Lia No. 9

PhotographerMichael Rubin
PrizeHonorable Mention
City/CountrySan Francsico, United States
Photo Date8/6/14
Technical Info13x19 prints
About Photographer

I was born into a home with cameras and lenses. My father was an ophthalmologist, an amateur photographer who dragged a tripod on vacations. My mother was both entrepreneurial and creative--starting a publishing company in our home when I was ten, and building a darkroom with three enlargers under guidance of artist Jerry Uelsmann. He taught her and she taught me. My application to college included a portfolio of prints and a letter of recommendation from Uelsmann. I continued to shoot at Brown University even though my degree was in neuroscience. After college I began a successful creative career in technology and art. I was fortunate to work first for George Lucas, and became a film editor. I worked on movies and television; I lived in London working with Bernardo Bertolluci, (on "The Sheltering Sky"). By 1994, as my evangelical work getting computers into Hollywood wound down, I founded a successful retail company with my wife. We moved back to Northern California, started a family, I wrote a few more books, and soon I rejoined the tech industry at a young Netflix. I've been a photographer my entire life, supporting that career through a series of creative entrepreneurial ventures. My work has often given me unusual photojournalistic access inside Hollywood and Silicon Valley and my photos are part of the histories of many companies. I've watched (and contributed to) the ubiquity of media and the democratization of film. At 49 I took a role at Adobe as a "Senior Innovator". Among other things, my job involves creating tools for tomorrow's photographers. How much should the camera fix images automatically? We can make photos "better" -- but what is better? How much of photography is sharing? When does it become surveillance? On my 51st birthday last September, I committed to focus on my art: to print again, to show my work, to see what I could make of photography in the new era. In the past 6 months I've set up my studio, and begun many new explorations. Consequently, my fine art career is short although I’ve had some early success. I've participated in public crits at SF CameraWork (January & June 2015) and was invited to present at OpenShow SF. ("Relationships," Feb 2015), where I was later asked to join the board. A series of my photos of the Bay Bridge have been included in a commemorative book on The Bay Lights Project (released April 2015). I have a Facebook page with thousands of fans. One of my prints was recently selected for a book and exhibition ("Still Life") by the MPLS Photography Center (May 2015) and another was a finalist ("Family Matters") with the PhotoPlace Gallery, Vermont (June). It has taken me 35 years as a beginner to start my life as a photographer. I'm finally ready.