Charles William Lupica • Photographer

was born in 1951 and grew up in a middle-class American family in the suburbs of Cleveland, Ohio. From the youngest age Charles was exposed to photography as a chronicle of family events. Charles' father, Chuck Lupica was never far from his trusty range-finder Argus camera. Charles senior was from a large Italian family and he photographed every family wedding, christening, first communion, Easter, and the annual family Christmas party, which, toward the early 70's got to be so large that a hall had to be rented to accommodate all of the aunts, uncles, cousins, wives, children, and friends of the family.

When movie cameras became practical, Charles senior added movies to his family chronicles. The slides and films from the 50's, 60's, and early 70's number in the thousands and remain a valued family photo archive. Charles William Lupica Sr. died in 1976 but the rich archive he left continues to inspire and to remind of days and people that are no longer part of daily lives but who continue to give to us in other ways.

Charles William Lupica, Junior started taking pictures when he was in his teens as he wanted to have a record of Charles Sr. as well. Charles Sr., while being a prolific family photographer never used a tripod and never discovered how to use a remote release; meaning, he is in very, very few pictures. Charles Jr, (from here referred to as Charles) grew up in the turbulent 60's and had interesting ideas of what to do in life (like studying philosophy to become a philosopher) and at one point seriously though of pursuing photography as a career. The real problem was that college course work in photography was (and is ?) heavily oriented toward art skills and not the art of seeing. That is, photography was as add-on to the art curriculum that wanted students to be able to draw realistic images, paint, sketch, and in general be an art major not a photographer.

I suppose it might have been possible to pursue photography through photojournalism, but the media was "part of the establishment" in the 60's and early 70's and the thought of joining the media never occurred. Charles did take an art course in basic design in 1976 and received a B for his efforts. Later, while studying geology, he took a photography course geared toward capturing factual information.

In 1979, Charles meet Deborah, his future wife, at the University of Florida. In 1981 Charles earned his BS in Science from the University of Florida and together, Charles and Deborah set out for Colorado. I mean, where else would someone with a degree in Geology go if not to Texas? Deborah was (and is) a devoted fan of Nikon cameras. Her first love was art and continues to be part of her life, though a far distance from her career. Through her love of art and of photography, Deborah became the family photographer amassing a large collection of slides of Colorado, Arizona, Washington (state), Wyoming, Guam, Virginia, and eventually Switzerland.

Through these years of travel and exploration together, Charles keep his photographic interests focused on Black and White Photography. Charles and Deborah have been heavily involved in technology professions for many years. But Charles, being "old school" just couldn't give up his analog camera to join the digital world. "Somehow Black and White photography just doesn't seem right when the recording media is color." Even with the birth of their son (C. William Lupica, III), Charles left the photography mostly to Deborah except for video recording family events; much as his father did.

But, all things must change. In 2007, Deborah, Charles, and William went to Portugal on vacation with a dear friend and his wife. When they got back, Charles found that film had become very expensive; as nobody was still doing film except dedicated professional and well heeled amateurs. For each photo that Charles had taken in B&W in Portugal the cost was arount $1.25 per image - good or bad. The price was prohibitive. After that trip, every time Charles picked up his camera he would think to himself, "Is this good enough to pay $1.25 for the shot?". The cost of shooting film was taking all the fun out of taking pictures. It was time to join the rest of the world and go digital.

So it was in the spring of 2007 that Charles bought his first numeric camera, a Nikon D80 with a 18-70mm kit lens and a 55-135 mm kit lens. Shortly after buying the new digital camera, Charles left on a bicycle tour of the Loire River Valley in central France, accompanied with his new Nikon D80. It was on this trip of personal challenge and exploration that the idea was born to turn career interests towards an earlier dream, photographer (as art) as a career.

Since those beginnings in 2007, Charles continues to build his library of images. He focuses mostly on Swiss life, alpine flora, and the beauty of Switzerland. But nearby France often calls and Charles expands his collection of available images of France each year. In 2008, Charles won the "reader's choise" award for his image "Jardin dans une boule" and 3rd place overall at the exposition, "Jardin Botanique - 10" ans.

Charles William Lupica

 
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