Cramer studied piano for 20 years, receiving an M.A. from the
Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. This conservatory
was endowed by George Eastman, who also founded the Eastman Kodak
Company. This connection between music and photography can be
seen in the lives of many photographers. Cramer gradually turned
to full-time photography by 1980. He continues to play the piano,
however, and has presented recitals at the homes of photographer
Don Worth, and in 1985 for Mrs. Ansel Adams. Ansel Adams regarded
the negative as the "score", and the print as the "performance".
Being very concerned with "performing" led Cramer to
become involved with one of the most complicated methods of making
color prints---the dye transfer process.
A dye transfer print, with its startling depth and brilliance,
has long been considered among the finest methods of color reproduction.
Since it is also one of the most time-consuming and costly methods,
it is rarely seen today. Cramer labored mightily with dye transfer
for 16 years, and is recognized as a master printer.In
1997, he began emerging from the darkroom to sit in front of a
large, color-calibrated monitor. This new digital process involves
scanning the transparency, using Photoshop as a digital darkroom,
and writing the final image to chromogenic photographic paper
at very high resolution with red, green, and blue lasers. Although
far removed from darkroom-intensive dye transfer, this process
also gives him incredible control over the final image. These
new advances allow Charles Cramer to realize his lyrical landscape
images at their strongest and most compelling.
Photographs by Charles Cramer are available through fine photographic
galleries throughout the West. He has also taught various photography
classes for the Ansel Adams Gallery Workshops. In 1987 he was
selected by the National Park Service to be an Artist-in-Residence
in Yosemite. Charles Cramer's landscape work has been published
by National Geographic, Sierra Club, and the Yosemite Association,
which used his images exclusively for their 1994 Yosemite Calendar.
He has written for Photo Techniques Magazine, and was recently
profiled in the March/April 1995 View Camera Magazine. His most
recent work stems from his fascination with the color, mood, and
spirit of the Southwest.