“ Put a frame around everything and compose it with the golden rule of thirds"
I suppose photography for me really isn't quite so cut and dry. I've been taking picutes since my first Kodak Brownie camera. Our family was a typical Iowa, middle class family. I don't remember how I got that camera, but I seemed to have a natural eye for composition and although I never really aspired to be a "cameraman", my entire life has led me in that direction (I really wanted to be a research chemist). The photgraphy urge must have been a fate. I found cinema and video to be a natural skill. The darkroom, or at least my basement, was pretty much my personal cave until college when I was subjected to a whole world of people like myself. We formed teams to produce radio and television shows, films and AV projects. My first two jobs in college were as the department studio manager, and a cameraman for WOI-TV. Photography and the art of composition was always the center of it all. I was always the cameraman, the builder of pictures. Throughout the decades, through broadcast TV, film productions, multi-media productions, all the way through the digital age, I find myself always "composing the shot". While driving, walking on a trail, watching a game, or even just sitting on the couch, I find myself "framing" the shot. It's as much a curse as a skill.
I attribute much of my success (with dismay) to my college professor of film, Dr. Kramer, who would greet you in the hallway and, if it was a sunny day, ask "Why aren't you out shooting?" On a cloudy day, he would reply "Why aren't you editing?" When handing him a project for grading, without even looking at it, he would exclaim "Fix it! You know what to do…BLARG!!.". This would go on several times before he would accept the film for review. He was right. I did know what to do. In his own mind he was a genius.....he really was. I still don't know what BLARG means.
Photography is the foundation, but I found myself drawn to even more creative efforts through film and video. I took on all the production tasks from writer to grip, working with other highly creative team members, but often working alone as a “one man band”, draging crates of lighting, lensing, cables, and tripods all over, yes, the world. I Joined the Air Force toward the end of Vietnam, and became the military Television Station Manager for Iceland. My next assignment took form as a Special Events Cinematographer for the United States Armed Forces in Europe. In that four years, I documented everything from erupting volcanoes to presidential meetings, from an orphanage Christmas 300 miles North of the Arctic Circle to war games in Southern Spain. It was an enlightening and eventful time as my first daughter was born in Germany.
The years following led me to a ten year commercial cinematographer job with a TV station, followed by a media producer/writer position with the University of Iowa, my own production company for twelve years, several more years with a corporate training company, and finally back to independent work with all aspects of media, from digital photography to digital editing.
Now, I am technically retired (on paper), still doing independent corporate and artistic work with photography while producing Sunday Drive, a series of DVD programs technically produced and with content designed for people living with Alzheimer’s and dementia.
So now I am retired "on paper," and still feeling the urge. There are a hundred thousand photos on my computer. They all have a story to tell, and it's time for me to get out there and present my own work to the public. Yes, I am a "camerman" and I will keep framing the shot as long as I can see in one eye and click the shutter button.
Producer, Director, Cameraman, Technician, Photographer, Cinematographer Videographer, Editor, Producer/Creator, Sunday Drive