Biography
Updated September 25, 2006

I have been photographing wild landscapes, mainly in color, for thirty-eight years. I am a native of Berkeley, California, hold a degree in the Conservation of Natural Resources from UC Berkeley, and am a self-described omnologist (one who studies everything).

I have spent a great deal of time in the high country of the Sierra and other wildlands of the U.S. and spent four years as a seasonal backcountry researcher in Yosemite during the 1970's. I have extensive river-rafting experience, on some twenty rivers from Maine to Alaska, and have been in all but two of the fifty states. For most of the last twenty years, the camera outfit that I have schlepped all over creation has weighed in at thirty-four pounds. On my trip down the Mississippi on a canoe expedition in 1979, the large, metal, waterproof box that contained my camera gear and which I carried around on one shoulder while carrying the ten-pound tripod on the other, weighed fifty pounds and was referred to by the other trip participants as "the world's heaviest box".

For thirty years I have been pursuing the ultimate color photographic print making process, building darkrooms, a unique, large-format additive lamphouse for the best possible Cibachrome quality, a ton of other custom pieces of exotic lab equipment, and more recently software, and have mastered several difficult printmaking processes along the way. These include silver gelatin black & white, dye transfer, additive Cibachrome, pigment transfer, and finally digital printmaking. After having originally been moved to become a photographer by the books that he produced and edited, I am honored and delighted to have become one of David Brower's three favorite photographers, along with Eliot Porter and Ansel Adams, who were also his friends.

My publications include many posters, the series of Last Wildlands calendars, produced with Dave at Friends of the Earth for nine years, and three books, including two of the most respected books of landscape photography: "Joseph Holmes • Natural Light", The Nature Company 1989, and "Canyons of the Colorado", Chronicle Books 1996. My unique, additive Cibachromes were the best-selling artwork at The Nature Company for many years. My prints have been widely collected and have appeared in many exhibits, and I am currently represented by several galleries and art consultants. After many years of distraction once again making a new and difficult way of printmaking work right, I am again back in business making prints for people, this time for good. The old problems that kept color from working right have been solved, and no process of making pictures will ever replace digital imaging. It's just as well.

I am the author of ColorBlind Prove It! software for monitor calibration with my patented visual calibration system and the inventor and patent holder of the Small Gamut method of printing monochrome images. I am also the creator of seven RGB working spaces, including Ekta Space PS 5, J. Holmes, which has been widely adopted by imaging professionals. Through many years of tenacious study and experimentation and enjoying the teaching of some of the creators of color management, I have become one of the few but growing number of masters of color management for fine photography and have written and taught extensively on the subject. I have also consulted with several major imaging companies on photographic and related color matters during the ten year transition to digital imaging. After many years of getting workshop requests, in 2002 I began teaching workshops on color management and imaging for fine print making.

I live with my wife and two daughters in Kensington, California.

Reviews and a partial list of past exhibits will be added at a later date. For details of upcoming exhibits, please refer to my Exhibitions page..

News: I am the featured alumnus in the Spring, 2005 issue of the semi-annual magazine of the College of Natural Resources of the University of California at Berkeley. You can download a PDF of the magazine article here (3 MB).