Photographer Crafts Works From Multiple Images

PAYSON ARTS

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Photographer Steve Bingham claims he was the first kid on the block to have Photoshop 1.0.A for the Mac.

At 11 years old Bingham fell in love with the picture coming up through the developer in his mother's kitchen.

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The darkroom photographer Steve Bingham works in now is filled with light, a computer and several printers.

Now, the award-winning photographer is a digital man.

"It was an easy transition from the darkroom to the computer," he said.

The manual process of making a single picture from a collage of photos required patience and timing.

Sometimes he would need to use two photo enlargers at the same time, to focus each image, then create a single print.

"Ansel Adams was a master at taking pictures as well as printing," Bingham said. "He would have loved Photoshop."

Bingham made his living as a high school photography teacher.

He also shot for magazines.

The first time Popular Photography Magazine ever published a digital photograph, they chose two of Bingham's works.

There was a top, middle and amateur category.

"I was the amateur, but I was side by side with professional photographer, Eric Meola," he said.

Now, Bingham might use three, four or even 12 of the thousands of photographs he has taken in his life to create a single work of art.

"I look for textures... faces... old cars... old objects and buildings," he said. "I have hundreds of cloud pictures."

All his collages are emotionally striking.

"I let my subconscious mind do what it wants," he said. "I don't think too hard and kind of do what feels right."

A dilapidated chair and chest sit in the middle of a decaying room. The room's wallpaper gives way to storm clouds. The site is Bodie, Calif., a ghost town.

Some of his collages are fun and carefree, while others have a deeper story to tell.

A sleeping woman and the bark of a tree fallen in the woods, merge to one black-and-white image. "People come and people go. Only the land remains" is the title.

Bingham also photographs landscapes and does commissioned work.

RESUME

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"Vulture Mine"

Name: Steve Bingham

Medium: Photography

Advice to beginning artists: Follow your passion -- with vigor!

Achievement most proud: "I was pumped" when at age 18, I won first place in the categories of children and sports in a San Diego Tribune-sponsored contest.

Philosophy on life: I believe the most important attributes you can have are persistence, followed by hard work. But, you must always ask yourself, where is the good? Will this benefit people or just benefit me?

Why Payson? This is a great place to live because of all the people volunteering and giving enormous amounts of time and effort.

Upcoming project: I am in the process of documenting ghost towns of the West, then publishing my artistic representations of those towns in a book. See the first 40 or so pictures on www.ghosttowns.biz.

Faves:

Music: Classical, followed by blues, jazz and folk

Books: I am an informational reader.

Movie: Anything with a plot. A great story makes a great movie.

Other pursuits: KRIM radio station; teaches Photoshop at GCC.

Points of contact: www.dustylens.com and (928) 474-1849.

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