Janet Reider Photography Coasts

Staring at the small film developing tank as an eight year old, trying to figure out the fractions of chemicals to make it all happen, I would never have guessed I would become a photographer. I preferred walking my dog on the beach near my home in San Francisco to studying Mathematics.

I married my high school boyfriend who became a psychiatrist and we had three children. I don't know exactly how I stumbled into photography. I remember taking pictures for the annual grammar school fair — of balloons with faces, fathers dressed like clowns and a miniature Ferris wheel full of kids. In an eye blink the children were grown up and I found myself out in the countryside taking photos of rock walls, snow laden wood and tree shrouded ponds. These were some of the subjects of my first show, at the New England School of Photography — in Boston.

More eye blinks. My husband and I began to travel. In Prague I was fascinated by the stones in the Jewish Cemetery. I learned about life in the darkroom: how the image changes with loving care.

Venice came next — this Promised Land has everything: light, contrast, history and innumerable surprises. But I wonder, is there anything truly new? A scene discovered rounding a corner looks entirely new at first. Yet it connects to the past: something I already knew caused me to stop — here, not there, to take this cat on a doorstep, not that woman hanging out the wash.

Digital has replaced film. The Hasselblad snoozes on a closet shelf. I am more apt to capture aspects of people — young mothers in rapt conversation while their children argue over a plastic toy, the focused energy of men on a park bench talking politics and dedication of a sunbather on a bridge.

You need to see whimsy. Otherwise you miss the incomparable light on the lagoon.

— I hope you like my work.

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