Larry Shapiro Photography

Artist Statement

Photography can transform clutter to order, insignificance to value, mundane to sacred. A photograph is a piece of magic; for some it can be created anywhere and anytime.  I need a quiet space where the everyday noise fades. In that silence I find my creativity. Images begin in the quiet before the camera, evolve in the mystery of the darkroom and are completed in the passion of the artist’s studio.


Producing a still life requires contemplation, skill, patience. Camera settings, lighting, composition are only first steps.   In the darkroom, where the door is closed to the outside world, I become immersed in the rhythm of processing the image.


Fifteen years ago, I learned about the bromoil technique. With a brush and ink I can extend my creativity past the silver image to a handmade print. With brush in hand, I give shape to my image with each stroke.  Sometimes a print needs slow and steady strokes. Other times, the image calls for staccato taps, or even the occasional pounding. I am physically creating the print.


From the silence before the camera to the glow of the darkroom safelight, with the tapping of the inking brush, quiet order comes to light.


When I was 12, looking through a microscope fascinated me, I wanted to photograph what I was seeing and decided I needed to learn how to take pictures. It turned out photography fascinated me more than looking through the microscope. While photography was my passion, medicine became my profession.


In 1979 I moved back to the Bay Area determined to become a West Coast large format landscape photographer. By attending one of the last Ansel Adams workshops in Yosemite, I met Todd Walker who was in the forefront of the renaissance of the alternative processes. He inspired me to explore these non silver techniques. I experimented in cyanotypes, brownprints, and gum but when I found bromoil and especially bromoil transfer I knew that I had found my medium.


Juried Shows

2000: Center for Phographic Arts Awards Exhibition: only Honorable Mention in the exhibition

2001: Center for Phographic Arts Awards Exhibition

2001: Viewpoint Gallery: The Visual Edge, Alternative Explorations

2005: Contemporary Pictorial Photography Exhibition by the New Pictorialist Society

2006, 2007: Pacific Art League Annual Photography Show

2008: ModernBook, Palo Alto California, Emerging Artist Show



1995: Santa Clara County Man Ray Prize for experimental photography



Cover photograph for American Lung Association Bulletin, Fall 1994, The Faces of Asthma.



1999: Center for Photographic Arts workshop in Gum Printing

2002: Fresno City College Photography Program: workshop in Bromoil and transfer

2001-2007: Photography instructor with UC Santa Cruz Extension photography program

Workshops given in Bromoil Printing and Transfer and Night Photography