Richard Garrod was born in Los Angeles, California, and spent most of his working life in Monterey, California and currently lives in the city of Chula Vista, California. He was educated at the University of California, Santa Barbara (B.A.) and the University of California, Berkeley (M.A.).
Garrod also majored in photography at Pasadena City College and studied at private workshops with Ansel Adams, Brett Weston, and Minor White. In 1954, Garrod met Edward Weston and in 1955 was a student in Ansel Adams’s first postwar workshop at Yosemite. Following these meetings, Garrod’s work developed into an intense involvement in fine art photography.
Garrod has taught photography workshops for more than 25 years, including Ansel Adams’s Workshop at Yosemite, University of California-Santa Cruz Extension, Center for Photographic Art, Carmel, CA, Friends of Photography, Charles Farmer Workshops, Monterey Peninsula College, Newport School of Photography, David Ashcraft Gallery, Oakhurst, CA, and The Photographic Center of Monterey Peninsula, as well as his own private workshops.
In 1961, Art in America magazine selected Garrod as one of the top 40 “New Talent USA” members and one of the seven featured photographers.
Garrod’s photographs have been printed in several photography publications, including books, magazines, catalogs, corporate annual reports, cards, calendars, posters, and appointment books. They have appeared in more than 50 solo and group exhibitions, including George Eastman House; Friends of Photography; University of Oregon; University of California; Museum of Art, Little Rock, AR; Southwestern University, Georgetown, TX; Seattle University; and Vision Gallery, San Francisco. His prints are in many private and institutional collections, including the Smithsonian Institution, George Eastman House, Polaroid Corporation, and the Oakland Museum of Art. In Japan, prints are held by the National Museum of Art, Kyoto, and the Osaka Prefectural Art Museum.
Initially Garrod was inspired by the photographic tonal range of the contact print. The sensitivity and beauty of this work led to a 15-year period of working with an 8″ x 10″ view camera and a special concentration on printmaking. In recent years, he has also become involved with smaller format work, including 4″ x 5″ and 120 roll film cameras, believing that this would permit a broader vision. He works with both black and white and color transparency materials. His color prints are in the Ilfochrome process and also in the digital Laser Light process.
Garrod’s landscapes have become increasingly abstract, yet he remains grounded in the visual world, the reference point for understanding his designs and images. He works primarily in the area of “straight” photography, the direct use of camera and lense, and with the silver image. However, his variety of subject matter, darkroom manipulations, and processing choices results in a range of photographs from the strongly abstract to more traditional images.
In the introduction to the book Garrod and Gilpin Photographs, Ansel Adams referred to Garrod’s work as displaying “. . . a great solidity and constant awareness of beauty.” Glen Wessels, emeritus professor of art at the University of California, said, “Garrod deals poetically with any subject matter and enlightens us with his perception and selectivity. He has a gift of making apparently unimportant visual events important by the way he sees them. A very ordinary assemblage of forms is given significance by his insight, and the viewer shares this vision through his excellent prints.”