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Awards

National Scholastic award of excellence

Statement

In 1997, I opened up a fine art print studio for artists and photographers. It was the beginning of a long apprenticeship in mastering digital printmaking techniques. The studio grew fast with the help of a new partner and master pastel artist, Paul Fortis, and soon we expanded the business into fine art publishing to help artists sell their prints. We have been producing limited-edition prints for over 19 years, and helping artists to learn the art-publishing market has been one of the most rewarding highlights of my career.

In 2007 I started concentrating on landscape photography again in order to bring together my love for hiking and for being outdoors with photography. I am currently shooting with digital cameras to produce black-and-white/color landscapes using HDR techniques that create photographs with a soft painted feel, but with a natural look.

I have seen many changes come about in photography, but I think that this is the most exciting time to be creating photographs., I am shooting now with conviction and passion, creating works that can give people something positive in these chaotic times. Showing the beauty of the earth is an exciting profession, and after all these years I feel like I'm just getting started.

Biography

David Chmielewski (a.k.a. davidC) has been creating conceptual photographs for over 40 years. During those years his conceptual imagery has been used to introduce new products by many Hi Tech companies in the Silicon Valley.

A pioneer in digital photography since 1992, David was one the first photographers in Silicon Valley to embrace "pixels" and end the affair with film.

In 1996, his love for fine art took over, and he left advertising photography to pioneer a digital printmaking process for artists. Starting ArtPress Publishing, a fine art publishing company, he would utilize the digital process of GicleƩ printing to create works of fine art for artists and fine art publishers.

Today, with nearly 20 years in the Art Publishing industry, David decided the time was right to focus exclusively on creating his own works. The decision to pursue his vision "full time" at the end of 2014, has turned out to be an exciting path in following his passion and love for landscape photography.

Publications

Micro Publishing Times - Ahead of the Curve

Full Biography

The Early years 1966-1972
I have been a photographer my whole life. It all started in seventh grade when my English teacher handed out an assignment to me to write an essay about a small handheld device called a light meter and the man it was named for, Edward Weston. At the time I didn't like essays but being a gadget-loving kid, this one at least had a curious subject. I did find the meter interesting, but when I looked up Edward Weston and started looking at his photographs of Carmel, Point Lobos and Big Sur, I was captivated by art for the first time in my life. I really did not understand the why. I just felt an emotion that stirred in me, and a need to create was born.

I quickly picked up a cheap camera at the local discount store and began taking my first pictures. The camera was a Diana, 127 roll film camera. It had the look of a 35 mm camera, but it took roll film. Also, it was made of plastic. I photographed everything from pet turtles in the driveway to Dad mowing the lawn. Everything was a subject to be captured.

After getting the knack of it and producing a few good shots around the house, I was able to convince my Mom that a great birthday gift for a twelve-year old would be a real 35-mm rangefinder camera -- a Kodak Retinette 1A with a Schneider lens (real glass) and a clip-on Yashica light meter. It was a great camera! I may have been only twelve years old, but to me it was like turning pro!

Coincidentally, I got my first assignment a couple of days later -- photographing my cousin Joan's first communion ceremony. It was a big event for the family. All of my aunts and uncles were there, and they came with movie cameras, Polaroid swingers and even one Japanese SLR. I was a little shy at first, but once the event was under way I noticed that I had permission to walk around the ceremony and take my shots. Everyone else had put down their cameras to pay attention to the event . I realized for the first time in my life that I was an observer. It was thrilling to be able to walk around unsupervised and take photographs. As it turned out, my pictures were the some of the better ones from that day, so my Mom had lots of print orders, and everyone in the family acknowledged my first works.

Soon afterward, I discovered that you can process your own film if you have a tank and chemistry. My first roll of b&w film was Plus X pan. I shot landscapes in the park , and with the help of my brother, Gerry, who stood guard, I stuffed myself into the hallway closet to load my first roll of film for processing. Over the bathroom sink, with my brother acting as my darkroom timer, I processed my first roll of film. The exposures were good, and there were a few keepers, but most of all I remember being totally amazed unrolling the film and seeing the images I shot that day. I still have that roll of film today.

In high school we had darkrooms, and I couldn't wait to use them. One year of art was required as a prerequisite to taking the photography class, so I immediately signed up for a drawing class. My high school art teacher, Ronald DePentu, was an accomplished artist and was not a fan of laziness in his classes. It was his motivation and inspiration that got me looking at photography as an art form, and it was there in high school that I was able to really begin to practice photography as art and to begin to polish my technical skills, as well. In that time of my life, I was able to venture out to the city to walk the streets for shots. I got my first taste of shooting and the world was starting to open up to me through the viewfinder of my camera.

It was also in high school that I received scholastic awards of excellence for five photographs taken in my junior year. One of the photos is titled "Me and my Ballon." It won a cash prize of $100 from Kodak, but to collect the prize required me to surrender the negative. I felt my first pain from my beloved craft. My photo-art teacher, Mr. DePentu, assured me to go forward with it, but he also told me to go into the darkroom and run off some 11"x14" prints before I surrendered the negative. He was my mentor at the time, so I did what I was told and today I am very grateful for his advice. The photograph sums up the first part of my early photographic experiences and defines who I was as a photographer during those years. It was a great achievement as a sixteen year old to take photograph that iconically represents the late 60's, both architecturally and culturally. The black-and-white photograph depicts a dichotomy between a happy face balloon floating gracefully in front of the massive modern block style architecture of the Everson Museum (designed by I.M.Pei), while a crowd of university students below have peacefully jammed the doors to get look at two of the worlds biggest cultural figures, John Lennon and Yoko Ono, as they got ready to launch their new show (This is not here) in 1971. I still have the film from that shoot, with the exception of the last frame on the roll, which I surrendered to Kodak. Only 2 original prints from that last frame remain.

Early Career. 1972-1977
The Scotchman newspaper contributing photographer
Carhart Photo - Syracuse, NY chem-mix
E&A Design - Liverpool, NY photographer / darkroom
davidC photography - North Syracuse freelance photographer

Making a Living
I loved photography so much at this point that really could not see myself doing anything else. I had a camera with me everywhere I went. I shot freelance photos for the local paper. They would contact my Mom and tell her about an assignment, and she would track me down and tell me when and where to be to get the shots.

After I got a drivers license, I was able to get a job at the local photo-processing plant. I was the chem-mix boy and gopher. I had been used to mixing a gallon of developer at a time, and now I was mixing 150 gallons with motorized equipment and electrical pumps . That job did not last long. I decided to go back to school, took my S.A.T.'s and interviewed with Professor Demerest at Syracuse University's Newhouse School of Communications. At that point, my portfolio was good enough to get me past the first year photography classes and into more interesting studio courses.

Around that time, I got a call about a summer job working in the darkroom of an ad agency -- perfect for a summer job before going back to school in the fall. The agency had an art department with a cartoonist and several artists creating cells that were painted and then photographed. It was there that I would get my first taste of advertising photography. My work there during the summer consisted mainly of processing slides (E-3 chemistry) and mounting the slides for the clients, but also, there were occasional shoots of a construction site or engineering site with black-and-white printing of the photos afterwards. The agency's main clients were Carrier Air Conditioning, Ingersol Rand and Corning Glass, and these clients would order lots of slides and prints. The agency asked me to stay on full time at the end of summer. I liked it there, so I decided to go for it, which meant switching to night classes at Syracuse University. Unfortunately, that did not work out, and after half a semester I dropped out.

I stayed with the agency for almost three years. Then, one day I realized I was almost 21 years old and l was already burning out. I left the agency, and with connections that I had made while there, I started my own freelance photography business. I had use of Syracuse University's Community Darkroom facilities and had moved up to a Nikon F2 with several lenses.

My first job as a freelance photographer came from a local engineering company, in the form of a road trip. The assignment involved traveling around New York State and Vermont, shooting all the company's sites and then making prints. I had a budget to hire a friend to be my full time assistant on the road and in the darkroom. We got a large print order and had to use the University's darkroom at night so the printing would not interrupt the other students. That first freelance job kept my assistant and me busy for over a month, and I got my first experience of going on my own. It was an experience I would not lose sight of in the future.

Moving West 1977-1993
Melgar Photographers - Santa CLara, CA 1977-1983 studio photographer / b&w printer
davidC photography -Sunnyvale, CA 1983-1989 interior & architectural photography
davidC Studios - Mountain View 1989-1993 advertising photography / architectural photography
davidc studios - Los Gatos, Ca 1993- 1997 advertising photography / stock photography

In 1977, a friend invited me to follow him out west to Santa Cruz, California, where his brother lived. To me, it sounded like the opportunity of a lifetime, so I packed my car and followed him out West. I fell in love with Santa Cruz instantly. Unfortunately, my money lasted only a couple of months, and soon it was time to get a job or head back.

Santa Cruz is a small town on the West Coast, not exactly New York City for a photographer. There was no work! I realized that to stay in California, I would have to move closer to the jobs. I moved over the hill into the Silicon Valley in May, 1977, and I found a job in a commercial photo-studio three months later. It was in Silicon Valley that I learned my view-camera skills and the in's and out's of commercial photography.

After five years at the studio, I started having the feeling that I should be out there doing work out on my own again, so I made plans to start up my first business out west, specializing in architectural photography. I loved being outdoors and traveling to different places, so it felt like a good fit. Being in the studio for five years sharpened my large format skills as nothing else could, and shooting architecture always put me somewhere around sunrise or sunset. Architectural work also gave me a feeling of doing something new and fresh.

Things were going very well, but I had always dreamed of having a my own studio, so I made the decision to do it. That decision would turn out to add balance to my life,and give me a chance to practice creatively on my own. Having the freedom to create what I want in the studio was a long time coming, and I started creating work without assignments -- conceptual images that could tell a story without having to involve any products. I fell into stock photography at a workshop one summer in Santa Fe. I brought some of my work with me to show what I was doing and was immediately recruited by one of the top stock agencies, Westlight. During the coming years I would be mentored by one of the biggest names in the business, Craig Aurness of Westlight. Craig would forever change my perceptions of photography and the business of photography.

currently - 1997-present
ArtPress Publishing - Los Gatos, Ca 1997-2010 photographer - fine art printmaker
davidC, photographer - Los Gatos, Ca 2007-2010 fine art photography, b&w , color landscapes

In 1997, I opened up a commercial fine art print studio for artists and photographers. It was the beginning of a long apprenticeship in mastering digital printmaking techniques. The studio grew fast with the help of a new partner and master pastel artist, Paul Fortis, and soon we expanded the business into fine art publishing to help artists sell their prints. We have been producing limited-edition prints for over 13 years, and helping artists to learn the art-publishing market has been one of the most rewarding highlights of my career.

Two years ago, I started concentrating on landscape photography again in order to bring together my love for hiking and for being outdoors with photography. I am currently shooting with digital cameras to produce black-and-white/color landscapes using HDR techniques that create photographs with a soft painted feel, but with a natural look.

I have seen many changes come about in photography, but I think that this is the most exciting time to be creating photographs., I am shooting now with conviction and passion, creating works that can give people something positive in these chaotic times. Showing the beauty of the earth is an exciting profession, and after all these years I feel like I'm just getting started.

Contact

Email:
Website (davidcphotography.com)

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