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Biography
John Sexton
John Sexton ©1999 Anne Larson


John Sexton was born in 1953 in Maywood, California and first fell in love with photography in the 1960s. The decisive moment for him was seeing film develop in a friend's enlarger. Sexton recalls: "We took some red Christmas tree bulbs and made what I later found out was a 'safe light' and I saw magic take place that night on a shaky card table in his bedroom and a week later I had my own enlarger."

After graduating from Cyprus College in 1975, he originally set out to be an industrial-advertising photographer because it was what one of his photography professors had done. However, Sexton shortly afterwards went to a photography exhibition in Pasadena, California featuring the work of the great American landscape photographer, Ansel Adams. Although it was over 30 years ago, Sexton speaks of first coming across Adams' work as if it were yesterday: "I never had a photograph in front of me that made your heart skip and catch your breath. It was truly an inspiring experience." Soon after, Sexton took a workshop with Adams and this was the start of his close association with the legendary photographer that was to last until Adams passed away in 1984. During his years with Adams, Sexton acted as both assistant and technical advisor.

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