A Sampling of the Past 30 Years


T.Collins Logan






Smart Phone Wonders


Since December of 2009 I have had a Motorola Droid with me most of the time. This has allowed more spontaneity about many things in my life, including photography.  On this day in January of 2010, I was visiting with my friend Kay at her house in the Hillcrest area, a progressive oasis in San Diego.  As she often does, Kay began to regale me with one of her many fascinating tales, and I just had to catch her in the act.





Looking Up


Have you ever been inspired to look up into the sky for no particular reason?  While sauntering along a trail in Zion National Park in 2009, my girlfriend Mollie and I found ourselves doing this frequently, and were always richly rewarded.













Hidden Treasure


For me, hiking in wilderness is all about paying attention.  What’s around that bend in the trail?  What’s hiding behind this log?  What sounds will I hear when I am still?  How are smells different under the trees, out in the grass, on top of that rock?  It seems as though the longer I remain in one spot, the more my camera finds.  This 2008 photo is from a hidden meadow on Mount Laguna just outside of San Diego.





Outdoor Markets


Certain themes unconsciously recur over decades of taking photographs.  Informal and spontaneous photos of people, animals and nature; interesting qualities of light or color; and aesthetically pleasing contrasts and patterns all tend to engage my eye.  And so outdoor markets have tended to be ideal places to hang out.  I mean, just look at the fuzz on those peaches! 










People, Not Personas


In the fall of 2007 an  upgrade to the Nikon D80 allowed me to return to one of my favorite subjects:  people.  Being able to quickly snatch a moment is especially critical when working with humans, as self-consciousness can quickly dampen the rich and rewarding spontaneity of our species.  Where once I would hold my digital camera for painful seconds while the image was processed, now I could press the shutter exactly when needed.  This shot, entitled "Inner Knowledge," was taken as part of an on-location shoot of some fascinating young friends.


See the rest of shoot here



Ugly Beauty


I have always been fascinated with the impact of human beings on natural environments.  So often, our ugly mistakes are co-opted by Nature, becoming works of art despite our seeming indifference. 










The slow digital technology of my old Olympus C4040 did have its advantages, bringing new techniques and new creative possibility.  This was a full moon nighttime snapshot at Joshua Tree in 2005, complete with shooting star.  It required no special setup or effects.  What will new technologies make possible in five years?  How will that change the way we see the world around us?
















In 2004 I decided to tell stories by putting three related photographs together in one large format (the final product is between 40 and 60 inches wide).  This one is a compilation of images from Mono Lake, near Yosemite.  These TriViews ask questions about place and interconnection, and are meant to evoke both serenity and mystery.  This one is called "Predestination."


See other TriViews here


Textures & Patterns


When I first began categorizing slides years ago, I found a large number of images I could only call "interesting textures and patterns."  Pieces of a larger picture, they are metaphors for what is beautiful, accessible and comprehensible in the world around us.  In a life of travel, interaction and thought, what do we really see or understand but a tiny fraction of the Universe?  This is some mud from the Anza Borrego desert, circa 2003.













In the Studio


These are some shots I did for musician promo packages.  Most of my studio work has been people-centric.  For me, this is about finding new ways to break through the surface to what I feel is the essence of a person.

















Digital Art


At some point shortly after my conversion to digital photography in 2002, I took a stab at what I thought of as “recombinant digital art.”  This was one of my first pieces, and one of my last.  I actually got into an international art show with one of these experiments.  I think it was just the novelty of the medium that caught the judge’s attention.  And yes, those are nuns.














Old Boots


San Diego offers limitless opportunities for photographers.  This is part of a series I did in 2002 on a pair of old boots a friend brought back from France.  Her active canine companion was difficult to pose.  This was one of the last shoots I did using film.






I found myself in love with this place and its people within hours of my arrival.  I spent just two weeks in the Gaeltacht in 2000, staying first in a Bed and Breakfast in Galway, then moving to a castle on a river near the West Coast.  This was taken in the nearby hills, called “The Bens.”  The colors you see here have not been enhanced – the afternoon was very dramatic. 












The North Cascades


When I first landed in Seattle, WA in 1983, I intended to stay for a week or two to check out the UW campus, the local culture and natural surroundings, then travel on to Eugene, OR.  I ended up staying in Seattle for nearly twenty years, and this view from around 6,000 feet in the North Cascades is an example of what held me there for so long.  The beauty of the Northwest is truly astounding.




Green Lake


Another area of Seattle I frequented was Green Lake.  A three-mile paved path around the lake has bicycles, roller bladers, joggers with baby strollers and ordinary pedestrians competing with each other for exercise and peace of mind.   Set in the middle of the city, the lake and surrounding park draws people from all around town to enjoy a bit of green – though often rainy – escape. 




Managing Inevitability


As inevitable as weddings are the requests that photographers shoot them.  So I’ve done my fair share for friends and relatives, but I try to let the moment capture me, rather than the other way around.  This is a just-married picture of my uncle Dale and aunt Deene.






On the Flats


Here is a seldom seen angle of Vancouver, BC.  A group of young boys would run as fast as they could clutching their skimboards, then hurl themselves into spinning, blurry ride across the sand flats - sometimes on their feet, sometimes standing up, but rarely if ever falling off.  I think this was taken in the Spring of 1993.













Up the Down Staircase


Vancouver represents all the diversity of Canada for me.  Its produce markets and quaint avenues crowded with restaurants and shops host cultures from all around the globe.  Appropriately, this apple is attempting to bridge the gap between plant societies.





Humble Nobility


There is a Native American story about how the Great Spirit divided animals from humans on a huge Mesa, cracking it in two.  At the last moment, just as the divide became too great for anything to cross, the dog jumped over to be with humanity.  This is a photo of Ratzi – philosopher, explorer, rebel, ravenous eater of Liverwurst, and very good friend.




From the beginning my goal has been to capture the subject unawares, in the most natural and impulsive of moods.  This is my sister Karin and her mother Jutta, taken on a return visit to Germany in 1985.









Post War Beliefs


Time in Europe was very formative in terms of my worldview.  There is so much history, and so much cultural memory, that certain conclusions are inescapable.  One is that war leaves horrible scars on the very soul of a nation.  Another is that time cannot really distance us from who we are and what we have accomplished – and what we have not yet accomplished. 





Frankfurt American High School


My time in Frankfurt was filled with the arts, from opera and theatre to photography and art history.  Travelling around Europe, it is impossible not to appreciate the prominent place the arts have had for centuries in those cultures.  Under the guidance of many fine teachers, I was inspired to explore the arts in ways I had never considered before.  In this photo I tried to capture some feelings I had at that time about the artist within.


More FAHS photos here








This kettle was forever whistling away on the gas stove in my German grandparent’s house.  It symbolizes for me the cozy warmth of conversation between loved ones over a cup of coffee, and the comforting rhythms of life as the water boils, is poured, and waits patiently to boil again.












I didn’t speak a lick of Deutsch when I arrived in 1979.  It was “West” Germany back then, and the park across from the house where I lived with my newly adopted German grandparents was an especially alien place.  For nearly five years, on sunny summer days or blustery winter ones, there never seemed to be anyone there.







Oompah Bands


The first time I heard live mariachi music I exclaimed “Hey!  That’s just like an oompah band!” The mainstay of German folk music is quite similar to Mexico’s in both rhythm and energy.  This was taken some time during the Rose parade in Germany, circa 1982.




I was not a religious person during the years I spent in Europe.  At least, I did not think I was.  But I was frequently lured into the many cathedrals by splendid  architecture and organ music.  I would sneak into cordoned-off balconies to listen to the organists practice.  As a musician myself, I was always reassured when, in the midst of a particularly difficult passage, the organist would blunder horribly and curse aloud.  In this particular cathedral, I recall the cursing was in German.











Faeries in the Wood


In the world of photography, I suspect many young folks try to undress the objects of their affection for the sake of . . . art.  In a forest outside of Frankfurt, when I was fifteen or so, this is as far as I got.








My last summer as a teenager in Europe I tutored this brother and sister in English and Math.  When they worked especially hard and finished early, I would take them to a local park to climb trees and explore.  Their mother never quite believed this was how I inspired them to study so diligently.  This series became the foundation of my ongoing "Magic Years" project.














Just Another Cog


When I was thirteen, I climbed to the summit of Mount Washington in New Hampshire with a bunch of teenagers, as the grand finale of a two-week Outward Bound type experience.  At the time, this Cog Railway was the oldest still running in the U.S.  This is one of a series of photos that reduce complex subjects to two dimensions. 


Snagging the Instant


Beginning in 1978, I stayed with Rick and Marge at their Belchertown, MA home in the woods for about a year.  One of my jobs was to stock the woodpile after feeding the woodstove each morning during the winter months.  Rick's job was to show me how it was done.  With a manual camera, slow and expensive film, and an overcast day, snagging this instant took careful planning.















There will always be a special place in my heart for theatre.  It was here I learned that performance is as much about relationship as it is about acting skill and memorizing lines.  I think I took this photo in one of the first plays in which I performed:  Thornton Wilder’s “Our Town,” some time in 1979 in Amherst, Massachusetts.



Boston Aquarium


In the winter of 1978, my fourth grade class went to Boston Aquarium.  There was a lot of teasing about my bulky new camera.  That didn’t stop me from taking pictures – on the contrary, it seemed to harden my resolve.


















When family gathers together.  This was Christmas of 1977, I think, when my sister Shelly refused to speak to anyone except through her Muppet and spent much of the day hiding behind furniture.  I spent most of the day hiding behind my camera.  I know this wasn’t the first roll of film I shot with my SLR, because the Pentax K1000 was fully manual, and it took me a while to remember to watch my exposure meter.  But it was certainly very near the time when my shutter addiction really took flight.



And that’s all for now….






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