Michael Axel is a photographer, artist, author and technologist. He lives in Central Oregon in the foothills of the Cascade Mountain Range.
Axel started photographing at age 7 with a Kodak Instamatic, and soon after borrowed his father’s Zeiss Ikon Contessa 35 mm camera. At age 12 Axel built his own darkroom. He worked through inspirational teachers in junior and senior high schools as a photographer and journalist for the newspapers. In High School he was developing his own Ektachrome in his darkroom, printing Cibachrome prints.
He obtained his first Presidential campaign press credentials for the 1976 campaign, had a photograph selected for exhibition at the Portland Art Museum right after High School. In college he worked with a major wire service as a photographer stringer, a major movie studio shooting set images, and worked with the USA distributor of Hasselblad Camera. He studied Journalism and Advertising, making sure he also took classes giving him access to the University darkrooms, to shoot and process modeling portfolios.
Axel was co-founder of Advanced Photographic, a commercial photography firm specializing in fashion, architectural, and aerial photography. He worked extensively building software and other technologies.
Axel works extensively with many camera systems, but prefers Hasselblad and large format cameras, as well as Leica and classic cameras for 35 mm film.
In 2009 he published an illustrative text book, ”Iridescent Light - the Art of Stand Development” the only extensive book on the techniques for stand development of black and white films.
Axel surprises friends and colleagues with diverse new projects, including those depicting classic black and white images one time, and erotic color work the next.
His work with the photographic medium is only one aspect of his artistic pursuits. He also works with lost-foam and kinetic sculpture and occasionally other mixed mediums and painting.
Axel is also passionate about working with non profits and commits a lot of time and work toward helping worthy causes with fundraising activities.