First Experiments

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Right from the start I was playing around with distortions and multiple exposures. This was the early Sixties after all, a time of rebellion and experimentation. I photographed through a door peephole lens, I used prisms and crystals to get multiple images.

Somewhere in all that informal technical education I read about holograms – 3D images – and how to make them. Back into the bathroom. I cobbled together the setup with a beam splitter, front surface mirrors, a laser and some film. It worked! I made some pictures that when viewed with the laser light appeared to be 3 dimensional. I loved how the hologram combined image making with technology. Unfortunately I can’t locate any of those 3D images.

Danny Ransohoff was a close friend of my parents and a great photographer. He created sensitive portraits of people he encountered in the troubled neighborhoods of Cincinnati and nearby Appalachia. I convinced my parents to buy a Rolleiflex for me just like Danny’s. The new perspective from looking down into the camera and the square format helped me to see things in new ways.

Another photographer whose work influenced me was Jerry Uelsmann. His surreal compositions achieved through very sophisticated darkroom work fascinated me. I studied the images and read about his techniques. I never was able to achieve his mastery of the medium but I learned about ways to work which would prove valuable as I made my own pictures in the darkroom.