I was born in 1949 and grew up in Roseland, New Jersey, about twenty miles west of New York City. My father was a machinist, cabinetmaker, and a skilled amateur photographer. My mother was a commercial illustrator. By the time I was ten or eleven I was making pictures with my father's Speed Graphic and developing and printing in his darkroom in our basement. In my third year of college I received a scholarship for a year of study abroad with the International Honors Program. Study centered on anthropology, sociology, and comparative religions, with emphasis on Utopian social movements and communities. I worked throughout the year on a text and photographs study of ritual practices. In 1972 I began writing and photographing freelance articles for Today, the Sunday magazine of the Philadelphia Inquirer. In 1975 I relocated, with the painter Bettina Skor, to rural Connecticut, and centered my professional contacts on the NYC market. Corporate assignments for Litton Industries, IBM, General Electric, Uniroyal added to my editorial assignments. Much of my time was spent on self-assigned documentary projects centered on rural and small town life.
About this time I began to work with magazines in the "Shelter" and "How-To" fields where I'd do about half of my professional work for the next twenty years. I worked with Popular Mechanics, House Beautiful, Mechanix Illustrated (Home Mechanix), Family Handyman, Practical Homeowner, and others. I liked these assignments because of the incredible variety of problem-solving tasks they presented. In a few days work I might need to do large format architectural photographs of building projects, how-to sequences in construction situations, portraits of workers, designers, or homeowners, still life studies of tools or other products, all shot on location under tight publication deadlines. It was a wonderful way to develop a broad range of photographic specialties and much of it could be applied to the corporate/industrial assignments I was also accepting. My personal work returned to large format, first 4x5 and then 8x10. Subjects included the Connecticut rural landscape and industrial landscape.
Books and other publications always fascinated me as objects, but the traditional methods of graphic design never appealed. All that changed when the Macintosh computer arrived to replace scissors and paste. Around 1990 I began to design and produce, as well as photograph, commercial publications, mainly for organizations in the healthcare industry. I also began writing on the subject of photography, first for the short-lived publication PhotoPro and then for D&CCT which has since become PHOTO Techniques magazine, where I became a a Contributing Editor. In 1998 I was co-author, and designer, of the book "The New Platinum Print," an instruction manual in modern approaches to the platinum printing process.
I teach workshops in my small facility in Connecticut and several photo workshop centers around the country: see the Workshops page on this site for more information.
In 2006 I began posting a daily photo blog, Working Pictures, using recent work, primarily urban landscapes done in color with digital capture equipment. There's now a second, more or less daily, blog, WPII: Pictures in Public. This concentrates on pictures of people involved in public activities ranging from holiday celebrations to gallery openings, to political action.
Also I'm working on several photographic projects involving the use of oversize "banquet cameras," to study rural and urban landscape, with a variety of exhibition and publication goals. A cross-country road trip is in planning stages to complete the work I want to do on my Drive-in Theater and White Churches projects.
Carl Weese, Woodbury, CT, December, 2009