Thomas Scalf

Fine Art Photography Gallery

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Thomas Scalf was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in 1954. The mixture of growing up in a community devoted to scientific and military research coupled with the cultural diversity of the Southwest provided a perfect background for creative photography. At the early age of five years old, Thomas frequently accompanied his father to work where he learned the basics of photographing houses and buildings for real estate appraisal reports.
During his teens, Thomas was a member of Civil Air Patrol where the necessary ingredient of personal discipline were learned through military style leadership and piloting. After graduating from high school, he attended the University of New Mexico and studied Architecture and Art. Classes in painting, drawing, and art history opened many creative doors and offered the realization that artistic expression was as valid as any other endeavor. A remarkable drawing instructor who was also a Catholic nun instilled in Thomas the appreciation of the human form with the understanding that representing that form required devotion to detail and many hours of work to produce art that was worthy of the subject.
The period of time during his twenties, Thomas worked in the business community and earned a Bachelor's degree in management. Having moved to Colorado because of its climate, beauty, and people, few and feeble attempts were made to capture the artistic elements of Colorado. Frustrated with other people processing and printing his negatives, it became obvious that in order to be an accomplished fine art photographer or artist, it would be necessary to learn how to print. Two basic photography classes in Boulder gave Thomas the fundamentals of darkroom work. But it was the discovery of the work of other photographers such as Edward Weston and Ansel Adams that lead to the process of refinement that continues to this day.
While pursuing fine art photography, Thomas supported himself by managing restaurants.  While that was financially rewarding, it became obvious that it had no long term satisfaction. It was obvious that imaging was going to have to play a role in any occupation, but the necessity of earning a living photographing seemed destined to eventually overshadow the creative process.
The near fatal heart attack of his father in 1989 served the purpose of identifying the finite time we all have and that imaging can take many forms. Taking a three year hiatus from life in general and photography in particular, Thomas went back to school to learn medical imaging, a decision which has never been regretted.
"People are the most interesting of creatures, visually and biologically. My work photographing nudes lead to an incredible appreciation of the human form that extends to its internal function which I image every day at the hospital.  Fine art photography will eventually lead to a full time endeavor that will include travel and teaching.  Art is an obsession for which I'm grateful. There are so many people who shun that kind of strong passion and many more who never feel that strongly about anything. I've never had a lack of ideas. One thing always leads to another and the combination of the figure in
the environment has endless possibilities."

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