Ralph Cooksey-Talbott Thomas
has been working as a photographer since 1972 when he moved
to California from Michigan. During the 1970’s he studied
under Ansel Adams in Yosemite. Ansel published one of his
photographs in the portfolio section of his book "Polaroid
Technique Manual." Ansel and Orah Moore, another of Ansel’s
students, suggested that he shorten his name to Cooksey-Talbott,
and that is the name he has worked under since.
Cooksey also studied at the San Francisco
Art Institute and the San Francisco Academy of Art. He has
lectured in photography at the U.C. Berkeley Extension, Studio
One in Oakland and at Santa Barbara City College.
Cooksey became a Certified Master
Color Printer in the late 70’s. During this period he
made many color prints for the late Galen Rowell at Faulkner's
Color Lab in San Francisco.
Cooksey’s color printing skill
is one thing that strongly sets his work apart from the many
photographers who rely on color labs or service bureaus to
print their work.
During Cooksey’s career as a
commercial photographer he has served many national and international
clients, including Hewlett Packard, Unix World Magazine, Red
Lion Hotels, Chef Francisco Foods, Lindt-Stymeist Chinaware,
Business Software Magazine, Briggs and Stratton, Park Plaza
Hotels, Dreyers Ice Cream, Emporium-Capwell, Sunnyside Farms,
The Pacific Cup and many others.
Ever since Cooksey came to California
he has hiked high into the Sierra Nevada wilderness, carrying
heavy cameras to capture scenes that are viewed by few people.
The beauty of the High Sierra is unparalleled in its delicate
splendor and Cooksey’s photographs capture these qualities
and make them accessible to everyone.