Ted Orland lives in Santa Cruz, where he pursues parallel careers in teaching, writing and photography. He took up photography as a young art student working for designer Charles Eames, and in the 1970s worked as Ansel Adams assistant and as printer of Adams‘ Yosemite Special Edition Prints.
Ted was an instructor at Ansel Adams‘ Annual Summer Yosemite Workshop for fifteen seasons. He later taught fulltime at Stanford University and University of Oregon, and currently teaches Digital Photography at Cabrillo College (near his home in Santa Cruz) and leads master class workshops for independent programs nationwide.
Ted is the co-author, with David Bayles, of the best-selling book Art & Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking, and is author of its newly-released companion volume, The View From The Studio Door. A major selection of Ted‘s writings and images appears in his monograph Scenes of Wonder & Curiosity. Ted is also author of the history book Man & Yosemite and served as editor of The Image Continuum Journal. His other critical writings include the Introductions to the book Uelsmann‘s Yosemite, and to the catalog for the first exhibition of Sally Mann‘s At Twelve series.
Ted‘s photographs have been widely exhibited and are included in over thirty major museum collections, including those of the National Museum of Modern Art (Kyoto, Japan), the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the Corcoran Gallery of Art (Washington, D.C.) and the Amon Carter Museum (Dallas TX). Ted‘s artwork is represented by The Ansel Adams Gallery.
"My first and only formal photography teacher was Ansel Adams, and not surprisingly B&W large format straight landscapes quickly became my definition of fine art photography. It took me years to realize that I don‘t actually lead a fine-grained life – and certainly not one that stands still long enough to set up a tripod and wait for things to settle into Zone System perfection. More often than not, I think, life is what happens while you‘re trying to set up your tripod.
In fact the more I photographed, the more I came to realize that the elements of the world that caught my eye were those I encountered almost by accident, en passant, often just out of the corner of my eye. That was fine with me, and helped as well to place some (necessary) aesthetic distance between my vision and that of my mentor. I continue to share Ansel‘s sense that the world is basically benign, but where his world was monumental and sharply defined, my world is more often quirky and decidedly fuzzy around the edges.
My ability to record the world in a manner that rings true to me took a great leap forward about fifteen years ago when I discovered a little plastic camera called the HOLGA. Plastic camera photography was considered a minor aberration back then, but it slowly gained a cult following, and has now blossomed into (ahem) a genre.
I do continue to use "real" cameras – digital models now – but my $20 Holga remains my true love. Holgas come complete with an f-stop (8), a shutter speed (1/60th) and a single-element plastic lens that filters out excessive sharpness so that realism doesn‘t get mistaken for reality. I carry it with me most everywhere, and then photograph whatever crosses my path. The secret is to follow interesting paths…."
Ted Orland (June 2006)
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BS in Industrial Design from the University of Southern California.
MA in Interdisciplinary Creative Arts from San Francisco State University.
Graphic design, photography and filmmaking for designer Charles Eames in the 1960's.
Assistant to Ansel Adams, and printer of Adams' Special Edition Yosemite Prints, in the 1970's. Instructor at Ansel Adams Summer Yosemite Workshops for fifteen seasons.
Founder of Image Continuum Press in 1973 (continuing to present)
Selected Teaching Positions
University of Oregon
San Francisco Art Institute
University of California Extension
Maine Photographic Workshops
Friends of Photography
The Ansel Adams Gallery
(and other independent workshop programs nationwide)
Currently teaching Digital Photography at Cabrillo College (near Santa Cruz CA).
Selected Solo Shows
The Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento CA
Fresno Metropolitan Museum, Fresno CA
Monterey Peninsula Art Museum, Monterey CA
The Yosemite Museum, Yosemite CA
Center for Photographic Art, Carmel CA
Ansel Adams Gallery, Yosemite CA
Selected Group Shows
The Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.
Portland Museum of Art, Portland ME
The California Museum of Art, Santa Rosa CA
Frederick S. Wight Art Museum, UCLA, Los Angeles CA
Oakland Museum, Oakland CA
The Monterey Museum of Art, Monterey CA
Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara CA
Nevada Museum of Art, Reno NV
Center for Creative Photography, Tucson AZ
Recontres International de la Photographie, Arles, France
The National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto, Japan
Ted Orland's artwork is represented by The Ansel Adams Gallery.
The View From The Studio Door: How Artists Find Their Way in an Uncertain World
Scenes of Wonder & Curiosity: The Photographs and Writings of Ted Orland
Man & Yosemite: A Photographer's View of the Early Years
Photographic Truths (a poster)
Co-Author (with David Bayles):
Art & Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking
All Illustrations for:
Yosemite Reflections: The Words of John Muir, The Photographs of Ted Orland
Revelation Countdown, by Cris Mazza
Uelsmann's Yosemite, by Jerry Uelsmann
Past Lives, by Martha Casanave
At Twelve, Exhibition Catalog to the first showing of Sally Mann's series of the same title
Editor and publisher 1973-85:
The Image Continuum Journal
Note on the prints
These images emerge from varying sources, technically speaking. Some are film-based images, some digital. Some were first printed on silver-based materials and then hand-colored with oil paints. Others were photographed on color film. A few were digitally colored in the computer. At this point in time, however, all new prints of these images are produced as inkjet prints utilizing Ultrachrome pigment-based inks.
© Ted Orland (2006) - Used with permission