When viewing the magnificent photographs of the late 1880's and early 1900's, one can only marvel at those who had to sensitize their fragile glass plates in the field, haul around portable darkrooms (tents) with balky contrary equipment and created exquisite photographs of the great and beautiful west.
Photography has been a very great part of Phil's life. His first exposure was watching his grandfather develop and print his pictures at the age of six (Phil's age - not his grandfathers). During his high school years he was the school newspaper and year book photographer. After high school, Phil enlisted in the U.S. Navy and attended the Naval School of Photography at Pensacola, Florida. During 1942 and 1943 Phil was awarded an all expense paid tour of the South Pacific doing public relations and news photos which appeared in Time, Saturday Evening Post. and Life, all without credits, and aerial recon and map making. In 1947 he aplied for a job with the city of Los Angeles as a penal code enforcer intending to become a forensic photographer, but first he had to do a tour of duty on the streets wearing blue. There was so much excitement out on the bricks that it was twenty-two years before he became the O.I.C. of the Scientific Investigation Division's Photo Lab. Prior to the lab, Sgt. Dunham was an investigator assigned to the Homicide Division.
The operation of a commercial, portrait and wedding studio was carried on for fourteen years prior to becoming a resident of the desert.
The call of the beautiful out doors now beckons this photographer who chooses to work with the most challenging of the art media - black and white.
Through photography, Phil continues to record God's creations ...and catch shadows.