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

I have concluded that life doesn't take place in chronological order despite the illusion. When I review my earliest photographs made in my innocence, I look in wonder at their maturity.

Likewise, I could never have anticipated the simplicity and light-filled that work I do now. But the essence of my photography has always been its authenticity.

In a medium that is profuse with ideas and techniques and technologies that constantly evolve, I found it necessary to cut a clear and precise path to chart my trajectory and keep my ideals consistent and in the forefront. This was done by commitment to three things. First, I never leave home without a camera, not even for a short walk to the mailbox. Photographers capture the ephemeral. Things are constantly vanishing and when they do, no contrivance on earth can recreate them. So my first commitment as a photographer was to always have a camera ready and to always 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 do a lot of large format photography, including 8x10, and even fabricated my own point-and-shoot 4x5 street camera. But always black-and-white.

And finally, I do 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.

In our ever complicated, unpredictable and chaotic world I am grateful for my time as as photographer and it is my pleasure to share my vision with you.

Stephen Salmieri