Dave Curl & Gary Cialdella
After leaving the army and returning to college I was fortunate to enroll into a class taught by the gentleman in the middle, Dave Curl. He was my mentor at Western Michigan University in many ways. I became his TA for many of his classes which is where my love of teaching began. At the same time I met Gary Cialdella, on the right. He was the director of photography at Kalamazoo Institute of Arts and asked me if I would like to teach some photography classes, which I did for 8 years.
Two incredible people who believed in me.
But the story began a little earlier........
I'm located in beautiful Berrien County, MI, which is in the southwest corner of Michigan overlooking Lake Michigan. From here it's only a 90 minute drive to Chicago and then to any part of the world a plane will take me.
In 1970 I picked up a camera and that was all it took. I've had a lot of fun with photography and have met so many interesting people along the way. Some of those people were in front of the camera and some behind the camera....some were famous and some not. Some in my backyard or across the USA or in Europe. It's been wonderful and still is wonderful. As they say, if you do what you like you never work a day in your life.
In 2004, I was the project director for a photo documentary of St Joseph & Benton Harbor, Michigan, entitled 2 Cities 48 Hours. Twenty-six photographers photographed the people and places in the two cites for 48 hours. A book was published later of selected images.
I started teaching photography in the 1970s while attending WMU and at Kalamazoo Institute of Arts. I now teach photography classes and workshops located in Michigan.
When I first started shooting I purchased a Pentax Spotmatic and loved that camera. But a little later on I switched over to Nikon in my 35mm equipment and then to the digital Nikons. 3 of my photography buddies had switched over to Fujifilm X cameras and I looked at their images and thought - Yes, I think I need to do the same. I couldn't be happier with the change. The images the Fuji cameras make are incredible and allow me to go further in my vision. I really like the way they feel and respond while shooting. And the images are beyond belief. Now, if I could only get paid for my endorsement.
2 Cities 48 Hours
As the project director I put the call out to my professional photographer buddies to see if they might be interested in shooting for this project. There was only one that said he couldn’t do it - he later regretted not being involved. 13 professional photographers from around the state of Michigan said they would be love to work on a photo project such as this. I then put out the word to amateur photographers to join in. Again, the magic number was 13.
2 Cities 48 Hours
A Photo Essay Documentary
Benton Harbor & St. Joseph, MI
August 27 & 28, 2004
During two August days in 2004, 26 photographers shot more than 8,000 images of Southwest Michigan’s historic Twin Cities of Benton Harbor and St. Joseph.