A native and resident of northwestern Pennsylvania, Michael Henderson is an accomplished semi-professional photographer who traces his roots in photography back to his early childhood. During the 1960s and ‘70s he logged thousands of miles with his family as they spent their vacations traveling all over the U.S., visiting beautiful locations throughout the American southwest, Pacific northwest, the Rocky Mountains, and everywhere in between. His father documented these wonderful adventures with his trusty Kodak Instamatic and Kodachrome film; later his stepmother took her turn at 35mm, shooting a tiny Pentax ME Super. It wasn’t until the last few trips of that era that Mike came to realize how great it would be to carry a camera of his own; so starting out with simple, compact pocket cameras, and eventually graduating to an old second-hand Yashica 35mm SLR, and then his stepmother’s hand-me-down Pentax, he soon learned that photography could become the perfect convergence of his love for gadgetry and artistic self-expression. His very first images were actually shot with an old rollfilm twin lens reflex camera that he borrowed from his sister Linda.
By the mid-1980s, Mike began to expand on his basic knowledge of photography, delving into rules of composition and different camera techniques. During the ‘90s Mike served as president of the Venango Camera Club in Oil City, and later became an active member of the Meadville Camera Club.
Early experiments with stereo (3-D) photography became the groundwork for his current passion for the genre, and he eventually became an active member of the National Stereoscopic Association. In 2005, Mike received a Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts grant to produce his projection show, “The Oil Region in 3-D,” which he presented throughout northwestern PA. Recent exhibitions throughout northwestern PA have featured his poster-sized 3-D photos rendered using the anaglyph technique. In 2006, he was the Artist of the Month at Oil City’s Transit Fine Arts Gallery. During this time, Mike also lent his expertise as a frequent volunteer for the Johnson-Shaw Stereoscopic Museum in Meadville, where he led a workshop on stereo photography.
The digital age of photography has provided Mike with a newfound sense of freedom, which he shares with others. In 2008, he presented his “Digital Revolution” lecture during the art show at the Cranberry Festival in Seneca, PA. Over the past seven years, Mike has taught basic photography classes for the Oil Valley Center for the Arts in Oil City and the Titusville Council on the Arts, and in 2011 he accepted a co-award for Franklin’s Artist of the Year. In the fall of 2012, he began teaching classes at Venango College of Clarion University in Oil City. His current passions include scenic, portrait, performance, and stereo photography, and his work has won many awards in local art shows and competitions. His photos have been featured in Pennsylvania Travel Guide, Pennsylvania Magazine, Lake Erie Lifestyle, New England Windsurfing Journal, Ultra Running, and West PA Magazine, among others.