Year 2005 | Volume 12    Southern Methodist University


For Charles DeBus, the darkroom, not the camera, is what photography is all about, even in the digital age. He seldom uses a digital camera, and shoots only black and white because “it allows me a tremendous number of interpretive capabilities,” DeBus says. The artist incorporates a painterly approach to his subjects – landscape, figure, or still life – utilizing many different processes, including gelatin silver, platinum, gum bichromate, and Iris prints. “My images are metaphors, visual statements about things that I feel very deeply. Making images allows me a more intimate understanding of life,” he says. The senior lecturer in photography at Meadows School of the Arts, who earned a B.F.A. from the University of Dallas, studied with renowned photographers Ansel Adams, Wynn Bullock, Imogen Cunningham, Robert Heinecken, and Jerry Uelsmann. He was a stringer for the wire services and a commercial photographer, but since the 1960s has concentrated on photography as art and teaching. DeBus’ work, which is included in numerous private and public collections, can be viewed at

As I Looked Up One Winter's Night
2000, hand-colored cyanotype


2004, gum bichromate print


Cibolo Creek
2000, gelatin silver print


2004, gum bichromate print