John Trotter — Brief Bio

I built my first darkroom before I was 16 years old, where I printed photos taken in and around New Haven, Connecticut. My first job was at a portrait studio in New Haven. My second job was in the Ophthalmology Section of Yale Medical School. I was hired as a technician to set up and operate a photography lab in support of eye research using light and electron microscopy. During this time I studied and experimented with the Zone System delineated in books by Anselm Adams and Minor White. During this same time I had the good fortune to become friends with the artist Louis Aiello, whose abstract expressionist paintings and sculpture, and whose life devoted to the search for meaning through art, inspired me. Lou remained my mentor and guide until his death at age 92.

I continued to pursue interests in both photography and biomedical research as an undergraduate student at Johns Hopkins University, and then as a graduate student at the University of Washington, where I obtained a Ph.D. degree in Biological Structure in 1976. While a graduate student, I was a member of PhotoGroup Northwest, and exhibited as part of a group show at a Seattle photo gallery. After a couple of years of postdoctoral research at the National Institutes of Health, I joined the faculty of the Department of Anatomy, University of New Mexico School of Medicine. I have published more than 50 scientific papers describing the results of original research in the structure, biochemistry, and physiology of muscle and connective tissue.

In 2005 I retired from the University to devote the majority of my time and effort to fine art photography. Since 2005 I have been studying the art and techniques of digital photography with George DeWolfe. I use both film and digital cameras to capture images, which are ultimately printed on archival photo papers using archival pigment inks.