Professor Komenich Inspired by Famed Photos of 1970s 'Suburbia'

Wednesday, September 05, 2018

SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE -- What also makes Suburbia so noteworthy is its straightforward style with lighting techniques that illuminate the scene without attempting to embellish it.

“That’s the magic of Bill Owens,” said Kim Komenich, a professor of photojournalism at San Francisco State. “It was as if he were on an anthropological mission studying a tribe.

“And we are the tribe.”

Komenich, who won the 1987 Pulitzer Prize in spot photography, took a class from Owens in his first semester at San Jose State in 1977. He was so inspired that he grabbed his camera and “went out to imitate Bill Owens.” He now includes Owens’ work in his classes and is producing a video documentary about Owens.