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This is my Story


 
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Photo by Elizabeth Burk

My earliest memory of photography was at the age of six in my hometown of Abbeville, Louisiana when an uncle returned from World War II with boxes of photographs he had taken, and I have since wanted to travel. While in high school, I was selected to be the high school photographer. My equipment then was an old 4x5 Crown Graphic Camera with screw in flash bulbs.

After high school and a stint in the Army, I enrolled in Architecture school at the University of Southwest Louisiana (now the University of Louisiana Lafayette). There I was introduced to composition, form, light and perspective. My photography has since used all of these elements. Most of my photos are full-frame images, cropped in the camera.

I later worked in Cleveland and New York as a draftsman and later an industrial designer. Eventually I became bored with working in an office on a drawing board. In July 1965, on a visit to the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), I was captivated by the photos of Henri Cartier-Bresson. The next day, I bought a used Leica M2 camera and began photographing on the streets of New York.

The photography archives at MOMA were open to the public and most of my photography education resulted from my many hours studying photos of Cartier-Bresson, Paul Strand, Eugene Smith, Edward Steichen, Gordon Parks and many other photographers in the collection. Later that year, I bought a ticket to Vietnam to become a photographer.

Over the last 50 years, I've worked for numerous national and international publications, traveling to over fifty countries around the world. Following are some of the places my photographs have been:

 

Collections

Sir Elton John Photography Collection
New Orleans Museum of Art
Museum of Fine Arts (Houston)
Bibliotheque Nationale (France)
Everson Museum of Art (Syracuse)
Hofstra University Museum (Hempstead, New York)
Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
(New York Public Library)
Albin O. Kuhn Library (University of Maryland Baltimore County)
Chase Manhattan Collection (New York)
United States National Park Service

 

Publications

Book: REJOICE WHEN YOU DIE - New Orleans Jazz Funerals (LSU Press 1998)
Life Magazine - Time Magazine - Newsweek Magazine
Fortune Magazine - Money Magazine
U.S. News & World Report - Country Journal
Natural History Magazine - The New York Times
The Washington Post - Boston Globe
The Southern Quarterly - Southern Living
American Visions - America Illustrated
Der Stern (Germany) - Popular Photography
Chronicle of Higher Education

 


Exhibitions - One Man Shows

Acadiana Center for the Arts - People Among Us (Louisiana)
Arizona State University
Arkansas Art Center
Bibliotheque Nationale (France)
Bradford College (Massachusetts)
Brooks Memorial (Memphis)
Columbus Musuem (Georgia)
Everson Museum (Syracuse)
Fotofest '92 (Houston)
Georgia Southern University
Hofstra University (New York)
Louisiana State University
Miami Art Center (Florida)
Mint Museum (North Carolina)
Mississippi Southern University
New Orleans Public Library
Oklahoma Art Center
Public Theater (New York City)
Royal Ontario Museum (Toronto)
Texas Women's University
University of Houston
University of Louisiana Lafayette
University of Oklahoma
University of Texas
University of West Florida

 


 

Group Exhibitions

PHOTOGRAPHY USA 1976
United States Bicentennial Exhibit to the
Soviet Union & Eastern Europe

IMAGES OF MISSISSIPPI
Lauren Rogers Museum
Laurel, Mississippi

REGARDS et MEMOIRES - ARLES 2008
Four Exhibits including Public Street Banners during the
39th Annual Photo Expo in Arles, France