Michael Shea was born and raised in San Francisco and lived for many years on the San Francisco peninsula. During his childhood, he received a camera as a gift, taking his first photographs during a trip to the Sierra Nevada Mountains when he was about ten years of age. That experience was the beginning of Mike’s love of the mountains and interest in photography.
During the 1960’s, when Mike was a teenager and the psychedelic sounds coming out of San Francisco were electrifying the nation, Mike turned to music. In addition to playing in several bands, Mike attended rock concerts at various San Francisco music venues. Music became a third important part of Mike’s life.
Over the years, Mike’s interest in photography grew beyond taking casual pictures. He became more selective about what he was photographing and about when he tripped the shutter. A self-taught photographer, Mike learned from reading, experimenting with different films and filters, and by taking lots of pictures. Seeking better image quality, he expanded into medium format and, within the last few years, began experimenting with a digital camera.
Although he has spent many hours in the darkroom creating traditional black and white prints, Mike now works exclusively in the digital darkroom. Depending on the subject matter, he currently shoots with a Mamiya 7, a Nikon D100, or a Nikon Fm2.
Now, photography is an essential component of Mike travels and at the many musical performances he attends each year. Mike seeks to convey the ethereal quality present at the time he took the image. He hopes the viewer gets the sense of pleasure, fascination, confusion, eccentricity, harmony, or solitude—the mood that he experienced.
Mike’s musician photographs have been exhibited at the San Francisco Photography Center and have appeared in Elmore Magazine. He recently completed a showing, Elevation Lines, at the Arlington Central Library. One of his photos is being displayed as part of the Photo 06: Photographs You Have Taken in the Last 75 Years juried photo exhibition at the Ellipse Arts Center. Is exhibit, In a Different Light is currently on display at Inova Fairfax Hospital in Falls Church, Viginia.
His work also can be viewed on his website at www.mshea49.com. Mike can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.