John Brown2My interest in photography became serious in high school (Pampa, Texas) with the valuable instruction of my math teacher who had been a professional photographer. In tenth grade I bought a Yashica Matte (2_ twin lens reflex) and continued to take pictures with it through college. I worked my way through undergraduate school in a photography studio doing darkroom work. During graduate school, I was head photographer for the Hullabaloo (Tulane’s newspaper) as well as the Jambalaya (the yearbook). Assigned to take pictures for the homecoming court, I had to photograph a reluctant subject who was curious about how my Yashica worked. (We were married four years later, and she is still a reluctant subject.)

By selling photographs to the Times Picayune in New Orleans, and covering private parties, I was able to buy a Hasselblad camera. I was editor and photographer of my officer candidate school yearbook during my time in the Coast Guard. After completing Navy Scuba School in Key West, I used the baseªs Calypso camera for underwater photography and used many opportunities over the next few years for aerial photography from a Coast Guard helicopter.

In the ensuing years I have managed to have a darkroom in the various places I have lived. More recently I have been using digital images and experimenting with pigment prints. My formal study of photography includes postgraduate fine art studies at SUNY-Purchase and UC Berkeley, and photography seminars under Vincent Versace, Jim DiVitale, and Greg Gorman.

While traveling extensively I have documented my worldwide travels. When people ask the kind of photography I specialize in, I tell them I photograph what interests me. With this interest comes plenty of serendipity: while taking pictures (surreptitiously I thought) of a proposal-in-progress at the Venice Beach pier several years ago, the young man walked toward me. Thinking I was about to be reprimanded, I was happily surprised when he asked if I would mind staying around for ten minutes more as a plane was to fly by with his proposal in Portuguese on a banner. This led to a new friendship and the honor of attending the wedding of our new Polish doctor friend (by way of Australia) and his bride (a lawyer) in Olinda, Brazil. It happened to coincide with carnival week, so how could I not go.

Recent exhibits:John Brown

Valley Art Center, Walnut Creek, CA

Studio Channel Islands Art Center, Camarillo, CA

Conejo Valley Wide Open Photography and Digital Art Show,Newbury Park, CA

Fred Kavli Theater Gallery, Thousand Oaks, CA