History - Kravetz Camera

I spent my childhood in Rochester, New York, the home of Eastman Kodak. My mother worked for Kodak for a short while assembling cameras and one day brought home my first camera, a Brownie Hawkeye. I still remember how that camera felt in my hands. I was hooked. In 1954, I purchased my first serious camera, a Pratika FX. I think I have always been a photographer at heart, but for reasons I cannot explain, life’s little adventures took me away from photography and off in other directions. However, the visual arts have always been a part of my working history. I owned an art gallery in Rochester and had many one-person shows. I produced, directed, and choreographed five multi-media performing arts shows - the last one in Perth, Australia, where I lived for two years. I also produced two art films for public television stations--one in Rochester, New York and the other in Perth. In 1984 I produced and coordinated “The Bare Grays,” an art calendar of men over 50 that won two design awards. I owned a retail establishment in Philadelphia called Pacific Rim for 13 years, and traveled to Asia to collect primitive art and handicrafts in such places as Borneo and New Guinea. I made fifteen such trips. And so I’ve come full circle--back to photography. I mostly enjoy portrait photography but also exploring other ways photography can be utilized and I bought a large format printer of 44 inches. My portraits are based on the drama of shadow and soft light printing in sepia and black and white for the most part. Shooting in the studio is my preference; it’s where I have more control with light to bring more nuance to the subjects and to let them tell their own stories. One of my upcoming projects is photographing the disabled returning veterans and audiotaping their experiences. I am a veteran Army paratrooper and I hope to help shed light on the problems encountered by soldiers seeking medical care. I’ve traveled widely to more than 50 countries including most of Europe, twelve countries in Africa, all over Indonesia, the Philippines, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iran. Also, I have visited Turkey, Russia, Yugoslavia, and Australia. I’ve had guns pointed at me in Uganda. I learned to paint Buddha from the monks in the Himalayas. I went down the Nile on a riverboat, traveled by Dhow, hitchhiked through Kenya and stayed at ashrams. I went from New York City to Santa Cruz, California solo, by bicycle. I also tried to cross Australia by bike twice, once from Sydney to Perth and once from Perth to Sydney; both times I failed. But I must add that I did have another type of failure. In 1976 I was in a cafe in Santa Cruz and a man I had recently met asked me if I had any money to invest. I said I had an extra twenty thousand dollars from the sale of my gallery. He said there was an electronic company that was moving from a garage into a small factory and needed money. I said that hippies do not invest in electronic start-up companies. Instead I bought a lunch wagon, which I hated after a short time and sold it for a huge loss. By the way, the name of that electronic start up company that I didn’t invest in was APPLE. Ouch.

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