Ar twelve I discovered Ansel Adams. His work was amazing. I wanted to master the Zone System and take pictures that looked just like his.
Discouragement set in quickly. The biggest issue was that suburban North Jersey didn't look anything like the epic western landscapes Adams lived in. Then one day in a bookstore, leafing through a paperback monograph on Lee Friedlander, I saw a picture taken on Ramapo Valley Road (it featured part of the street sign) - a place I road my bike every day. That's when I realized the landscape is wherever you are.
I'd been accepted to an MFA program in creative writing, but didn't go. Instead I got a job as a computer programmer, got married, and moved to Hoboken.
A few days after returning from the honeymoon, on a whim, I took camera and tripod to the south side of the Hoboken train station, which was then a junkyard filled with ancient railroad detritus, unchanged from when Jan Staller photographed it in Frontier New York.
Darkness, punctuated by artificial lights, made all the difference; the familiar became strange. My course was set.
I learned the mechanical part of photographing from my dad at a young age. The harder part, of course, is knowing what a good photo should look like. For that, I'm indebted to books. Sally Euclaire's "New Color" series led me down many avenues, as did reading every issue of Aperture magazine my college library had.
I also spent a single weekend with William Eggleston at his house in Memphis where, to paraphrase Yogi Berra, I observed a lot by watching.
Due to a prolonged illness in 2005-6, I lost my house and almost all of my papers. This list of shows is not exhaustive, and the dates are approximate.
1995. OK Harris Works of Art. "Industrial Nights."
1997? Cooper Gallery, Jersey City. "Industrial Light And Magic."
2000? Edward Hopper House, Nyack NJ. Group Show.