© 2016  gary gruber.

garygruberphotography@gmail.com

I snapped my first photographs at around the age of six while on vacation with my parents in Albany, NY -- they needed to keep me busy for a couple of hours while they had lunch with friends. I went out on the hotel patio with their Rolliecord, and whiled away the time taking multiple exposures of the porch – they neglected to show me how the film advance mechanism worked.

We spent a summer in Tokyo (1965), where my father bought me a Canonet QL-19, a small fixed lens rangefinder camera. I had my first exhibit at the age of 16 (3 photos) behind the reception desk at the Walker Hill Resort in Seoul, Korea that summer. The workers were so impressed that I got a free order of French Fries. I was elated.

I took the camera with me to Duquesne University for my first year of college (1967). One day, while walking to campus, my friend leapt onto the hood of an E6 Jaguar. She said “Let’s pretend I’m a fashion model and you’re a photographer!”

Later that day I dropped the film off at the drugstore to be processed. When I retrieved the photos, we were all amazed. They weren’t half bad. The rest, as they say, is history…

I stopped into the university darkroom and learned how to process and print. A couple of weeks later I phoned home and told my mother I was changing my major from pre-med to Photography. It took a full two years for me to convince my parents I was serious. When my junior year rolled around, I transferred to Syracuse University, where I enrolled in the journalism school. After college, I worked in color labs for several years, unable to figure out where I fit in the commercial world.

 

I did manage to turn down an offer to work as a copy boy at Time magazine, believing the job was beneath me (1971). I was ignorant of the notion of starting at the bottom and working my way up. The fellow that accepted the job (another S.U. graduate) went on to become a successful photojournalist.

One thing led to another and I found myself in California in the early 70’s. The primary photographer for a public relations firm in the Palm Springs area was retiring and I managed to secure the position. I had to borrow a 2 1/4 camera for my intro jobs – the owner of the firm would not accept work produced with 35mm cameras. The desert area provided me with a vast array of commercial subject material, and weekly trips to Los Angeles fed my need for street photography.

Most of the images presented here are pre-digital. Archival silver gelatin prints were scanned into Photoshop, and minimally altered prior to presentation. Since there exists a disparity between what the eye can discern when viewing reflective and transmitted art, minor corrections were made to brightness and contrast levels, as well as color balance adjustments to address the different paper stock used for the original prints.

As my skill with a scanner blossomed, I re-scanned all of the negatives associated with the silver prints, sometimes three or more times to achieve the level of quality I was looking for. I miss the darkroom and my marathon printing sessions, but have embraced the digital world as a reasonable alternative.

The photos were taken between 1969 and 1994 -- I did not begin shooting digitally seriously until 2015. If you would like to be notified of updates to this site, please email me at:

GaryGruberPhotography@gmail.com