I grew up in a small town in Michigan. I moved to California for my senior year of high school and did college and graduate school in CA. I live in Santa Barbara.
My dad was a bit of a photo hobbiest, the type who loved to get out of the car when arriving at Yellowstone and photograph the sign, "Welcome to Yellowstone." Yep, that type. We had a darkroom in the cellar of our house, a dark and scary spot, but I messed around with processing and printing a little bit in my young teens, but lost touch with photography until about 10 years ago.
Wandering in the wilds, the act of setting up the camera, composing and creating images are true joys. The opportunity to be out in nature's magnificence is a treat in and of itself. I went on frequent camping trips during college and when I journeyed out on my first backpack into the Sierra Nevada mountains, I was very much smitten with wilderness and remote locales. That love of incredible landscape has only strengthened with the passage of time. It was the hope to capture that feeling that got me back into photography.
There is a very strong meditative element to making order out of the chaos inherent in nature. Painters have the ability to include whatever they wish in their scenes. Excluding non-essential and distracting elements to create a vibrant, meaningful and moving composition poses the real challenge for the photographer. This act is the heart and soul of photography and something I find extremely contemplative and gratifying.
I primarily shoot large format 4x5 film. Large format provides unsurpassed print detail and exquisite tonal qualities not achievable in smaller formats. The large format camera is fully manual. This manual process dictates a very slow and measured pace, which I find very well suited to my full immersion in the work. I added a professional digital camera to my equipment bag, but I use the 4x5 for the vast majority of my work.
e-mail Harley Goldman