Fine Art: Michael Zide

Michael Zide: 1944 to Feb 14 2024                                                                                                

Michael Zide grew up in Los Angeles. In 1969 he moved to Martha’s Vineyard, where he shot assignments for the Vineyard Gazette and later became staff photographer for The Grapevine. Over the next 13 years Zide pursued a career in commercial and fine art photography, focusing on the Vineyard landscape.

In 1982, Michael and his wife Jana left the Island and moved to Amherst, MA where they raised their son, Noah, in the company of many dogs and cats. Michael continued his focus on the landscape, while also teaching at the Hallmark School of Photography in Turner’s Falls.  He was a truly gifted teacher, emphasizing the importance of imagination, inspiration and individuality, and influencing the work of a generation of photographers.

Michael’s own photography focused on nature, in the tradition of Ansel Adams, Minor White and others. He captured the beauty of the Vineyard beaches, and the Valley’s fertile farmland. A devoted lover and defender of nature and all its creatures. Michael donated photographs, time and money to various conservancy and animal-welfare organizations.

 

It was January 10th, 1949. During the previous night, what was referred to as “Los Angeles’ First Historic Snowfall” by the L.A. Times had fallen silently. For some reason, I had awoken just as the sun rose, casting a reddish orange glow over the entire world. Alchemy had occurred, and I believed the world had turned to gold.

I have never forgotten the emotional power of that moment. That first snowfall set in motion both the search for a view of equal enchantment, as well as a visual memory in search of meaning. From 1982 to the present, my photographic search has continued on Martha’s Vineyard and in the Pioneer Valley with no lessening of awe or excitement. –Michael Zide


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