Were you at Woodstock? Everyone asks me. I was twenty-four at that time and at the beginning of my own life's journey in the midst of an explosive consciousness revolution. Photography was a way to show me the world and my place within it. It has kept me honest.

I have concluded that life does not take place in chronological order despite that illusion. When I review my earliest photographs, made in my innocence, I look at them in wonder at their maturity. Likewise, I could never have imagined the simplicity and light filled work I now do. But then as now its essence of my photography is based on its authenticity.

In a medium which is so profuse with ideas and techniques and technologies constantly invented, I found it necessary to cut a clear and precise path to chart my trajectory and to keep my ideals consistent and in the forefront. This was done by commitment to three things.

I never leave home without my camera not even for a short walk to the mailbox. Photographers deal with the ephemeral, things are constantly vanishing. When they do no contrivance on earth can recreate them. So my first commitment was to always have a ready camera, and to heed my intuition.

Next is my devotion to black and white film. It wakes the viewer to see the world in a way that cannot ordinarily be perceived. I did a lot of large format photography, including 8 X 10, and even fabricated my own point and shoot 4X5 street camera. But always black and white.

And finally, I committed to doing all my own processing and printing. My darkroom is my 'eden'. It is well rigged, meticulous, with great music, mostly jazz which seems custom built for the pacing of the darkroom process itself. Nothing can replace the darkroom experience. It soothes the soul. Needles to say I have accumulated a lot of vintage prints over the years.

In our ever complicated, unpredictable and chaotic world, which increases exponentially, and with cameras in every hand, in every building and even posted up on street lamps, I am grateful for the life that I have. It is my pleasure to share my vision with you.

Stephen Salmieri