Bill grew up in suburban New York, never feeling at home there. He spent summers, and many winter weekends as well, on his family’s fallow farm in the hills of southern Vermont. On foot and on horseback, he roamed the woods and meadows that skirted Mount Pisgah He got dirty among the ferns and mushrooms on the forest floor, and wet splashing in the streams that ran as clear as crystal and cold as ice all year long.
He watched the area change almost overnight, from struggling dairy farms scratching a bare living from the stony clay soil, into teeming multi-season destination sports resort. Remote Mount Pisgah became bustling Mount Snow,. The streams clotted with orange algae, and the winding dirt roads with grass growing in the middle were suddenly straight and paved. The world Bill had known as a boy was changed forever.
He attended Marlboro College for a degree in creative writing, and then the University of Vermont, where he earned his MD. He practiced country medicine in Vermont and later on Cape Cod. His practice spanned the gamut of family and emergency medicine—he cared for children and adults, brought babies into the world, served at a school for autistic young people, managed acute trauma at a ski area, staffed hospital emergency rooms, and served the law enforcement community as a Regional Medical Examiner. He raised a family of his own there, too.
During his challenging years as a country doctor, photography provided a place of refuge, a respite from stress and a way to relax. He has always had a passion for photography. The process of producing the image fascinated him as much as the act of snapping a shutter to capture the picture. The range tools for editing a photo in the days of enlarger and easel disappointed him. When the rapid development of digital image capture and processing tools expanded the ease and power of image manipulation into previously undreamt dimensions, he was instantly hooked. He has retired now to his camera and computer.
He has taken photos since childhood, using his trusty Brownie and occasionally a Rolleiflex TLR borrowed from his Dad, who was an accomplished photographer, illustrator and naturalist, a professor of biology in NYC. He learned too from his grandmother, a Davenport-listed artist who worked in oils, watercolors, etching and clay.
Bill got his first very-own “real” camera, a 35mm Minolta SR-7 SLR, when he was chosen by the American Friends Service Committee to join a small group of young people who spent the summer of ’64 driving a pair of battered VW Microbuses across Eastern Europe and Khrushchev’s USSR. The pictures he took on that journey were his first self-conscious photographs, and he has been taking his photography seriously ever since.
He learned basic B&W darkroom techniques from his father in their basement darkroom. While he was fascinated by crude techniques, such as dodging and burning-in, that were then available to adjust a less than perfect negative or achieve a special effect, He often wished for more precise means to nudge his final images closer to what he had in mind when he took them.
He learned to retouch negatives and prints by hand, to solarize and tint prints, and many other darkroom procedures of the day. He felt they left much to be desired. In-camera effects, like forced perspective and multiple exposures, seldom satisfied him either. Color photography only worsened his sense of frustration because of the vastly more complicated darkroom processes it required. So when digital cameras and software for manipulation of images came along, he embraced them early and enthusiastically.
Now digital imaging has created a new art form, allied to photography but distinct from it. Bill is dedicated to the idea that art is art and medium is medium. Though digital art uses lenses and computers, the works are to be judged on their artistic merit, not the medium that was used to create them.
Bill’s work has hung in juried shows at the Provincetown Art Association and Museum, the Cape Cod Art Association (now the Art Center of Cape Cod), the Cape Cod Cultural Center, the Duxbury Art Association, the Philadelphia Sketch Club, and the North River Art Society in Marshfield Hills, MA. It has been awarded numerous prizes.
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