Steve Anchell

Steve Anchell

Member, Freestyle Advisory Board of Photographic Professionals


Steve Anchell is internationally published with his fine art work exhibited in galleries and private collections. His work has been in forty-one exhibits, including nineteen solo exhibits.

He has been a contributing editor to Outdoor Photographer, Camera & Darkroom, and PhotoWork magazines. He has written columns, feature articles and interviews for View Camera, Camera Arts, PIC, Shutterbug, PhotoPro, and Rangefinder magazines. He is the former editor of Photovision and Focus Fine Art Photography magazines.

His three books, The Darkroom Cookbook, The Variable Contrast Printing Manual, and The Film Developing Cookbook are international photography bestsellers. Photo-Eye Books of Santa Fe named The Variable Contrast Printing Manual the best technical title of 1997. The first anthology of his work, The Nude at Big Sur, was released in December 2002.

From 1970 to 1977 Steve maintained a portrait and wedding studio in San Luis Obispo, California. In 1977 he opened a commercial studio in Hollywood. His internationally known clientele included Vivian Woodward Cosmetics, Jordache Belts, IBM, Teledyne, and many others. His specialty was photographing for underground L.A. fashion designers. In 1984 he closed his studio to devote himself full time to his personal work, teaching, and writing on photography.

Anchell's work is varied, ranging from sensual black and white environmental figure studies to erotic color nudes to street photography and environmental portraiture.

"Recording the world in which I live is an obsession. While I do not limit myself to any one subject, I find people the most fascinating, whether they are nude or clothed. Accordingly, I photograph people in the streets of New York City as readily as I photograph nude models on the beaches of Big Sur."

He has conducted photographic and darkroom workshops since 1979, including workshops for Santa Fe Photographic Workshops, the International Center for Photography, Zone VI, Cape Cod and Tuscano Photographic Workshops, the Universities of California at Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, and Irvine, the University of Cincinnati, and the University of Denver. He has guest lectured on photography and fine art at Eastern Washington University, Spokane Falls College, and Chapman College. He has conducted seminars for Agfa Photo and Leica Camera and has appeared as a guest lecturer for Sinar-Bron.

In 1999, Steve established The Photographers Formulary Workshops in Montana and was the program director for the years 1999 and 2000.

Portfolios include:
  • Night & Day - street images created over the course of Steve's thirty-six year career.
  • 24 Frames - sensual color images of alternative lifestyle in San Francisco, California.
  • Diana Nudes - black and white figure studies of the nude in the environment using toy cameras.
  • The Nude in the Environment - classic black and white images of the human figure in nature. A 20-year collection of Anchell's work in the Big Sur area of California is in book form, The Nude at Big Sur, published 2002.
  • L.A.:Blues - black and white images created using available light in blues clubs in South Central Los Angeles during the early >90s. A traveling exhibit with 52 images from this portfolio has been shown internationally.
  • Cuba: The Face of the Enemy - black and white images showing the faces of the Cuban "enemy" bearing striking similarities to those of everyday Americans. A copy of this work is in the collection of the Jimmy Carter Library in Atlanta, Georgia.
  • Halloween, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York City - black and white images created on Halloween in the three metropolitan areas.
  • Route 66: An American Portrait - black and white images made along the AMother Road over a ten year period in thev 80s. The images are of people and places which have vanished before "progress".
  • Streets of Los Angeles - large format black and white images of Los Angeles from 1970 to 1990.
  • America Passing - black and white images of the American landscape and the people who have made it their home.

Ask The Experts

Dear Joe, Yeah, I had exactly the same problem with 16x20” Agfa paper. All my tricks didn help. The highlights were fogged and the blacks were muddy. So, I printed on it and hand-painted over everything that was objectionable. I told everyone it was a new technique I had invented and sold two prints. Im now using Adox MCC 110 and like it better than Agfa. I have some 20x24 Im getting ready to print on soon.