My name is Brian Zavitz, and I like to take pictures. While professionally trained, I am now strictly an amateur. It won't take much discernment to see that many of the photos here were taken with unsophisticated equipment, but I trust the lack of sharpness and detail-- and in some cases tonal range-- don't detract from the composition or spirit of the shot. I have tried to be careful in curating the selection, but hope I can be excused if occasionally sentimentality has clouded my judgement, and some images have been included which should better have been left out.
This is a personal portfolio with no pretensions to excellence. The simple motive is to share some images I find pleasing. I hope you will too.
My first camera was given to me by my father when I was 12 or 13. It was a Kodak Instamatic, and took 12 photos on a roll of film. I don't remember if the gift was in response to my having expressed some interest in photography, or whether the interest was sparked by the gift, but either way, I latched on to it with fervour and discovered a passion, and a talent. With the exception of my years in university, my images have largely been driven by composition and the play of light, rather than human interest. This preference persisted until quite recently, when I have again begun to be drawn to photographing people-- a shift in vision catalysed by a memorable jeepney ride from Sabang to Puerto Princessa in Palawan, the Philippines. (Ironically, at the time, I was unable to take any pictures.)
Once in high school, I joined the Camera Club, where my passion for art was supplemented with my tentative passion for some of the girls with whom I shared the darkroom. But despite the distractions, I managed to become the photo editor of the school yearbook, and the copy I have is one of my dearest mementos.
Towards the end of high school, adolescent turmoil brought me to the point where I was determined to drop out, and as photography was the only thing I had any interest in, the bargain my father struck with me was, if I agreed to stay in school, I could study that. So after the people at the local camera store advised us that THE place to go was Rochester Institute of Technology, I enrolled and proceeded to get more education in photography and film than any one person could use in a life-time. The tuition was steep, and I now know it was a great struggle for my father to afford. I am deeply admiring of, and humbly grateful to, him that he never once confronted me with the sacrifices he was making to enable my feckless life. But after a couple of years I found my legs, and in the end his patience was rewarded when I graduated with a B.Sc., after several quarters on the Dean's List.
However, on graduation, after spending a couple of years in the commercial photography business, I found it did not appeal to me-- despite the glamour of working with art directors and models and all, it all seemed to me to be various versions of trying to make one company's hot dog look better than another company's hot dog (one actual job we had). So I left the studio world and spent several years working in commercial print labs. Then, life took another turn and I left the photography field altogether, and eventually even sold my beloved Nikon F system.
It wouldn't be until some 20 years later that, planning for a trip to the west coast, I decided to purchase another camera. That rekindled the joy of taking pictures just for the delight of composition and the play of light. At first I pursued this mostly on my travels, but in time, once cell phones became more capable, I found myself frequently diverted to record the beauty all around on my daily walks and drives. The combined result is what you see here. In time, I hope to digitise my earlier work, mostly in B&W, but till then, I hope you enjoy these glimmers of light.