GR man, 96, among oldest artists competing in ArtPrize

Robert Carlson's photograph titled "CRISSCROSS" is on display at Park Church

Robert Carlson talks to 24 Hour News 8 about his ArtPrize piece titled CRISSCROSS. (Sept. 27, 2016)


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A Grand Rapids man who recently celebrated his 96th birthday is now competing in ArtPrize Eight.

Robert Carlson knows his way around a camera. One of his photographs, titled “CRISSCROSS,” is on display at Park Church near the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum.

He snapped the picture, which features a log fence dividing a trail to the shore of Lake Michigan, while on a trip to Grand Haven with his daughter and a friend.

"CRISSCROSS" by Robert Carlson, on display at Park Church in Grand Rapids.
“CRISSCROSS” by Robert Carlson, on display at Park Church in Grand Rapids.

“I saw this picture…that was it,” Carlson explained. “As far as a photographic artist competing with 1,400 other people, I’m in it for the fun of it.”

Eight years ago, Carlson moved to Grand Rapids.

The hobby photographer told 24 Hour News 8 about his life which included being drafted, living in California, and taking photos for a meat company.

Carlson said he first began taking photos using a pinhole camera when he was a part of the camera club during his high school years.

He has since moved over to digital photography and usually takes his pictures sitting down so they come out crisp.

Carlson says he dreams of being a photographer like Ansel Adams.

“Do just black and white [photography]. I’d have my own dark room,” Carlson said. “Take one picture and spend hours on it and the washing, the chemicals, the lighting, holding back whatever just to achieve something in black white that I like. Like he [Adams] did.”

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ArtPrize

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