I misspent my formative years in Dallas. After my father, a pilot, relocated to Connecticut, I attended high school there (spending much of it banished to the hallway for misbehaving in class) and then graduated from the University of North Texas (no hallway time to speak of). I then entered the Air Force during the Vietnam conflict, subsequently won thirty tennis tournaments over the years (where my opponents were undoubtedly bribed or inebriated), had a thirty-five year career in Human Resources (where I learned that every single job applicant loves people and challenges) and now trailer my bass boat to wherever the lakes aren’t frozen.
In the 1950’s, I started taking photographs with a diminutive non-adjustable box camera to record events involving family and friends. My images, taken with film in those days, came back in small black and white squares; which were rarely sharp (my fault; not the developer’s). Those photos are now some of my most cherished possessions. With time, experience and new technologies, I began to enjoy the digital age of photography.
Following a trip to Italy, my wife suggested that I enter her favorite photograph from that trip in a local contest. It did well which led me to wonder if I should intentionally take photos that were not simply a record of events. It also created a sort of photographic Frankenstein. In our wanderings, my wife now has had many occasions to regret mentioning that first photo contest…like when she is trying to have a conversation with me at a restaurant while I’m studying the angle of the sun through a window out of the corner of my eye.
Although I enjoy photo shoots that add my interpretation of famous subjects, I derive the most satisfaction from capturing and sharing images which have not been previously published in any form. My love of the outdoors and the time I have spent in remote locations is the thread which runs through much of my photography.
The basis of my photographic philosophy is simple. To the extent possible in a given circumstance, I endeavor to incorporate the universally accepted techniques consistent with good technical photography, but am willing to break the cookie cutter rules if I believe the composition would benefit. Many of my images are award winning; but that’s not the final objective. My hope is that when someone views one of my photographs, they feel something. That feeling might be one of wanting to go where the photo was taken or a sense of nostalgia, patriotism or happiness. If that happens, then I’ve done my job.
Now about those outhouses. I began taking outhouse photos while on distant fishing trips and subsequently added them to my website as a hoot. Ironically, a number of visitors to the site have asked to see more outhouses or have purchased them for bathroom art while others have requested that I make outhouse calendars available. So, in light of my complete lack of creative standards, I have complied. Many people have passed along fondly remembered stories of that customized privy in their back yard from a time when it was more the rule than the exception. I have to admit that it continues to be fun finding and capturing images associated with a part of history that has mostly faded away with the blacksmith.
Enjoy the site and have a great day.
© Wandering Brooks Photography