About the Photographer


Greetings, and happy St. Patricks Day!

Although I have made my living for the past 30 years as a psychologist and consultant working principally in the pubic schools, I have been a student of photography for all of my adult life.  I first took up photography at the age of 22, approximately 40 years ago.  At that time I was serving in the military as an information specialist.  As an information specialist I had the good fortune to come into contact with a number of professional news photographers and journalists who had been drafted out of civilian lives and careers to serve during the Vietnam War.  Working in public information gave me ready access to a well-equipped photo laboratory and to the wealth of experience possessed by the other photographers and writers who worked with me.  It was probably during this time that I got the bulk of my education as a photographer.

Following military service I returned to school at the University of Kansas and went to work as a photo lab instructor at the William Allen White School of Journalism, teaching both graduate and undergraduate journalism students about how to develop negatives and how to make prints.  It has always been my belief that print making is the most important part of good photography. During this same time, I wrote for the University newspaper, and I freelanced some photo work for other publications.  I also worked part time for a commercial photo lab in Kansas City. It had been my goal to enter the field of journalism and work as either a writer/photographer or as a public relations specialist.  However, in order to broaden my employability, I decided to complete the necessary coursework for a teaching certificate.  As fate would have it, my first job was as a language arts and journalism teacher for high school students in rural Colorado.

My wife and I moved to the San Luis Valley of south central Colorado near the headwaters of the Rio Grande where I lived for three years and worked in the public schools.  Naturally, I taught both photography and news writing to my journalism students, but it was also there in Southern Colorado that I was finally able to indulge and to combine my interests in climbing, backpacking and skiing with my interests in landscape and nature photography.  Additionally, I  became interested in the "curanderas" and tales of "brujos" that dominated the superstitious lives of many of the good people I came to know, and I also acquired new interests in ethnology, southwestern indian culture and Spanish colonial culture while living there. In the many years since, I have traveled throughout the western United States, taking virtually throusands of pictures using a variety of film and digital tools. 

My initial job in public education ultimately lead to a career in the fields of education and mental health, and to graduate degrees in counseling and psychology.  Through it all, however, I have continued to take pictures for my own enjoyment, and I have now decided to make some of them available on the web for the enjoyment of others.


Jay Curtis
I believe that, while it is important for photographers to have good technical skills in both the use of photo equipment and in print making, it is of equal or greater importance for photographers to have both a good factual grasp of the subject they are photographing as well as a personal perspective about their subject.  The best pictures always come from a good empirical understanding of the subject and from a point of view, whether the subject is something from the natural world or something that is culturally derived. Some visitors may find the "Photographer's Notes" to be of interest in addition to the images themselves, In the weeks and months that follow more galleries and notes will be added.


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