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-- An extended Biography on Douglas Hopkins – 7 May 2008

After growing up in Alaska and Boston, Douglas Hopkins worked for awhile as a ranch hand in Montana. He attended the University of California, San Diego, where he majored in physics and German literature.

In about 1972, he completed an intensive program in teaching photographic awareness with the reclusive Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor, Minor White, author of The Zone System Manual.

From approximately 1971 to 1973, he was a staff member of the MIT Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences, where he designed and deployed a system for the real-time measurement of volcano eruptions. During this period he worked at volcanic sites on the Italian islands of Sicily and Stromboli, and in Guatemala and Chile, where he also took personal close-hand photographs of volcanic eruptions.

Some of his early photographs of volcanic eruptions appeared in popular and technical publications and textbooks. His first photographic magazine cover, a night eruption, appeared on the "Harvard" alumni magazine.

Surviving the hazards of this on-site scientific research, he embarked on a twenty-year photography journey. He began by assisting several commercial and portrait photographers, and then assumed his first job in commercial photography as a staff photographer for New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Throughout his career, his photographs have appeared in a multitude of fashion magazines, posters, science textbooks, and on national television. He free-lanced for fashion, beauty, and general publications, including W, Women's Wear Daily, Vogue, Connoisseur, Harvard Magazine, Rolling Stone, Mademoiselle, Elle, Barrons, Cosmopolitan, New York Times, Revlon, Clairol, and L’Oreal.

He received prominent coverage in photography publications such as Graphis, Popular Photography, American Photographer and Photo District News. His photography has appeared in the New York Times, where he co-authored an article on photographing women and a controversial op-ed piece.

He has appeared on television shows such as The Montel Show, Star Search, and Inside Edition, sometimes with his wife Oksana. He recently appeared on the Rocketboom Internet show.

Some of Douglas' notable photographs include:

- a cover shot for W magazine that featured supermodel Janice Dickenson on a busy Times Square street. The cover was important because the formal gown worn by Ms Dickenson at the time was a turning point in the fashion design success of Calvin Klein. John Fairchild, the publisher of W, said the cover with Douglas' photo was the best cover ever of W magazine. - an aerial view of a Steinway Concert Grand piano, which Henry Z. Steinway would say was the best photo of a Steinway ever made.

- a book cover portrait for MIT professor and author Dr. Sherry Turkle that was discussed in a Wired magazine story on Dr. Turkle. The article reports the photo was a turning point in her professional life.

He remained active in the field through exhibits, design awards, articles, lecturing, teaching at The New School, and served as a consultant to clients such as Polaroid and Fuji.

With Dr. Kathleen Crane, oceanographer and author, he co-directed the science documentary film "Heat", on geothermal energy. The film was funded by the Charles Lindbergh Foundation.

In January of 1999, Douglas met his wife Oksana Katsuro online, while she was living and working as a nuclear engineer [PhD student?] in Obninsk, Russia. She moved to New York and they were married on August 6, 1999. She studied fusion physics at Columbia where she received a PhD. Their daughter Liliana Christine was born in 2004.

In 1989, he founded, and continues to direct, Douglas Hopkins & Co., an atelier perfumery purveying international luxury fragrance designs.

He currently lives in New York City and has written a book for amateur photographers that is scheduled to be released in 2008.

-- In Hopkins' own words --

Q: Are there any photographs that are particularly memorable for you?

At one time the Publisher of W, John Fairchild, selected me to execute a pivotal cover shot for W magazine, with superstar model Janice Dickenson. This photo was to debut quintessential American designer Calvin Klein’s pivotal step from blue jeans to haute couture. Mr. Fairchild pronounced the image of Ms Dickenson -- adorned with Klein’s hand-sewn, multicolor evening gown, leaning in dangerous proximity to a passing yellow cab of similar hue to the gown, all in the center of a busy Times Square street – to be the best ever cover of W, tied as it was in the shooting location and spontaneous moment to Mr. Klein as the quintessential American designer. It was subsequently used to launch the Japanese edition of WWD.

Q: What will your book be about?

I call it a guide to creative vision for amateur digital photographers, a manual of heightened visual awareness. I would like to enhance the photographer’s ability to endow lasting images of ambience and emotion through a straightforward program of visual exercise and expedient introspection.

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