Images have almost always been a revelation. Many times they appear to me as I observe the world; wherever I am they flash into my brain. The hairs on the back of my neck stand up. Sometimes they are planned – conceived and constructed during bouts of melancholy, fear and despair. It’s been that way since I was a kid, one eye closed – being the camera before I ever owned one…observing the world from the outside with a sense of loneliness.
This collection represents 35 years of work with film and digital photography. There is no special digital manipulation of any of these images.
Isaac Stackell was born in Brooklyn, NY in 1953. From the age of ten, he would close one eye and pretend to be a camera. His other early interests were writing, theater, and advertising. He was introduced to Photography as an art and discipline in high school. While attending SUNY at Plattsburgh, New York, he combined writing and photography for the school newspaper, and theater and photography for the theater department. When not performing onstage, he photographed scenes and actors. I have had no formal schooling in Photography – no degrees, just classes where the instructors assigned a theme and sent us out.
After college, Isaac began his career in a midtown commercial studio as second assistant. He learned large format black and white film development, color correction, job coordination, styling, and customer service. 8x10 film cameras were the main tools, retouching (done by hand on the film) was eschewed, as were outside assistants and stylists. Eventually, he photographed house wares, jewelry, books, models, executives, and home appliances. Isaac emerged from this crucible fourteen years later studio manager.
Isaac and a partner started Horizon Photographics in a raw space in what is now Dumbo, and then moved it to the Union Square area. By the time he folded Horizon, he was using Photoshop and Quark Xpress, and the Phase One digital camera back. His work has appeared in dozens of catalogs, textbooks and greeting cards.
For the past 20 years, Isaac has had freelance assignments, as a photographer, Photoshop, and lighting instructor – teaching young office workers who never thought photography would be included in their job descriptions. Isaac currently works as a Photo Team Manager at B&H Photo in Manhattan, resides in Montclair, NJ, photographs landscapes in his travels for business and pleasure. He dabbles in Community Theater, enjoys bicycling, and creates playlists from his sizeable music collection.