My early but only occasional interest in still photography morphed into a more serious pursuit of filmmaking during my high school and college days, when I borrowed my mother’s 16 mm Bolex and began shooting short films. Back in the late sixties, after co-founding an underground newspaper, The Fort Wayne Free Press, I found myself, one Sunday afternoon, the only news media in the midst of a serious teargasing incident of youth in a public park by local police. The footage I shot a local CBS TV affiliate broadcast that evening to a tri-state area, and I became hooked to the medium. I trained briefly at the Gray Film Atelier in Hoosick Falls, New York and subsequently returned to my home state of California, where I eventually began working in Hollywood as a grip and electrician, eventually becoming a Key Grip. I was Key Grip (head of the grip dept.) on such productions as Back to School, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, Dennis the Menace, Baby’s Day Out, George of the Jungle, Beetlejuice and The Muse as well as on more rock videos, commercials, and industrial films than I now care to admit to.
In 1979, shortly after President Carter lifted US sanctions on the People’s Republic of China, I traveled to Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou and Guangzhou with Steve Allen, Jayne Meadows and a number of other industry luminaries as a part of an official film delegation from New York and Hollywood. An article I wrote about that trip, as well as my still photographs, appeared as the cover piece for Filmmakers Newsletter, a former national magazine devoted to independent film production.
My family and I moved to Carpinteria in 1985, where I soon became involved, in my spare time, as a activist on a number of critical South Coast issues and local political campaigns. I helped spearhead the successful community-wide grassroots effort to save the Carpinteria Bluffs back in the 1990’s. Returning to my earlier interest in still photography, I created many images of the Carpinteria Bluffs as part of that grass roots campaign. One of those images was featured as a poster, Country Road at the Bluffs, as part of a fundraising poster project that also included well-known Santa Barbara area plein air artists Arturo Tello and Meredith Brooks Abbott.
For the past ten years, I also have been one of the official photographers for the Santa Barbara Blues Society. In addition, I organize the Artists Studio Tour each year for the Carpinteria Arts Center and continue to work for several commercial clients, including the Just Folk gallery in Summerland.
My still images have have appeared locally and regionally in a number of publications including Carpinteria Magazine, Montecito Journal, and Santa Barbara Magazine as well as nationally in Architectural Digest, Raw Vision, Elle Décor, Coastal Traveler, The Magazine Antiques, Maine Antique Digest, California Homes, Phoenix Home & Garden, Big City Rhythm & Blues, the now-defunct Filmmakers Newsletter and The New York Times as well as, in Carpinteria, on the public kiosks for the Franklin Trail and the Carpinteria Bluffs Nature Preserve.. A sampling of these photographs can be viewed at TedPages.com.
As someone drawn more to stalking movement, light, and the moment of capture than the darkroom and printing, I have enjoyed transitioning to this digital age of photography, despite the fact that almost everyone on the street now regards him or herself a photographer. I love using my Canon 5D Mark III to dig out low lever light shots, but I also have come to appreciate that making great images isn’t about the camera but about the eye. And sometimes, for that reason, I enjoy the freedom of travelling with just a point-and-shoot or whatever I have at hand.
Regarding photography, I believe in the old Robert Capa adage, “If your pictures aren’t good enough, you aren’t close enough.” To that, I often like to add, “Or quick enough!”