Bruce Barnbaum took the time to sit down with us and answer a few questions about his prolific career. Fifty years of photography is a big accomplishment. How did you get into photography initially? I guess I was about 20 years old, in college. It had nothing to do with trying to be a photographer. My background is in math and physics.
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He has taught workshops since After working for several years as a mathematical analyst and computer programmer for missile guidance systems, he abruptly left the field and turned to photography in late His classic book in four movements, Visual Symphony, was published in by Alfred van der Marck Editions. A second edition was published in , along with a German Language version of the book, published by Edition Braus.
The book is now sold out and out of print. The Art of Photography, An Approach to Personal Expression, published in by Rocky Nook and Photographic Arts has now been reprinted five times, and has been translated into five foreign languages, making it the recognized standard for photographic insight and instruction. Tone Poems - Book 1, which combines photography with music in a uniquely insightful collaboration with Pianist Judith Cohen, was published in by Photographic Arts Editions.
Tone Poems - Book 2, the extraordinary second book of the planned four-part collaborative series, was published in His work is represented by more than ten galleries throughout the United States and Canada, and is in the collections of museums and private collectors worldwide. His photography expands upon the dynamics he finds in both nature and the works of man, relating forces to the sweeping forms that dominate his vivid imagery.
Visually he emphasizes the best of humanity and nature, sometimes with bold realism, often with degrees of abstraction to heighten the mystery. He understands light to an extent rarely found, and combines this understanding with a mastery of composition, applying them to an extraordinarily wide range of subject matter. Bruce has been an active environmental advocate for more than three decades, both independently and through organizations such as the Sierra Club where he served on the Board of Directors of the Angeles Chapter from , and the California Regional Conservation Committee , Audubon, the Stillaguamish Citizens' Alliance which he co-founded in now renamed the Mountain Loop Conservancy, Friends of Washington, and the North Cascades Conservation Council where he has served on the Board of Directors since As a photographer he has seen the changes in our land and our landscape—almost all of them for the worse—that have taken place in the 35 years he has actively been photographing our planet.
He points out that we all live on this one magical globe called "Earth," and unless we love it, revere it, and protect it, we'll all perish with it. Currently, we are exploiting planet earth at an unprecedented rate, saddling ourselves with many self-inflicted problems: human overpopulation, global warming, an increasing ozone hole, deforestation, overfishing of the oceans, overuse of fresh water resources, pollution of the air, land, and waters lakes, rivers, and oceans , and many others too numerous to detail.
But humanity is doing little to correct any one of these problems. We have enough knowledge to recognize the steps that should be taken to turn from our destructive ways to more intelligent, productive, and sustainable means, but we may not have the wisdom or political will to implement that knowledge. View Website.
Bruce Barnbaum Exclusive Interview