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Michael Puff is a former theater set designer and scenic artist. He is now a Fine Art Photographer as well as a systems computer programmer at Stanford University. Involved in the visual arts since childhood, Michael began by studying with a well-known Florida artist when he was five. As a teenager, he sold his paintings, raku ceramics, and metal sculptures at a local art cooperative near his home in downtown Palo Alto, California. As a young adult, Michael worked as a scenic painter. During his university years, while pursuing a degree in Theater Arts and Egyptian Archaeology, he worked as a theater set designer winning several San Francisco Bay Area Theater Critics awards.
Michael’s favorite subjects for photography encompass the natural world, and the surreal. “I’m partial to the creativity and artistic expression of surreal,” Michael says. “Like theater, it is innovative, thought-provoking, and plays with reality and illusion.” Michael has actively pursued photography as an art form since 2004. Beginning the spring of 2011, through workshops and private session, he has studied platinum/palladium printing with master printer Mark I. Nelson, creator of the Precision Digital Negatives system. Michael immediately fell in love with the hand made printing process.
I enjoy beauty, a flowing line, the surreal, and a touch of humor. I strive to create images that are harmonious and contain some or all of those qualities. I rarely have a preconceived notion when I begin to work but allow intuition to guide me towards a finished piece. For me, the joy of photography is in the choices of what to see, how to see it, and rendering a final print which communicates to the viewer. I particularly love printing platinum/palladium because each print is its own creation, each made by hand. The marriage of paper and noble metal creates a very tactile and rich print.
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