Photographer Still Discovering after 60 Year Career

By Eric Olson

April 5, 2012 Updated Apr 5, 2012 at 2:20 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Indiana (Indiana's NewsCenter)--He’s among the most distinguished photographers out in Your Country, also one of the most unconventional..an artist who loves breaking the rules. a rebel with a camera who remembers that exact moment, at age five, he fell in love with photography…watching his father developing pictures in his own dark room.

“He placed a sheet of paper in well what we know as developer,” says Stephen Perfect. ‘It looked like just plain water to me. There was the magic.”

Stephen Perfect has sustained that magic in a career spanning six decades. He’s done it by seeking the new, the different, the untried…by boldly going where no photographer has gone before.

“When you look at these images a lot of them are because I didn’t follow what we were supposed to do,” Perfect says, “and it’s all because I just wanted to see what would happen, what’s gonna happen next. Let’s try it.”

This recent exhibit of Perfect’s work at the University of St. Francis contains images produced by more than thirty different techniques…carbon prints, photographic intaglio embossing, cyanotype, carbro, gum bichromate..the list is seemingly endless. These images are printed on canvas like oil paintings..this, a fireworks display erupting as perfect moves his camera around. These images are clay, made from photographic plates perfect etched with acid. This retrospective covered fifty years of work, from Perfects early days as Ann Colone’s photographer at WANE-TV…that’s Ann with the Rolling Stones…to the newest way of making images perfect is experimenting with right now..it involves photographic paper and hand sanitizer. It’s a quest for new ways to express beauty and emotion that has kept this artist, in his mid-70’s, still deeply in love with his art…still asking questions..pushing boundaries…trying what has never been tried, just to see what might develop. This is Eric Olson reporting.

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