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Asmund H. Gjevik

San Rafael, CA

My experience with dramatic contrasts of land and seascapes gave me an intense appreciation for black and white photography. In my fascination with these contrasts, black and white has always seemed a great choice of medium to explore my art. Abstracting a scene with black and white allowed me to think about these forms as composition, texture, contour, light and shadow. I continue to be intrigued by the way light plays with natural or manmade forms be they weathered wood, trees in snow, rocks on a beach or the contour and texture of a nude.

Asmund Gjevik was born in the late 1930’s on a small island in Norway where nearly everyone made their living by fishing or farming. He got his first camera at age 14. It was a medium format box camera with black and white film, which he used to make portraits of friends and family.

At the age of 16 he went out into the world and became a seaman. Practically all of his working career was been spent on boats or ships. After leaving Norway he immigrated to the US and lived in the Virgin Islands where he guided scuba divers and taught snorkeling to tourists. 

Living in the Caribbean turned his attention to travel photography with 35 mm, shooting everything beautiful that caught his eye: landscapes, tropical flowers, beaches, portraits and a considerable amount of underwater photography. Here he later became a tug boat captain and then progressed to piloting large tankers in the Caribbean. He later retired after 18 years of piloting ships on the San Francisco Bay.

In 1987 after attending a Maine Photography Workshop he was astounded by work done with large format photography by John Sexton and other landscape photographers. Thereafter, his outlook on photography broadened and was changed forever. Shortly after the workshop he relocated to San Francisco where he bought a 4x5 Zone VI camera which started the long and sometimes painful process of learning the ways of black and white photography and printing.

Among the photographers he admires most are Brett Weston, Ruth Bernhardt, Edward Weston, Ansel Adams, Alan Ross, John Sexton, Elisabeth Opalenik and Lucien Clergue.

He is currently doing photography in Northern California where he lives with his wife, painter, Jeannie Gjevik.