Photographers You Should Know – Steve Dzerigian

This is my first in a series of features about photographers who have inspired or influenced me, and who I think it’s worth the time to get to know more about.

In celebration of his new book Trail of Stones: My Path in Photography, published by The Press at California State University, Fresno, I want to introduce you to Steve Dzerigian.

Dzerigian’s work always captivates me because of the great depth in every photo. Not spatial depth necessarily, but the soulful depth of seeing a place or thing in a way that captivates your imagination, and makes you want to contemplate it more deeply.

Looking at Dzerigian’s work always leaves me challenged to try and see deeper and more clearly in my own work, to be able to speak the volumes he expresses with such elegant simplicity.

A darkroom practitioner, his prints are made in silver gelatin with an occasional addition of delicate hand coloring. Typically of small scale, they are like little gems that hold worlds much larger than their apparent physical size. They are a poignant reminder that our social feeds really don’t do justice to a photograph…you need to get out and look at real prints as often as you can. Prints can show the full depth of an artist and their expression in a way a little 1500 pixel square fails to do.

But Dzerigian’s photos are only part of his story. For many decades he has been a force in Fresno and Yosemite to help inspire and teach other photographers, from working on The Ansel Adams Photography Workshops, to helping found the Spectrum Art Gallery in Fresno, to his many years teaching at Fresno City College. To know Steve is to know the many people he has influenced, inspired, and befriended.

Steve is one of those people that you feel better just for knowing. It seems every time I talk to him, I’m left encouraged and inspired to reach for a higher bar in life, and am always so thankful to have our paths intersect. And that makes me an even bigger fan of his work.

I’ve included a few pieces his work here. His latest exhibition is on display at Spectrum Art Gallery in Fresno March 7-31, 2019 with an artist reception March 7 from 5-8 pm and a live discussion March 22 at 7 pm also at Spectrum. If you can’t make the trip to Fresno, visit his website