Photographer Ron Rosenstock
By Joyce DeWallace, Contributing Writer
In living his dream, Ron Rosenstock has no ordinary retirement. This former Clark University professor travels the world, leading photographic tours to exotic locations like Morocco, Bhutan, and New Zealand. In addition he teaches small groups in his Holden studio. He has exhibited his work in more than 100 shows worldwide and is featured in numerous permanent exhibitions, including the Fogg Art Museum, the Worcester Art Museum, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and the International Center of Photography. He has written and published a half dozen books about photography.
His mission is to be one of the caretakers of this world by raising the people’s awareness of the earth’s beauty as a living-breathing organism. Participants in his tours are passionate about photography.
“That’s what holds us together. We are there to be inspired, to take better photographs, and commune with nature,” Rosenstock said. “I’m a nature photographer.”
Rosenstock started his career in the ‘60s as an architectural photographer for the firm of Walter Gropius. He studied with Minor White, a highly sought-after photographer, author and teacher who started the photography program at MIT. He carried on a lengthy correspondence with Ansel Adams and used Adams’ zone system in his course work. He began teaching at what is now the Worcester Center for Crafts and where he is planning a large retrospective show in January 2018.
Early in the ‘70s, the colleges in Worcester formed the consortium for higher education, and at that time, Clark University wanted to add photography to its liberal arts department.
“They hired me from the Crafts Center, and I started another new photography program and taught there for the next 30 years. I moved to Holden in the mid-‘70s and have been here ever since,” explained Rosenstock.
In 1971 he led his first tour, a small group to Stonehenge in England. From that beginning, the photographic tours expanded. Ireland was next, with the town of Westport becoming his base over many years of exploration. Word spread, and more people wanted to join the trips. The New York Times did a story in the early ‘80s in its travel section about his program and interest in the tours exploded.
He worked with his wife Cathy to build a travel business and was contacted by Voyages, Inc. to lead photographic tours for them.
“They were a tour-organizing company and wanted me to leads tours for them to many other countries,” said Rosenstock.
Besides Ireland, Rosenstock added Kenya, the Galapagos Islands, Peru, Nepal, Italy, the Czech Republic, Iceland, Greenland, New Zealand and Scotland to the list of places he explored with his cameras and taught tourists the art of photography.
The artist works in both black and white and color.
“Color tends to be more representational, more documentary because that’s how we see the world, whereas black and white tends to be more abstract, more interpretive,” Rosenstock noted.
When he worked with film, he did all his own darkroom work. Now it’s all strictly digital.
“I’m not exhibiting a process; it’s all about the image, the final print. It doesn’t matter how we get there,” said Rosenstock, pointing out the many high quality prints that line the walls of his bright studio.
“There is a world class printer in Worcester who does work for photographers all over the world. Mark Doyle of Autumn Colors Digital Imaging in Webster Square does all my printing for two reasons. He’s a master printer, and he can do it for less than I would do it for myself,” explained Rosenstock.
“Most people prefer to do something they have a real passion for and combine it with travel. I have been blessed to do this for over 50 years, meeting wonderful people all over the world and experiencing all the cultural differences that exist. We’re all brothers and sisters. My way of reaching people is through my photographs.”
For more information on the tours, contact Strabo photo tours at www.phototc.com. To buy Rosenstock’s books or photographs and learn more about his workshops, visit www.ronrosenstock.com. To view more of his photos visit www.fiftyplusadvocate.com.