PHOTOGRAPHY AS A CELEBRATION

Prince William Sound, Alaska, 2000
Lunch break by the Tetons, 1956

I’ve been photographing reasonably seriously for 50 years. I was 15 when Dad passed on his Argus C-2 to me to document a three-month cross-country family vacation. He covered the cost of the Kodachrome film and processing and supported my interest in photography in many ways that I failed to appreciate, like most children, until years later. That trip and many other family outings sparked my enjoyment of seeing and documenting new places with my camera.

In high school I was introduced to the darkroom and its pleasures of quiet, soft, dim light, and the magic of images and chemicals. Since then I have managed to cobble together darkrooms wherever I have lived. I was also introduced to the magical, shimmering images seen through a single lens reflex in the form of an Exacta Varex IIa.. I was enthralled with selective focus and the magic it could do for a portrait. I moved on to a Nikon FE and began accumulating lenses. A solid old 85mm f1.8 Nikkor is still a cherished possession.

Ian by the kitchen window, 1972,
taken with that old 85 mm f1.8

When marriage and children came, our home décor consisted largely of photographs of our children. Friends saw them, and by word of mouth a business grew, which led to an exhibit of my black-and-white photographs of active children in natural light.

Branding irons, Central Nevada, 1968

My day job as a geologist took me for long periods on exploration trips into Central Nevada. Subjected to the high desert in all its seasons, I gradually learned to celebrate the beauty of the natural world with my camera. The desert landscape provided a huge variety of images, from brilliant spring flowers to 50-mile vistas in the clear air. Cattle ranches and remnants of 19th century silver mining added the spice of time-weathered structures with their exciting textures. Eventually an exhibit of my black-and-white Central Nevada prints led to a long-time association as a photographer with the Nevada Historical Society.

I have also had a long association as an instructor with the Nevada Museum of Art and the Truckee Meadows Community College in Reno, where I was able to share my enjoyment of photography with many others, both in the darkroom and on field trips.

Although the odor of acetic acid can still bring back the memory of the pleasures of darkroom work, I have fully embraced digital photography. Although I believe I was pretty adept in the darkroom, never before have I been able to produce images, black-and-white or color, which so fully represent how I see a subject.

Truckee Meadows, Nevada, 1974
with the Mamiya

Another benefit of digital is that it allows me to come back to the studio after a photographic outing and receive the immediate gratification of producing prints while the mental image and feeling of the subject matter is still strong in me. To me, photography is a celebration of what I care about in the world, and these exciting and emerging photographic processes make it easier for me to share that.

I thoroughly enjoy sharing my pleasure in photography with others, and continue to teach both individual and small-group workshops in photographic seeing and technique, both in the field and the computer "darkroom". Please contact me for information on upcoming workshops at 530-885-7947, or mindling@comcast.net.

I currently photograph with a Nikon D300 and a good tripod. I occasionally drift back into my old ways with a Nikon N90s (film camera) or an old Mamiya C330, a twin lens reflex that allows interchangeable lenses. You will find information on my printing methods and materials on the print sales page.