Retouching in the film era
In the Darkroom
In the darkroom
Airbrushing, pre-Photoshop

Hi – My name is Robert Haspel. I own and operate  Wild Rose Gallery in Fort Davis, Texas. The gallery showcases my photography, providing  both a place to share my work, and an incentive to carry on.

Starting out (1954) with a Brownie box camera at age 9, I found photography fun. I became more involved during my stint ( ’63-’66 ) in the Army. when I purchased a Canon FX 35mm SLR.

My more serious interest in photography began in the middle 1970’s, when I set up a home darkroom. Clearly I am a long time, and rather ancient photographer.

In 1980 I opened my own studio, offering services that included copy & restoration, custom darkroom services, retouching, and air brush, as well as more typical portraiture, wedding, and commercial photography.

In the mid 1990’s I sold off my lab and studio equipment, basically retiring. With the digital era approaching, it proved to be a good time to part ways with that stuff.

My interest in photography waned without access to a darkroom and the ability to produce my own prints. Prints have always seemed ( for me ) the purpose of photography, and a darkroom was a necessity for producing quality prints (color or B&W) that suited my tastes.

The concept of digital cameras and Photoshop sounded appealing, but I found early digital cameras sorely lacking, and Photoshop challenging. My early efforts at digital were very awkward, and far from satisfying. I only dabbled.

Then, around 2007, I picked up a Canon Rebel digital SLR. It had pretty good resolution, no apparent shutter lag, booted in a heart beat, and had pretty good low light performance. Features I found absent in earlier cameras I had tried. That camera was responsible for rekindling my interest in photography.

With a reasonable camera in hand, my next task was to learn digital editing. I had messed about with Photoshop Elements, but decided to spring for Photoshop CS4. Buying CS4 was the  easy part. Learning to use it was far more difficult. It took at least a year to make much headway, but from around that point progress was quicker and less painful.

It took considerable effort to wrap my analog mind around digital, but today I am reasonably adept with digital cameras and digital editing. I continue to learn and develop, and the ongoing challenge is partly responsible for my current enthusiasm.

Experimentation, happy accidents, and the opportunity to keep learning keeps things interesting. The process is never ending.

The term master photographer seems an impossible accomplishment. Were such status truly possible, I think the joy of photography would be diminished.

I find post capture processing the most important aspect of digital photography. In my mind it is where the magic happens.

Did I mention that I find digital awesome?

Throughout my involvement with photography it has remained FUN, which probably helps explain my continuing enthusiasm.