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Steve Harper

Photo Credit © Sherry Glassman

A self-taught photographer, Steve Harper started his career standing in front of the cameras of Arbus, Penn, Horst, Avedon, and other greats as a Ford agency model in the 1960s. In 1969, he moved to Mendocino, California, where he opened a photography gallery. In 1979, Harper embarked on a teaching career that led him to research, develop, and teach the first college-level night photography course. Night photography quickly became his own photographic expression, and his classes were always full. Michael Kenna has aptly referred to Harper as “a guiding light for a whole generation of night photographers.”


Self, Sutro Baths

Fierce wind and heavy fog are challenging conditions for successful picture-making. Always ready for a unique experiment, Harper grabbed a blanket and held it overhead for the duration of the exposure. His legs and torso register clearly on the film but his upper body is hidden beneath a veil of the light colored fabric in constant motion. The cool color temperature of Harper’s tungsten film makes the overall scene shift blue.

© Steve Harper
Camera: Leicaflex, Lens: 50mm, Aperture: f/2.8
Exposure: 7 Minutes, Film: Kodak 160 Tungsten

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