I’ve been fascinated by photography since I was 11 years old and found an old Brownie box camera in the closet at my parents’ house in Los Angeles. I still have the photos I took in those days, ordinary scenes from the living room and back yard, transformed by magic into black and white images.
My main career was in newspapering — as a writer, not a photographer. After graduating from Harvard in 1975 with a bachelor’s degree in history of religion, I spent four decades as a newspaper reporter before retiring in 2013 to pursue landscape photography and independent writing.
Much of that career involved writing about art and music, and in 2006 I was a fellow at the National Endowment for the Arts’ Journalism Institute for Theater and Musical Theater in Los Angeles.
Long fascinated by hand-colored black and white photography, I’ve been making and selling hand-colored landscapes since 2002.
I have shown my work at the Karin Clarke Gallery and the Jacobs Gallery in Eugene, at the Arts Center in Corvallis, and at the World Forestry Center and the Blue Sky Gallery in Portland.
In my free time I am editor of Eugene Art Talk, a website about the fine arts in and around Eugene, and sit on the board of directors of the Lane Arts Council. I live on 18 wooded acres outside Creswell, Oregon, with my wife, Lisa Strycker.
Our son, Noah Keefer Strycker, is a bird photographer, illustrator, and writer, and is associate editor of Birding magazine. His most recent book, The Thing With Feathers, came out in spring 2014 from Riverhead Books. In 2015 he set a world record for the most species of birds – 6,042 – ever seen by one person in a calendar year.
Around Oregon Annual 2016: My hand-colored photo “Blowdown 2016.5” was selected for this group show at the Arts Center in Corvallisin June 2016 by juror John Olbrantz, director of the Hallie Ford Museum of Art.
Among Trees, a solo show of hand-colored photos from the forest and from Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, during June 2016 at InEugene, Eugene, Oregon.
ROT: The Afterlife of Trees, a 2016 exhibit at the Arts Center of Corvallis and then at the World Forestry Center in Portland, includes two of my very large (24×72) tree portraits along with smaller work.
Forest Investigation, solo show of work from H.J. Andrews residency, spring 2015 at the Jacobs Gallery, Hult Center for the Performing Arts, Eugene, Oregon.
Blue Sky Gallery, Portland, Oregon. Drawers Exhibition 2013 (April 2013-March 2014)
Karin Clarke Gallery, Eugene, Oregon. In 2009 I curated a show of photography at the gallery that included work by Brian Lanker, Craig Hickman, Robin Cushman, Franklin Miller, Dennis Galloway, Annie Frantzeskos, and myself.
Artist in residence at the Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts, Saratoga, Wyoming. October-November 2016.
Visual artist in residence, H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest, Blue River, Oregon, spring 2014 and 2015.
A series of my black and white photographs was chosen to illustrate Forest Under Story: Creative Inquiry in an Old-Growth Forest, a collection of essays and poems about the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest, published by the University of Washington Press in spring 2016.
“Talking Art and History with Bob Keefer of Eugene Art Talk,” in Lane Monthly, October 2015.
“Photographing the Northwest,” in Lane Monthly, May 2015.