Photography in my life / by Gwil Evans

Image-making has been part of my life since I earned my first camera in the fifth grade, as a premium for selling more seeds to my family's neighbors than I'm certain they needed! Before long, I wasn't satisfied with taking rolls of film to the drug store for processing; my bedroom soon doubled as a darkroom.

By the time I was a freshman in high school, I opened Sunset Photo Service in the Nelscott district of what is now Lincoln City on the Oregon coast. I sold cameras and film, processed black-and-white pictures for local residents and summer tourists, took portraits, shot high school sports, made images of local residents at social events and community activities, and was a news "stringer" for The Oregonian newspaper. (I sent "hot news" photos to The Oregonian by Greyhound bus!)

Photography remained a part of my life at college, too. I was staff photographer for Reed College in Portland; worked for Hise Studio in Corvallis; took photographs for The Beaver yearbook at Oregon State; and made photographs for the Daily Barometer where I served in various roles including that of editor.

Even in the Air Force, I found photography skills served me well in my role as a public information officer for the Strategic Air Command. And photography loomed larger in my life when I returned to Oregon State University as a faculty member, teaching journalism, handling public information duties for such entities as the then-Department of Oceanography and the then-new Hatfield Marine Science Center at Newport.

It became even more central to my work as editor of OSU's alumni magazine, The Oregon Stater. As my roles at OSU evolved, however, photography was less a professional tool and my attention turned to capturing the wonder and magic of Momiji-en, the Japanese garden my partner Bill Cook and I established in Corvallis in 1976. For more than three decades, Momiji-en has been where I first turn my lens--as this site will amply demonstrate.

                                                                                     --Gwil Evans