About the Photographer
American, b. 1949
Initially trained as a black and white street photographer, Len Jenshel began making landscape photographs in color in the early 1970s. At the time, color photography was thought of as a distinctly commercial or vernacular medium and had yet to be accepted as an art form. Jenshel was part of a rising generation of fine art photographers, along with Joel Meyerowitz, William Eggleston, and Stephen Shore, who embraced color and helped to dissolve the prejudice that only black and white prints could attain the status of art.
Jenshel often partners with his wife, photographer Diane Cook, whom he married in 1983. Their first collaborative project, Hot Spots, published as a book in 1996, focuses on America's volcanic national parks and other landscapes shaped by volcanic activity. Photographing at sites in Hawaii, Wyoming, and a number of other western United States, the artists began pairing color photographs by Jenshel with black and white photographs by Cook--a method they have continued since in subsequent projects. In Jenshel's photograph Fishing Cone, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming (1990), the landscape is tranquil, bathed in golden moonlight through a veil of clouds. Although some of the pictures from Hot Spots record the volatility of the volcanic landscape, in this photograph Jenshel savors the qualities of light, color, and the landscape's forms, or what historian Sally Eauclaire described as "the pleasures of seeing."
Len Jenshel studied with Joel Meyerowitz, Tod Papageorge, and Garry Winogrand at New York's Cooper Union and completed his BFA in 1975. He previously taught at the International Center for Photography, Cooper Union, the School of the Visual Arts, and New York University. He lives with his wife in New York City.