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A bit over a year ago, as I approached the age of 80, I started thinking that maybe the 35 or 40 pounds of photographic equipment that I was carrying in my back-pack on each trip was getting to be a serious burden.  A few years earlier I had evolved from a medium format camera user to become a large format photographer, which meant that I carried a 4 x 5 Chamonix field camera, an assortment of five lenses each in a cloth bag, a dark cloth, spot meter, loupe magnifier, a quantity of loaded film holders, an assortment of filters, a lens blower and my carbon fiber tripod.  Three or four miles of hiking with this full backpack was becoming my limit for a photography hike.

On longer trips I've enjoyed hiring a "sherpa" to carry my pack.  One of my favorite sherpas was a member of the Zuni Tribe named Zachary.  After a day or two of hiking in the Bisti Badlands in New Mexico, Zach knew which lens to hand me as well as which filter I needed.  I guess by now you figured out that I am a film photographer.

I've noticed in the last few years that it is no longer possible to find a photography workshop exclusively for film photographers.  Years ago, John Sexton did film based work-shops.  I enrolled in several of his.  Now, all of his workshops are for both film and digital photographers.  Recently, I attended a workshop on the Oregon coast with Don Kirby and Stu Levy.  It blew my mind that even Don Kirby is photographing with a digital camera and he is touting the benefits of digital.

So I bought a digital camera, and after a month or so I ended up giving it away to my daughter.  I'll stick with film, thank you very much.  I made a decision that I am a film photographer and if I have to hire more sherpas or take shorter trips, so be it.


All of my work is film based.  I work exclusively in black and white with either a large format 4x5 Chamonix field camera or my 35mm Leica M6.   I develop and print in my own darkroom.


In my younger years I spent many summers backpacking in the High   Sierra. Upon awakening I would open a flap of my tent to see that the dew on the grasses had frozen during the night. Water vapor would rise from the lakes in slow swirls. At dusk the alpenglow would engulf the rocky crags in flame. The pristine land, the smells of the mountain air and the lingering silence became part of who I am.   These were spiritual experiences for me. 

It was no wonder then, that as my interest developed in photography, landscape would become my primary genre. I wanted to capture not only the physical beauty of the landforms in my photography, but the spiritual essence as well.

I became interested in the work of Carleton Watkins, Timothy O’Sullivan, Ansel Adams and Edward Weston.  The photographers of the Group f.64 of the thirties were my heroes.  In that tradition, it was only natural that I would evolve to work exclusively in black and white.  All of my work is film based.  Nothing is photoshopped, nothing is manipulated digitally.  I photograph with either a large format 4 x 5 Chamonix field camera or a 35mm Leica M6.

It has been said that every ripple from a pebble thrown into a pond, leaves a lasting impression upon the shore. I would thus hope that my photographs might likewise leave some impression upon the minds and souls of those viewing them whether they be family, friends, fellow photographers or total strangers.

My portfolio can be viewed at:
For inquiries:





2020      International Juried  Exhibition, The Shape of Things

               Praxis Gallery, Minneapolis, MN


2020      Juried  Group Exhibition, Landscape, Curated by Ann Jastrab

               PhotoPlace Gallery, Middlebury, VT


2020      Solo Exhibition, What Are Men to Rocks and Mountains?
              The Sequoias, San Francisco, CA

2019     Group Exhibition, Marking Time, 20th Anniversary of Bay Area Photographers’
Harvey Milk Photography Center, San Francisco. CA

2018     Group Exhibition, Of Dreams and Reality, Curated by Ann Jastrab,                              

              Bay Area Photographers Collective, Berkeley Art Center, Berkeley, CA

2018     Group Exhibition, Making of a Beautiful Bridge, Bay Area Photographers                     

              Collective, Samurai Foto Exhibition, Yokohama, Japan

2018      Group Exhibition, Anthroposcene, Bay Area Photographers Collective, 
              ARC Gallery, San Francisco, CA

2017      Group Exhibition, Tularosa Basin Photography Gallery, Carrizozo, NM

2017      Solo Exhibition, New Mexico:  A Meditative State, Plaza Galeria, Santa Fe, NM

2017      Solo Exhibition, New Mexico:  A Meditative State, curated by Jeffrey Richardson,                

              Farmington Museum, Farmington, NM

2016     Group Exhibition, Twelve:  It's About Time, Curated by Rebecca Gregg, Chris Fraser.             

              Viewpoint Photographic Art Center, Sacramento, CA

2016     Group Exhibition , Wanderings, a pop-up exhibit by Curated State, San Francisco, CA

2016     Group exhibition, Vanishing Point, Bay Area Photographers Collective,                     

              Mullen Brothers, San Francisco, CA

2016     Solo exhibition, The American Southwest, The Sequoias, San Francisco, CA

2016     Group Exhibition, First Tuesday Art Walk, Mill Valley Community Center, Mill Valley, CA

2015     Group Exhibition, Party for the Parks, San Francisco Parks Alliance, Palace of Fine Arts,             

              San Francisco, CA

2015     Guest Lecturer, "It's Not Aways About the Subject Matter," Harvey Milk Photo                 

              Center, San Francisco, CA 

2014     Group Exhibition, Bay Area Photographers Collective, Conversation, Bucci's,                 

              Emeryville, CA

2013     Solo Exhibition, Landforms, Arizmendi Bakery, 1002 Fourth Street, San Rafael, CA

2013     Solo Exhibition, Landforms, Epicenter Cafe, 764 Harrison Street, San Francisco, CA

2013     Solo Exhibition, Landscapes of the Southwest, Make the Cut, 1400 Agua Fria, Santa Fe,             


2012     Group Exhibition, Landscapes, Marin Civic Center, San Rafael, CA

2012     Group Exhibition, Landscapes, Architecture, Waterscapes, McInnis Golf Club                 

             Restaurant, San Rafael, CA


2018     San Francisco Camerawork Annual Auction


2017     ALS Annual Gala and Auction


2017     American Bach Soloists' Annual Gala


2016     San Francisco Camerawork Annual Auction


2016     American Bach Soloists' Annual Gala


2016     ALS Annual Gala and Auction


2015     American Bach Soloists' Annual Gala


2014     American Bach Soloists' Annual Gala


2014     San Francisco Chamber Orchestra Annual Gala


2013     American Bach Soloists' Annual Gala


2012     American Bach Soloists' Annual Gala


2011     San Francisco Chamber Orchestra Annual Gala


2011     American Bach Soloists' Annual Gala


2017     Photography Wide-Open workshop with Mark de Paola at Leica Store San Francisco. CA


2016     Language of Light Workshop, Leanne Hansen, Image Flow, Mill Valley. CA


2015     Eastern Sierra Large Format Workshop, Steve Simmons & Rick Rosen, Lee Vining & Lone Pine, CA


2015     Liquid Emulsion, Printing on Glass & Metal, Susanna Lamaina, Harvey Milk Photo Center, San Francisco


2014     Advanced Black & White Craft Workshop, Mark Citret, Rayko Photo Center, San Francisco, Mark Citret


2014     One-on-one field workshop, Don Kirby, Santa Fe, NM


2014     Zone System, Rayko Photo Center, San Francisco, Moshe Quinn


2014     Contemplative Photography, Shambala Meditation Center, San Francisco, Susan Stoddard


2013     Death Valley Photography Workshop, Death Valley, Michael Gordon


2013     Landscape Photography, The Image Flow, Mill Valley, Hendrik Paul


2013     One-on-one darkroom workshop, group field workshop, Santa Fe, NM, Alan Ross


2013     Fine Tuning the Expressive Print Workshop, Carmel Valley, John Sexton


2013     Advanced Black/White Darkroom Techniques, City College of San Francisco, Nadereh Degani


2012     Personal mentorship, Palo Alto, Steve Kiser


2012     SF Camerawork, Janet Delaney    Business of Art and Beyond2012  and Kate Farrall


2012     Introduction to Large Format Photography, (field workshop) Alabama Hills, Michael Gordon


2012     Large Format Photography, Harvey Milk Center, Mitsu Yoshikawa


2011     Macro Photography, College of Marin, Reid Thaler


2011     Shoot the Moon, B&W Workshop, Point Reyes, Marty Knapp


2011     Personal Mentorship, Nicholas Pavloff


2011     Photography III, San Francisco State University, Lewis Desoto and Chris Morring


2010     The Espressive Black and White Print Workshop, Carmel Valley, John Sexton


2009     Photography II, College of Marin, Polly Steinmetz


2009     Personal Photography Project, Rayko Photo Center, Kira Shemano


2009     History of Photography, San Francisco State University, Patricia Albers


2009     Black and White Photography I, Diablo Valley College, Sean McFarland



"These outdoor works clearly come from a single source.  Much of the work draws you onto the paths laid out by Rocky Creek Bridge, Tunnel of Trees, and the Brooklyn Bridge and expose you to a manipulated photographic world where surprise and wonder hold the upper hand.  Hoffman's knowledge of camera controls, film selection and filtration all conspire to lift the image off the paper.  This collection competes as one of the strongest groupings I've seen to date."

Nicholas Pavloff, professional photographer,


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