Huntington Witherill was born in Syracuse, New York, in 1949. He moved to California in 1953 and began training in classical music. Upon entering college as a music major, Witherill become interested in the study of two-dimensional design. This shift in artistic medium eventually led to a career in fine art photography beginning in 1970. He studied under such notables as Ansel Adams, Wynn Bullock, Steve Crouch, and Al Weber.
Witherill's photographs have been exhibited in more than seventy-five individual and group exhibitions in museums and galleries throughout the world. His photographs represent a remarkably varied approach to the medium including landscapes, studies of pop-art, botanical studies, urban architecture and digital imaging.
"For more than thirty years I have used a camera and lens to chronicle my intense fascination with the symbolic and often transient visual relationships of line, form, and space," says Mr. Witherill. " I have always endeavored to approach each subject before my camera - not simply to record an object in and of itself, but rather to create images that symbolize and celebrate those inherent visual qualities that are by nature universal to all matter."
In 2000, an international acclaimed hard bound monograph featuring Witherill's black and white landscape images, entitled: "Orchestrating Icons", was published followed by a second award winning hard bound monographs featuring his black and white botanical photographs, entitled "Botanical Dances", in 2001.
Witherill likens his thirty-year career as a fine art photographer to a creative odyssey, a journey of limitless artistic discovery in which the artist seeks no final destination and draws upon the past as a guide toward the future. .
"The only way I can see where I'm going is to look at what I've done in the past," he explains. "It is like driving down the road using only the rear view mirror as a point of reference to give a hint where I'm headed. One of the greatest things about all art is that one will never quite figure out how to do it. It's a lifelong thing." .
Since having been the recipient of the Artist of the Year award presented by the Center for Photographic Art, in 1999, Witherill continues the expand his photographic vision. Beginning in 2002, he produced a remarkable series of botanical images using color materials and the digital imaging realm. With these new tools, Witherill has produced a body of work representing a creative and new approach to the medium.
For Witherill, working with computer imaging technologies
has given him greater creative control and freedom, while staying
faithful to the high standards of the "fine print" espoused by Ansel
"What the computer gives you is unlimited control of the contrast and tonal range," notes Witherill. "The process allows me to get a more refined resolution to the image."
Since 1975, Witherill has continued to teach photography for a variety of institutions and workshops programs throughout the United States, including the University of California, Friends of Photography, and The Ansel Adams Gallery. He and his wife make their home in Monterey, CA.
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Great article in the PSA journal. I have sent a copy to all of my digital friends. I am 82 years old, been in t he darkroom for 60 years and not going to learn all over again. I just bought a G5 , 22 inch screen, Epson 4870 scanner, 2200 printer and a Nikon D 70, but I won't give up the darkroom. Thanks for the great article. Francis K.
Dear Mr. Witherill... First I want to tell you how much I enjoyed your photos and article in the PSA Journal for August. You make so many valid points about the 'digital age'. I am one of the old dinosaurs that is slowly being put out of business by all the technology, but at the same time I am jumping up and down as well over what Photoshop can do. We have a small (Mom & Pops) studio in a remote location known as the Kern River Valley in the high desert near Bakersfield, Calif. and I do a lot of restoration of old photos many over 100 years old. I see these and how well they have withstood the ravages of time and wonder if there will be any 'heritage' to share that far into the future with all the digital stuff. Even the CDs will probably become obsolete soon as they are already working on the next generation. How will the precious family portraits be preserved and viewed?? To what cost must we go to keep transferring this to the newest and latest gadget. You really hit the nail on the head when you said they need to standardize the digital stuff like the old 35mm... which I will hold on to 'til they pry my cold dead fingers off it!! I was out last night doing time shots of the meteor shower... Can they even do stuff like star trails and all with the digitals??? The really creative and fun stuff does not seem the same with digitals...the slow long shutter speeds...maybe some of the high end? I've plundered on here but mostly I just wanted to say thank you for writing such a great article and I really love your floral pics, they are just beautiful with an ethereal quality. Most sincerely, Trudy P.
Dear Huntington, Is there an easy way to proof negs using a scanner and printer? If so, what scanner do you recommend? I would like to do all formats including 8x10. I liked your class at UCSC. Best wishes, Joe
Dear Mr. Witherill, I am looking for a digital camera with at least 6MP (more would be a plus) and a good lens. What would you recommend (or yourself use)? Is there a depth-of-field problem in digital focusing? (Or does that question even make sense?) The goal is to make fine prints with no "grain" (noise) in 16x20 size. Do you need a camera with a stabilizer to hand-hold? Any relevant information would be appreciated. My wife is in Sri Lanka, headed for Dubai, which is a duty-free haven and I'd like to take advantage of the opportunity to get something really good. Is the Samsung Pro815 good? Thanks for any help. Hiag
- Point and shoot cameras (which have the smallest pixel array)- Examples: Nikon Coolpix series, etc. - Maximum usable resolution- 5-6MP
- 35mm type cameras with a 1.5x-1.6X multiplier (in terms of actual focal length)- Examples: Canon 20D, Canon Rebel, etc. -Maximum usable resolution- 8MP
- 35mm "full chip" model cameras. Examples: Canon 5D, Canon IDS series, etc. -Maximum usable resolution- 13MP.
- Medium format and larger pixel array cameras. Examples: Hasselblad, etc. -Maximum usable resolution- 22-30MP. (This is an area that I have no personal direct experience as I've never used a camera of this type and am going on hearsay from what others have advised).
Dear Hunt, How can I get rid of a greenish caste in a color print? Desaturating under Hue/Saturation seems to create more problems than it resolves. Would "Real World Photoshop CS2" be helpful in questions of this sort? Cheers, Hiag
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