Henry Diltz never set out to take some of the most iconic photos of our era, it just happened. Fresh from a globetrotting childhood, he attended colleges in Munich, West Point, then Honolulu, and later became known as a musician and founding member of the Modern Folk Quartet. This led to his many friendships with recording artists of the California rock community in the ‘60s and ‘70s. Immersed in this world, he accidentally discovered a passion for photography that turned into obsession and occupation.
This gift did not go unnoticed by his friends in the business, who Diltz documented as he hung out in the scene. “I only wanted to remember exactly what I saw,” he says. “It was all about capturing images and moments, filling the frame with the essence of what I was looking at.” This he successfully achieved, beginning with a $100 sale of a single shot of Buffalo Springfield in 1966. In a memorable six-year partnership with design legend Gary Burden the list of album covers and artists he shot grew to include names like The Doors, the Eagles, Crosby Stills Nash & Young, Jackson Browne, America, Steppenwolf,
James Taylor and Mama Cass. He was official photographer at the Monterey Pop and Woodstock festivals, and his work has appeared in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Life, People, Rolling Stone, High Times and Billboard. Today his archive is handled by Corbis, as he continues to document the music scene from his base in Southern California. Henry Diltz is a partner in, and is exclusively published and represented by the Morrison Hotel Gallery.
Henry Diltz’s photos are distinguished by a lyrical sense of composition, which the actor Harrison Ford once referred to as “Henry’s framing Jones.” There’s an intuitive, naturalistic luminosity which only available light – which he prefers – can deliver. Whether working in conventional film or digital images, he always finds the perfect balance of illumination, color, and reportage.
“I am amazed at the accumulation of images that has resulted, simply by doing what I love to do, day after day after day,” he says. “It’s a result of being with countless people over the years, waiting at the sidelines for the moment to happen. Photography has been my passport, and I have arrived in the present, where I have always been, camera in hand. There! That says it best for me!”
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