do have some favorites who shoot, or did shoot, mostly in black and white. Stephen King (no, not THAT Stephen King), Lexi Sun,Lee Chee Wai, Hengki Koentjoro. Alexandre Manuel blows me away.
Of course there are the legendary masters, Edward Weston and Ansel Adams.
- What is the go-to camera equipment that you use regularly and what software do you use to process your images?
I shoot with a Canon 90D with a lens range from macro to 600mm zoom. I usually shoot with an 18 – 135mm but carry a wide angle lens and a 70 – 300mm. I use Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop. Mostly it’s just to do some cleanup or convert to monochrome, but every now and then I like to get a little wild.
- What is your favourite method of processing an image? (i.e., colour, monochrome, saturated, dreamy look etc)
Another tough one. It often depends on my mood at the moment. Sometimes the subject demands the method. I might smooth out the facial features in one portrait and in another, accentuate the texture to highlight life’s wrinkles and crags. My graveyard images? All shot in color with an eye to editing in monochrome for a somber mood. My graveyard photo in this piece was shot in color in mid-afternoon. It showed up flat and worthless. When I edited to black and white, the photo turned into a full moon shot complete with eerie shadows. It’s a favorite because I think it inspires the viewer to conjure up his or her own story behind that scene.
Thank you, Paul, for participating in the Five at Five Introduction Series.
Next Week’s Intro is Writer Barbara aka Ghostmmnc of Teleporting Weena Blog