Master portrait photographer Robert Balcomb is a former student of William Mortensen, having studied with him for six months in 1956 at his studio in Laguna Beach, California. For the past 48 years he has implemented Mortensen’s teachings and techniques exclusively into his own work. Balcomb lives in the Puget Sound area, having practiced portraiture for over forty-eight years, from California to New Mexico to his present location. He is a graduate of the American Academy of Art, Chicago, and has a BS-Ed from The University of New Mexico and an MA-Ed from The University of Northern Colorado. For twelve years he was a faculty member of Olympic College, Bremerton WA, specializing in English grammar, technical writing, and public speaking.

Balcomb is not just a photographer. After the Chicago art school training, he spent two decades as an Advertising and Technical Illustrator. He emphasizes the point that in order for one to consider himself a photographer in the world of Art he must necessarily be also an Artist, not just a shutter-clicker, as too many photographers unfortunately are. The Mortensen technique demands the touch of an Artist.

His own work can be seen at RobertBalcombPhotography.com, and his Still Lifes and his new “After Series” can be seen in TheScreamOnline, the Internet magazine for Art, Photography, and Literature.

He welcomes others who knew Mortensen, and/or studied with him, to participate in online discussions about him, as well as talk about photo techniques, lighting, darkroom procedures, Metalchrome, pigment processes, and other items of interest in photography.

Click on the Comments button at the end of any post to add your thoughts.



  1. Edward S Carmick said

    Would you do a Mortenson style portrait of my wife witha texture screen?


    Ed Carmick

  2. Nice to see the tribute to Mortensen. His work will live a long time. I am a 77 year old photographic artist and have a couple Mortensens screens. Been using them for years along with a couple I have made. Nice web site and the very best to you….God Bless Barclay

  3. David Cox said

    Hi Robert,
    Just checking out your blog prior to sending you the original Mortensen Landscapes that I have for preservation work. Great Website!

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