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  Wednesday  December 3  2003    12: 17 PM


I bought my first 35mm camera when I was 13. I saved up my summer job earnings, at 25 cents per hour, and bought a Petri 35. That was in 1958. It was before child labor laws. I'll never forget one of the moments when I realized photography was more than reporting. It was 1963 and I was an Architecture student at the University of Washington (Seattle). I was in the University Book Store and saw a little portfolio of plates from the Eliot Porter book The Place No One Knew: Glen Canyon on the Colorado. How could the colors be so intense and the images so sharp. Years later I discovered large format photography and dye transfer. I still have those color lithograph prints.

Eliot Porter Collection Guide

Eliot Porter (1901–1990) introduced color to landscape photography. In so doing, he created a new way of viewing the world that today has become commonplace. An artist with strong scientific and environmental interests, Porter took up color in 1939, long before his fellow photographers accepted the medium, to produce more accurate photographs of birds. Soon thereafter, he expanded his focus to celebrate the colorful beauty of nature in general. Over a fifty-year career that includes works from Maine to China, he built a broad popular reputation based on thousands of richly hued prints and twenty-five books. His work energized environmentalists, drew accolades from museums, and created the foundations for today’s color nature photography.