Photograph by Ken McGagh / MetroWest Daily News
(Copyright 2017, All Rights Reserved)
“Whoever uses the spirit within him creatively is an artist. To make living itself an art, that is the goal.” - Henry Miller
David Watts, Jr. has been behind the camera for virtually his whole life. He has worked as a photographer and as a film-video producer-director-writer-cinematographer-editor. He was initially taught still photography by his father from an early age. He developed an interest in filmmmaking by his early teens, learning the craft “hands on” by getting onto the sets of film productions shooting in the Boston area, by which he gained knowledge in feature film production techniques. He then worked with Super-8 and 16-mm on his own.
As a still photographer, he has done work in photojournalism, portraiture, editorial, commercial, and fine art photography in a variety of film formats from 35-mm to 8” x 10,” and digital. He has taught weekend workshops on basic digital photography and visual journalism.
As a Producer-Director-Writer-Cinematographer-Editor, he has worked in, primarily, 35-mm and 16-mm. He has made numerous locally-based television commercials and corporate-industrial films of all types. In more recent years, he has begun to work more with documentary subjects and multi-camera productions in digital video. He has extensive experience shooting both in the studio and on location.
He is a historian and has presented talks on historical subjects to a variety of groups, including talks on Fountain Pens and Modern Writing Culture, The Hiker statue (the most reproduced public statue in the United States), and the history of human rights. Most recently, he has given a talk on the development of avigation (aviation navigation) at the Collings Foundation. He is currently putting together a talk on photographing/filming living history and its place in contemporary history education.
The material for that last talk has come about because for over a decade he has been documenting the events, collections, and persons at the Collings Foundation in Hudson, Massachusetts. A non-profit organization founded in 1979 by Bob and Caroline Collings, CF uses the living history approach in a series of annual events to make history more immediate and meaningful to a wide range of ages and backgrounds. In May 2019, they opened the American Heritage Museum on the grounds. The AHM features armored vehicles, largely from the former Jacques Littlefield Collection, and other items spanning from 1918 to 2006.
In 2016, he returned to photographing dance. Since 2018, he has been photographing all the activities and performances at the Windhover Center for the Performing Arts in Rockport, Massachusetts.
He has written and photographed on a variety of subjects that have been published in newspapers and magazines. See the Publications page for examples of recent work.
On board the Collings Foundation’s B-25J Mitchell medium bomber Tondelayo in the bombardier’s greenhouse en route to Beverly Municipal Airport, Beverly, MA, 2008.