For Clyde Bergstresser, photography is about the moment. It is about a click of a shutter capturing the symmetry of a landscape or the beauty of a people. It is about eliminating the distraction of color for the simplicity of a black-and-white image.
Bergstresser, a self-taught photographer, has been a voracious shooter ever since his wife gave him a Nikon camera more than 30 years ago. He set up a darkroom and has been producing top-level images ever since — his photos are regularly displayed at the Kingsley Galleries in both Chatham and Harwich and are regularly sold to private collectors. It is a pleasant counterpoint to his life as a plaintiff’s personal injury attorney with Campbell, Campbell, Edwards & Conroy.
“In trial work we’re constantly in our heads and we’re constantly planning and thinking, and what photography has done is allowed me to get outside that and be in the moment,” says Bergstresser. “I think it’s taught me the importance of not always being obsessed with the next trial or the next case or the next witness.”
Bergstresser’s passion for photography has taken him to five continents — all but Antarctica and Australia, which are next on the list — often with his wife in tow. “[She] likes to travel every bit as much as I do, so it’s something that we do together,” he says. Among the ports he and his wife have visited are Peru, Ethiopia and the Tibetan Plateau in the Himalayas.
He’s come a long way from the days of that first Nikon; he now has more than $100,000 in equipment. And the value of what photography has brought to his life in terms of personal happiness and growth is incalculable. “Photography is part of my evolution spiritually,” he says. “I don’t think I could isolate it out from who I am and the journey that I’m on, but it’s an important part of the journey.”