E X P L O R E T H I S W E B S I T E W I T H T H E NA V I G A T I O N B A R O R B Y C L I C K I N G O N A N I M A G E
A D V E N T U R E D I S C O V E R Y C R E A T I O N
M I C H A E L P H A L I N G
I was born in the small town of Richland, Washington, a dry, desert region of the state. My father, an engineer, was working there during WWll. After the war was over our family moved back to my fathers home town of Kansas City, Mo. His grandfather father was a very avid photographer there and was president of the Kansas City Camera Club. He had a large darkroom and Michael often watched him develop prints, his Pyro stained fingers swooshing his prints back and forth in the developing trays. My grandfathers photography was of the Salon School type and often exhibited. My father was also an avid photographer, as well as my uncle..But they never seemed interested in art. They were engineers and chemists. My grandmother took him on the trolley downtown to the Kansas City Art Museums, when I was 7 and 8. These visits helped developed an early appreciation for art..The KC museums were beautiful, and full of paintings, and life size dinosaurs! By the time I was 13 I was winning a few art awards. He began studying Picasso and Cezzane at 16 and 17. When he was 17 his father he gave him a Ciroflex 21/4 camera. Thats when photography got to him. hooked looking at the world through a groundglass. It was a new time for photography. A time when photography entered the fine art arena. Ansel Adams, Edward and Brett Weston, and other west coast photographers were becoming popular. Street photographers were making a mark. I wanted to do that as well. I attended San Francisco State University as a fine arts major with an emphasis in photography and modern art..After some ventures working as a studio photographer and wedding photographer I concentrated solely on my personal photography projects, earning my living in Silicon Valley and then as a tennis instructor. Of course, the "burbs" were a vast wasteland for art types. I could not be inspired by the commercial world of photographing PC boards and nuts and bolts.. I only wanted to do photography for myself. It was my art form. And that was that.. Working mostly in isolation, developing an approach, was at times very difficult. But I stubbornly plugged away at the craft and art of it when I could.. In my 50's I became much more independent, supporting myself with tennis instruction, so that I could run off and photograph at will. ..Today I spend the majority of my time with photography. I am very involved in photographing California and in particular teaching photography creating books, printing and selling fine art prints, and exhibiting.