Biography by                                      
Thomas Finkenstadt

As I consider myself an artist, my formal education served more as a point
of inspiration or revelation of my own abilities and my need to explore them
than an academic rite of passage.  I was fortunate in attending Cypress
College in Cypress, California, where I majored in Photography.

I say that I was fortunate in my educational opportunity since I was
privileged to work with professors, who were world-class instructors and
accomplished Photographic artists and technicians in their own rights.  
They served as more than college professors; more like mentors or master
craftsmen to whom I voluntarily apprenticed myself.  

Collectively, they were the primary influence in firing my passion for
Photography and in teaching me how to mold my eagerness and excitement
into skill and artistry.  I owe what capabilities I have achieved in the art
form of Photography to my mentors:  David F. Drake, graduate of the Art
Center, John Wycoff, an accomplished commercial and advertising
photographer and Marshal LaCour, author of Photo Technologies, a
reference work in the field quoted in various encyclopedias and formal
Photography teaching texts.

My education at Cypress was not restricted to the formal classes.  As a
student, I befriended a peer, John Woods, a student of art a year ahead of
me at Cypress.  Through John’s friendship I had opportunity to meet and
gain great insight from such notable artists as Ansel Adams and Brett

On visits to Carmel, California, Brett often extended his hospitality in
allowing me to be a guest in his home.  These visits often involved trips to
photograph at Point Lobos.  

Again, as with my professors, I found the greatest opportunity for
education and development of my own Photographic style in observing the
artistic endeavors of those whom I recognized and respected as more
accomplished than myself.

Since College, I have continued to learn by doing and by watching,
listening and questioning other Photographic artists.  My Photographic
style has evolved into one of romantic realism  portraying the sights of the
world, but through my perspective as someone who continues to be awestruck
by the beauty, diversity and complexity of the world in which we live.

I focus on the environment not the inhabitants.  We are all transient
elements on the landscape.  The world continues on, whether we occupy it or
not.  I have developed my style and portfolio through extensive creative
work in California, Arizona, Oregon, New Mexico, Louisiana, Colorado
and Texas.

I continue to aggressively seek to grow as an artist and observing
interpreter of the world.  After many years of tutelage, I am beginning to
seek the fruits of my labors and those of my very patient mentors.

As for solo shows, shows, and galleries the list has kept growing all
changing at any given time.  So I decided to leave it out.  If you are
interested in some you can go to
Fine Art Photography of Thomas Finkenstadt