Photographer Jeffrey Curto is Coordinator and Professor of Photography at College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, where he has taught since 1984. Courses frequently taught include History of Photography, Digital Imaging. Compositional Structure, Color Photography and other advanced techniques.
Prior to employment at College of DuPage, Curto worked extensively as a freelance photographer, specializing in event and public relations photography, architectural interiors and exteriors, portrait and product photography. Further, Curto worked in the photo-processing industry for two years, primarily as a custom photographic printer.
Curto was awarded a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Illinois Wesleyan University in 1981 and a Master of Fine Arts degree from Bennington College in Vermont in 1983. Additionally, he attended Ansel Adams' last workshop in Carmel, California in 1983.
In recent years, Curto's primary photographic subject has been Italy; he has traveled there frequently since 1989. While it is the country's landscape and architectural qualities that interest him, it is not the large, expansive view which draws his attention. Rather, he chooses to examine selected fragments of the Italian environment, seen in quiet, intimate glimpses. In this way, luminously peaceful courtyards, sunlight on ageless monuments and the warmth radiating off of grapes ripening on the vine are all given equal importance as subject matter.
Curto sees his choice of subjects this way: "All of my photographs are based on the medium's predilection towards making a mountain out of a molehill. The process of photography has a way of transforming ordinary objects into extraordinary phenomena."
His fascination with Italy's landscape and architecture is further enhanced by a love for its food, wine and art, and by an appreciation for the deep and seemingly countless layers of history that pervade everything Italian. "I attempt to use light, lens and time to bring the country's cool mornings, hazy afternoons and simple beauties home with me", Curto says.
His use of the large format view camera, which produces a negative 4x5" in size, combined with the choice of black & white materials gives Curto great control over the photographic process, allowing him to make prints of subtle detail and tone.
Photography is about storytelling. Sharing your images and the story that they create is one of the ultimate goals for most photographers. Fortunately, our contemporary world has some amazing tools and interesting ideas that can help us tell our stories with words and pictures.
Today’s world of photography is so very confusing. Photographers are confronted with a barrage of advice about how to make good photographs and what gear you must have to make them. Of course, that advice has some value, but I think best way to learn is to actually go and make photographs because, as a longtime listener once told me, “Pictures need to be taken to be any good.”
The great photographer Ernst Haas said, “”The frame of the camera is the photographer’s discipline. It can contain as much as it withholds, cut into or hold together images that detract or contribute to a given theme.” In this episode, I explore the idea that the frame of the camera is a discipline.
As a driver, you use your peripheral vision all the time. So, too, with photography as you need to learn how to pay attention to what’s at the edge of your visual field in order to really see the world.