Gene Morita

Gene Morita with his camera

Gene Morita

I am a retired physician who has a life-long passion for taking pictures. It all started as a young teenager growing up in Southern New Jersey, starting with black and white photography. I developed my own pictures and printed them. Except for documenting the life stages of my children, I did not do too much with photography. In the late 90s I met the late Herb Kaufman at lunch in the doctor dining room (yes they did have those things back then) at Mount Zion Hospital. Herb encouraged me to join the Marin Photography Club and I did and never looked back. At the club level, I am a permanent master. I’m active in the community of photography as co-chair in prints for the Northern California Counsel of Camera Clubs (N4C). It gives me the experience of seeing how others “see”. I’ve been asked to judge images from various clubs in Northern California which provides me the opportunity to teach. Teaching is something I did in my professional life and continues into my photographic journey. This experience helps my own growth in picture taking by learning from the images I judge.

My interest in photography is broad and I’ll photograph in almost any circumstance. I like people in pictures because it gives a human connection to the image. Picture taking is about putting a picture together that has an impact. It’s about light, which illuminates the subject and the shadows that are created by the angle of the light. The early morning and late afternoon light creates situations that are ideal for picture taking. There is wonderful light shining on the scene and the angle of light during these times of the day give great texture in the shadow areas. The images during these times of the day can be spectacular. I love sunrises and sunsets. If one sees a clear horizon and clouds, you will be in for a treat. A palette of colors that can will blow you away. Images of nature always fascinate me, particularly birds. Birds are busiest in the morning and in the late evening These are spectacular times to capture their magnificence.

I have been actively traveling and have gone all over the world. I have lost count of how many countries I have been in, but my favorites are Japan and China with Italy coming in at third. Japan in the winter and the fall are an awe-inspiring time. Japan has an orderliness about their parks, making it easy to photograph. Kyoto is one of the most beautiful cities in the world especially in the Fall. The colors attack you. The winters in northern Japan make for a very simple clean format to photograph. This is especially true after a fresh snowstorm. China on the other hand is chaos, but the beauty is remarkable in almost all contexts. The most primal experiences I have had are in Africa and Antarctica.

Digital photography has given a whole new perceptive to the images that we capture. We can now process the picture in ways we never could. Digital processing exceeds any thing that can be done in the chemical darkroom. In 2014, I went to the Louvre, the world famous museum in Paris and spent almost an entire day looking at the pictures of Rembrandt and similar artist of that era. As I looked at their paintings, I was struck how these artists captured light. When looking at these classic paintings, the thought crossed my mind that the artist in those days, did what we do in the digital age. They did in such a way that it was not at all obvious as we can do in Photoshop and Light room. The tools we have in this digital ages permit us to creative in so many ways not available to artists in the past. Some of my friends ask what we do in Photoshop is “to cheat” but they lose sight of the element of imagination and creativity that our skills and artistic license provide in making a photograph sparkle.

In my photographic library I have a huge collections of images of every sort that I have kept in special files in something I call “my log”. From these I take pictures that I will show at exhibits and images that I put on my website.
The final process in producing an image is to print it. Printing is something I spend hours on and find great pleasure in seeing the final product. It gives me great joy when it works and when it doesn’t, I go on and if possible find another alternative that works for me.

Photography for me has been a wonderful journey and one I will continue for the rest of my life. I have a daughter, Laura who has developed her own photographic style and is a remarkable photographer. Her technical skills far exceed mine. I love the way she sees and captures her images. My granddaughter, Sachiko has also picked up the camera and is developing her own style as well. One memorable day in the summer of 2014, all three of us, three generations, went to go to photograph the sunset at Dillon Beach. It was the end of a perfect day.