About the Book
This book was created to accompany a portfolio containing these 30 images. The images are not organized chronologically or geographically but rather appear in this book in the order in which they appear in the portfolio, grouped in a way that makes sense thematically.
In these pages Ashley shares the experience of taking these photographs and provides a brief account of the making of each of these photographs, including descriptions of the techniques used to take and process them.
When Stephen Ashley was a young teenager, his family moved to a new town and rented a house with a bomb shelter in the basement. He discovered that when he turned off the lights, the bomb shelter was perfectly black. He realized that the bomb shelter would make an ideal darkroom, and he assembled one, using a Kodak slide projector as an enlarger. The light from the projector was so bright that it solarized the enlarging paper. Thus began his photographic avocation. During his career he engaged in many occupations—fire fighter, typesetter, lawyer, writer, publisher, law professor, software developer, flight instructor—but all the while he honed his photographic skills. After a serious illness forced him to give up his law-related work, his retirement gave him the opportunity to devote his time to expanding his portfolio and to finding an audience for his work.