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About Steve Gould Photography


Steve Gould spent most of his professional life as a chemistry professor at Oregon State University and The University of Connecticut, but always pursued his love of nature and photography. Since 2004, photography has become a full-time career. He now shoots only digital with Canon equipment; he had to give up his Nikonos for his underwater work when it became almost impossible to get film processed when he dives around the world. Steve processes all his images in his digital darkroom, beginning with Adobe Lightroom for global adjustments and then Adobe Photoshop for localized adjustments. The digital world lets Steve bring out the best in his images with a level of control that was impossible in the traditional wet chemistry darkroom.

Over the past forty years, Steve has made numerous trips to many parts of the world, always taking pictures - both above water and below. Photography has allowed him to capture the special sense and flavor of each country: the novelty of the scenery, the personalities of the people, the different ways they have of interacting with their environment.

Since turning pro in 2004, Steve has become very active in the San Diego photography and art world. He is a member, and has been President, of The PhotoArts Group, is a Board Member of the Allied Artists Association of San Diego, and is active in the Digital Art Guild, the San Diego Museum of Art Artists Guild, the San Diego Photoshop Users Group, and the San Diego Underwater Photographic Society. He has won numerous awards for his images.

Photographing the Underwater World

Steve began scuba diving in 1981, and in 1991 he bought his first serious underwater camera, the Nikonos V made by Nikon. A whole new world of color, shapes, and complexity, from wide angle to macro photography, opened up. While we move above water in a two dimensional world, underwater we get to explore in all three dimensions: simply using one’s breathing to increase or decrease buoyancy, a diver can move up and down or hover weightless. But, underwater photography provides unique challenges: the photographer has to remain perfectly balanced and weightless to hold position in the water column while composing and taking a picture. And, since water absorbs more colors at deeper depths, flash photography is essential to bring out the colors in close-by subjects. The photographer has to adjust the power of the flash to not only get these colors but also the blue of the background water provided by the ambient sunlight.

Colors and Compositions on the Beach

Just as you see bands of beautiful colors in an oil film on a wet road or sidewalk, or in soap bubbles, if you look carefully those colors can also be seen in the bubbles of sea foam. The phenomenon that causes the colors in the bubbles is called "Interference". Under the right atmospheric conditions wonderful abstract color photographs can be obtained. You'll find some of my photographs that highlight these colors in a series entitled San Diego Beach Gems®. The colors that you see in the foam have not been artificially added, rather the digital darkroom has been used to bring out the richness of these colors.

On San Diego beaches, there is a wonderful variety of colors and textures of sand, interesting cobblestones, shells and various seaweeds. These "found" compositions are ephemeral and ever-changing: each wave-crest creates new arrangements. I have captured some of these in a series entitled Time Scales™. While looking for such compositions, I realized how beautiful the cobblestones are and have created a third series of abstracts called Torrey Pines Cobbles™. You can find all three series in their own gallery on the Galleries Page.


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