Tim Rayburn - Artist

Tim Rayburn

Learn more about Tim Rayburn from Seattle, WA - United States.

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2/2/24 It's been a rough period with the loss of my brother 9/13/23 and aging issues/needs with my 97/95 year old mother and aunt. Am looking forward to a surge of new uploads for you with the recent delivery of a major software upgrade for processing/editing images. I'm still in the process of finding and moving to an additional host for a much better portfolio viewing experience, which will be here:

From a very early age my strong interest in and study of the works and techniques of the old and new masters of western art drove my quest to also be a producer of inspirational and lasting imagery. The ideals of the Renaissance man's no-limit approach to life had a profound connection and calling to me.

It was also clear that I had inherited natural artistic skills, especially drawing, from my incredibly adept father. His mother, my grandmother, was unusually active in photography and had become the family chronicler with her twin-lens reflex. Family memories of the 50's are filled with the ever-present bright-white floating spots in our vision from the intense burst of her flash bulbs.

My brother and I were given our own Roy Rogers box cameras at an early age, but didn't accomplish too much with them. After surviving a harrowing year as a Navy corpsman attached to the Marines in Da Nang, my brother returned from Vietnam late 1969 with his new Canon photographic equipment and gave me a new Petri rangefinder camera, soon before I graduated from college. The photography flame was reignited.

Though I deeply wanted to live and participate in the arts, an equally strong interest in science, anatomy and medicine resulted in earning a B.A. in Biology in 1970, followed by earning California certification in 1972 as a licensed Clinical Laboratory Technologist. The surge in income allowed me to acquire a 35mm Nikon F2 body with professional level lenses, Guild steel-string acoustic/Fender Stratocaster guitars and amplifier. Working for 19 years in hospital laboratories later provided the flexible schedules and shifts that allowed me to adapt to a lifestyle almost totally devoting free time to photography and brief outputs of painting.

So, I've been seriously active in photography since late 1972, drawn from the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles to the natural worlds of Yosemite, Big Sur, Bolinas Lagoon, the Grand Canyon, Colorado and Yellowstone/Glacier National Parks. This resulted in driving about 25,000 miles two years in a row, leading to the October, 1979 move to the very small community of Anchor Point, Alaska, located on the western-most point of the Kenai Peninsula. For each of us - wife, son, stepson/stepdaughter and boyfriend, our greatest life's adventure had begun. Through some very rough times each of us has profoundly benefited individually from our Alaska experience.

By early 1980 my equipment had been upgraded to Nikon 16mm full-frame fisheye through 300 and 600mm ED-IF telephotos with 1.4/2x extenders. In addition to photography, my time was spent improving darkroom skills by printing mostly color, using Ilford Cibachrome and Kodak papers. This was in a small building I rented in Homer, 16 miles from Anchor Point. Through offering custom printing, my walk-in client's needs and requests unexpectedly and rapidly expanded my capabilities. They inadvertently pushed me to break through, beyond the limits of expectations into the world of unknown possibilities. Intuition and a willingness to let go and explore where the image in a piece of film could or wanted to go, increasingly drove the process. By 1981-82 this resulted in combining pieces of film to create what would be refined over time into three of my most successful prints generated from that period.

After 2 1/2 years in the incredible Anchor Point/Homer area, the recession of 1981-82 forced a 'return to earth' by going back to work. At the time, obtaining the best available medical technologist job meant a winter move to Fairbanks. Over time, friendships with local photographers developed via weekly meetings at Denny's Restaurant. In particular with Barry McWayne, Malcolm Lockwood and Brian Allen. As a nurturing mentor and friend, Barry had a profoundly positive influence on my further development as a photographer and printer. For the University of Alaska Museum, he was the principal person originating and curating the permanent Collection of Fine Art Photography, eventually acquiring 11 of my Cibachrome prints, always gently pushing me to raise my prices.

Malcolm was making a living as a professional photographer, worked with 4x5 inch large format equipment, including a complete dream darkroom setup. He also had established himself as the distributor for most of the professional photographic equipment and supplies manufacturers, so was the center of the universe for northern Alaska photographic needs. A monumentally large, framed print of a Mount McKinley fall scene in his living room still influences me. He and Barry soon convinced me that for landscapes, it was time to move up to 4x5 and could be done by acquiring a used Linhof Technika IV camera. With the addition of 6x7 and 6x9 medium format backs, this flexible combination resulted in a giant leap in image quality and was used from approximately 1983 to 2005.

Brian Allen was a seasoned black and white photographer, with experience in exhibitions and seriously intent on building a career in photography. We completed a darkroom he'd been building and then shared the rental cost of the space. As Ilford dramatically increased the quality and longevity of Cibachrome, I also was learning to print with contrast masks. Essentially all print production was from 35mm format Kodachromes onto Cibachrome 11x14 paper. Having incorporated Ansel Adams zone system concepts into the image capture and printing workflow, fine art prints were finally emerging routinely around '83-'84. At this point, as more prints were being purchased for the University of Alaska Museum, they earned tremendous respect and peer status for me among the accomplished photographers of the area. During this time a friendly/respectful rivalry had developed in which each of us was influencing and being influenced by the others freely, to everybody's benefit. All color images have been captured on Kodak and Fuji transparency film.

This bio is still a work in progress, with more to be added...

Tim Rayburn joined Mobile Prints on June 25th, 2009.