Home        Bio        Artist's statement        Contact
page title bertscapes header

biographical sketch

This photo that I took of my motherBert's mother was on the first roll of film for the camera I had just been given when I was 8 years old. We were out for a walk with my father on a brisk fall day in 1938 in Stralsund, Germany, where I was born. The camera, a very good, compact, folding Zeiss Nettar 515 producing 16 half-size exposures on 120 film, stayed with me until college many years later, but my brother and I were separated from my parents a few months after those first photos. I only did an occasional photo in the years following (film and processing were too expensive for me) and most of them have long since been discarded.

Interest in photography was renewed while I was in the Army stationed in Japan in 1954, where I acquired an Argus C3 and, later, a Kodak Retina Ia. I stayed in Japan and Korea for a couple years after my discharge, working for the Army as a civilian. Of the many Kodachrome slides and B&W 35 mm photos I took during that time, a few have been retained, and much later, prints from the mid-1950s slides were framed and later scanned into my computer. You will find them among those in the Japan and Korea collections on this website. Little remains of the hours I spent in a darkroom on the Army post, developing and enlarging B&W photos.

Photography took a backseat to my vocation as a consulting engineer and to my family (my wife Holly and daughters Helise and Judy) until just a few years ago, although I graduated to SLR cameras during that time, eventually settling on Pentax. When I switched to a digital SLR, I stayed with Pentax so that I could continue to use the old lenses and attachments as I needed them. Lately, during semi-retirement and, then, full retirement from my consulting engineering career, I was able to devote more time to photography, joined the local artists’ guild (the only member exclusively in photography) and entered several juried photography shows. This website is part of my effort to be a more serious photographer.

For the last few years, I have been involved in the design and maintenance of web sites, and I produce a line of greeting cards that feature my photographs, mostly of Chicago and other parts of Illinois. These are sold through a number of retail outlets. After 50 years in Elmhurst, Illinois, I now reside in Chicgo.