Dick Ainsworth

Early in my career as a freelance writer, I discovered that I could expand my range of assignments by including photos with my writing. As a result, a Leica camera and IBM Selectric typewriter quickly became companion tools.

Inheriting Dad’s Speed Graphic view camera changed everything. I began exploring large-format photography, following in the footsteps of Ansel Adams and others.

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Adding computers and software capabilities to traditional photography has led me to expand the scope of both digital and film formats with multiple imaging techniques. With unlimited resolution at my disposal, I can now create large-scale photographs that remain sharp at close viewing distance.

In the beginning...

Me with IMSAI

Many of us discovered computers and how they worked by building one, like this early IMSAI 8080 sitting on my desk. These were, in fact, actual computers we could program. As a science writer in 1975, having a computer of my own was immensely satisfying and gave me an early view of the personal computer revolution to come.


BB book and arcade

The Bally Arcade was an early entry in the personal computer market. It was converted to a fully-programmable computer by the a.IC was the first of my Computer Learning Lab series of interactive books showing people how to create games, music, and art.

Typing Tutor

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IBM Typing Tutor

Bill Gates hired me to write the manual for Microsoft BASIC. After finishing this project, I suggested I could design typing software that would create interactive lessons, tailored to each person. Bill agreed, and Dick Ainsworth Microsoft Typing Tutor became the first educational software for the personal computer. 

Stereo Panoramic Photography

My interest in extremely high-resolution photography provided images for some of the early electronic display systems and led to the first use of photography for creating an immersive VR experience.

In collaboration with Dan Sandin and Tom DeFanti, I designed the CAVEcam system for capturing high-definition spherical images in full stereo vision.  My textbook, Stereo Panoramic Photography is available from the University of California San Diego Library.

"Acquisition of Stereo Panoramas for display in VR environments"  

"The future of the CAVE"

Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Photographer

I have visited and photographed many Frank Lloyd Wright buildings for over three decades, but my favorite is Taliesin East in Spring Green, Wisconsin. Living only a few minutes away gave me unlimited access and allowed me to select the exact moments when conditions were ideal. Taliesin Winter was taken when the sun was in the ideal location, and only my footprints mar the landscape in this early morning shot.

Taliesin Auditorium © Dick Ainsworth and the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. Larger

Taliesin Winter © Dick Ainsworth and the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation.  Larger

Fallingwater © Dick Ainsworth and the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation.  Larger

Photographing Creativity   -   Bach Dancing & Dynamite Society

When I approached Bach Dancing & Dynamite Society, it was not at the usual photographer's request. Instead of wanting to shoot performance images or posed studio shots, I explained that I was interested in visually capturing the process of creativity itself. This process begins with the first rehearsal and continues up to and through the opening performance. 

BDDS Gallery Photographing Creativity

I became intimately involved in the rehearsals while the musicians meticulously crafted the nuances that would make each piece of music a unique and moving experience. We quickly discovered that I could photograph freely during the rehearsals without disrupting this delicate process. My camera and I became just another fixture in the environment – somewhat like the "potted palm" standing in the corner but never actually noticed.

Silent cameras and the lack of flash helped, but focused detachment is the main reason I can be visually intimate without intrusion. As a silent observer during rehearsals, I have visually documented the creative process integral to a live concert but never witnessed by the audience. This collection of images allows me to share the unique and exciting process of creating the music before a public performance.

Rehearsal and concert photos may be purchased directly from Bach Dancing & Dynamite Society.

Taliesin Hillside Theater


CP-1  P Cave Point State Park  4' x 12'

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