Richard R Ashby --- Photoartistry



I grew up in Florida where I had ample opportunity to become intimately acquainted with exotic flora and fauna. For four years I attended the University of Miami on a music scholarship with the ultimate intention of studying marine biology and ichthyology. Graduate studies in fish biology brought me to California where my interest in photography was ignited when I borrowed my major professor’s Nikkormat camera with its macro lens to photograph my aquatic study subjects. Unfortunately, my study was interrupted when I was drafted into the Army, although I ended up serving the next four years in the United States Air Force and was given a new career as a Medical Laboratory Specialist. Fortunately, I was stationed in California and a steady salary enabled me to purchase the first Nikon camera of my own, thus beginning a seemingly endless procession of camera acquisitions. I became involved with the Sierra Club and the Photographic Society of America, both of which led to numerous field trips and opportunities to photograph the incredible plants and animals found in California’s diverse ecosystems.  I never found my way back to a career on the ocean. I did, however, complete my graduate degree, now with an emphasis in clinical laboratory science. At the same time I also had the opportunity to become acquainted with electron microscopy and photomicrography in the science department at California State University, Sacramento as well as high speed, laser, and polarizing microscopy in the engineering department.  Four years later a wonderful opportunity to study art in Europe for a summer arose and allowed me to indulge my interest in art and painting, areas that one usually misses when pursuing careers in the sciences. Upon my return, this quickly led to a degree in studio art with an emphasis in photography.  Yet I now had a different perspective on creating the photographic image as well as having been introduced to the pinhole camera, large format camera, and techniques such as photo-lithography, photo-etching, and Polaroid transfers. I now find that my photography reflects a synthesis of my interest in science, art, and music.



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