JEFF SETTLE

 

www.settlephotography.com

Biography

 

 

Early Years

When Jeff was 14, his mother bought his father a Pentax SP500. Jeff adopted it and proceeded to wear it out during high school. He remembers buying 100' rolls of Tri-X, which produced 20 36-exposure rolls for $10. A home built darkroom enabled him to feed the passion. Between high school and college, wanderlust took over and Jeff did a cross country trip covering 15,000 miles in an 8 week period seeing twenty-six states and two provinces of Canada.

College at VA Tech came and went where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science.

Family Years

Soon there was a family and photography took a backseat to raising five kids.

Later Adulthood

Time has passed and the passion for photography is burning brighter than ever. For years, he has not worried about making money with photography. He concentrated on shooting what he enjoyed. This approach has allowed him to refine his vision and the techniques he needs to achieve it.

Why Cars

Jeff enjoys shooting cars because they provide a convergence between history, technological evolution, and beauty. 

Jeff's father was born in the time of the Ford Model T and died during the time of the Dodge Viper. He remembers a long lost print of his father and friends pushing a broken down Model A. So shooting cars brings him a link between the person that gave him a love of photography and a time before Jeff was born. Cars were simpler and so was life.

In the early years of cars, change progressed at a galloping pace. Early cars were open air, without doors and amounted to horse carraiges with steering and a drivetrain. The 1910 Cadillac Model 30 had acetylene headlights. By 1912, that same model had been converted to electric lights making the two year old car obsolete. By 1930, all cars had doors and tops providing an enclosed environment with heaters.

Early car designs were a matter of function and technological capability. And their beauty lies in their simplicity. The 1914 Metz  22 connected the body with the windshield with a leather flap. As time progressed, the evolution of manufacturing technique allowed taste to become a consideration in design. The art deco era had a big impact on car design as evidenced by the 1937 Oldsmobile. Look at the influence of the 1950s/60s space race on the fins and bullet nosed cars of the period. Ultimately, the lines and surfaces present a visual flow. Many people only stand back and look down at the car. By moving in low and close, new perspective is gained on very familiar subjects.

In the end, we all grew up with cars, remember times past in certain cars and associate a car or two with our childhood or our parents. Seeing one of the cars we have a connection with can bring a flood of memories and emotions that take us back to a long past time. It is that experience which makes car images special.

Other Photography

Cars do not consume Jeff’s photography. He is a volunteer photographer for Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep (nilmdts.org) doing family portraits for those who have a baby who will never leave the hospital. He also does family portraits for Hearts Apart (heartsapart.org) when a military family member is about to be deployed overseas.