Article by Bob Estrin


Gilbert Photographer Bob Estrin

Photo exhibit at Gammage Auditorium
Written by Lynette Carrington of the North Gilbert Breeze paper

Knock Before Entering by Bob Estrin © Bob Estrin

"Keep on Trucking" by Bob Estrin


Hot on the heels of a large photography exhibit in December, Gilbert resident (Val Vista Lakes community) Bob Estrin will be featured during a show at ASU Gammage from Jan. 2 through Jan. 23. The collection includes an eclectic mix of vintage-style images and breathtaking landscapes.

“Off the Beaten Path” has fun, beautiful, and thought-provoking images that have been captured by Estrin during his travels. Frequently, Estrin evokes reflective moods with his images of water, nature and a respectful look at bygone eras shot in unique conditions.

“I’ve been doing photography since 1971,” Estrin said.

He earned a degree in photography from Southern Illinois University. He eventually went on to be involved in computers and his success at his job has now allowed him the time to roam.

“I enjoy traveling and I’m retired and now I can afford to do it,” said Estrin of his travels.

He has visited states all across the United States snapping photos of pristine waters, natural wonders, and nature as interpreted through his lens. Some images in the collection were taken on recent trips to Zion National Park, the Grand Tetons, Glacier National Park, assorted ghost towns and other places off the beaten path. Indeed, he likes to explore objects that represent the past, and whatever those objects might represent to the viewer.

“I often use my photography as an excuse to be more adventurous; to go places and do things that most people would not even think of doing. Life can be exciting if you let it happen,” Estrin stated.

Some images that Estrin has captured are of old trucks, vintage soda bottles, unique architectural elements and everyday items that have a visual story to tell. Through the lens of Estrin’s camera, the use of light, composition, and angle take on his own viewpoint, yet also invite viewers to give images their own interpretation. Images displayed in the exhibition will be priced for sale. Additional images and information about the artist can be found at

Estrin has displayed his photography all around the Valley at places such as Tempe Library, Arizona Museum for Youth, Paradise Valley Community College, Gallery225 in Gilbert, and Boyce Thompson Arboretum. He has also been featured in The Arizona Republic and, in the past, he was chosen as Phoenix Magazine’s “ Artist of the Month.”



December 27, 2012 - Arizona University Press
Newspaper in Tempe, AZ

Local photographers' work featured at ASU Gammage Jan. 3-28

Knock Before Entering by Bob Estrin © Bob Estrin

"Empty in Reirement" Photo " by Bob Estrin

Knock Before Entering by Bob Estrin © Bob Estrin

"Red Pagota" Photo " by Lisa Adamsen

“Off the Beaten Path,” an exhibition of fine art photographs by local photographer Bob Estrin, and works by Tempe photographer Lisa Adamsen will be showcased at ASU Gammage on the ASU Tempe campus Jan. 3-28.

Estrin’s photographs showcase scenes of the Southwest and images that give clues to the past such as rusty cars and abandoned objects. Estrin is a traveling photographer, takings his camera off the beaten path to capture the magic, creating some of the most captivating and unique images that invoke a deep sense of place and the stories that place might reveal. 

Adamsen describes her photographs as “eclectic,” with various subjects, themes and locations. She says what connects them, be it a neon sign in Idaho or monkeys in the zoo, is that they all had something that caused her “wandering eye to pause for a moment” to capture the image in her photographs.

Exhibit hours at ASU Gammage are 1 to 4 p.m., Mondays, or by appointment by calling 480-965-6912. The street address is 1200 S. Forest Ave., Tempe. Parking is available at meters around the perimeter of ASU Gammage. Entrance is through East Lobby Doors at the Box Office.

December 2012 - Article written by By Katherine Becerra
Arizona Republic Newspaper

ASU Gammage art exhibit to feature work of local photographer Bob Estrin

Knock Before Entering by Bob Estrin © Bob Estrin

"Passage to the Light" by Bob Estrin

Arizona State University Gammage will showcase the work of local photographer, Bob Estrin, from Dec. 5 through Dec. 31 on the Arizona State University’s Tempe campus.

“Off the Beaten Path,” is a solo exhibition comprised of scenes of the Southwest and landscapes from Estrin’s recent trips to Montana, Wyoming, and Utah

“Everyone will see the exhibit from a different point of view, it’s very interpretive.” Estrin said. “You can expect the largest show I’ve put on and some of my best work.

The exhibit is free and open to the public from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Mondays.

Estrin’s photos give clues to the past with images of rusty cars, abandoned objects and pristine nature. His photography is a personal expression of who he is, according to Estrin.

Estrin’s latest exhibit at Gammage will display 50 pieces.

Estrin said one of his favorite pieces from the collection is “Knock Before Entering.” The photograph is an architectural piece that he took in Chicago.

The name of the exhibit, “Off the Beaten Path,” is representative of Estrin’s work as a traveling photographer.

Estrin began traveling the country as a kid. He and his family visited more than 30 states. These experiences laid the foundation for his work today as a traveling photographer, Estrin said.

Estrin had always liked photography, beginning at the age of 10 with his Instamatic 126 camera. “It’s something that I felt connected to and something that I wanted to peruse,” Estrin said.

He moved to Ariz. in 1999 and started photographing abandoned buildings, southwestern landscapes and canyons.

His goal as a photographer is to encourage closer examination of ordinary things by uniquely displaying them, according to Estrin’s website.

“I try to be unique in how I approach my subjects and how I see them and use photography to present them in a unique way, Estrin said.” The result is images that invoke a deep sense of place and the stories that place might reveal, according to a written statement by ASU.

Over the last 10 years Estrin has shown his work all around the Valley. Some venues that have displayed his work are the Tempe Library, the Arizona Museum for Youth, and the Boyce Thompson Arboretum. His first individual show was also in Gammage in 2002, where he showed 20 prints.

Those who are interested in owning one of Estrin’s framed photographs can purchase them at the art exhibit.

“It's a very big compliment for me when someone actually takes money out of their wallet to purchase something to put on their wall, it’s very personal,” Estrin said.

Framed photographs range in price from $240 to $500.

Art enthusiasts can also see Estrin’s exhibit by appointment by calling 480-965-6912. ASU Gammage is located at 1200 S. Forest Ave.

“I just really hope people come and enjoy the exhibit and that it brings a little happiness to their life,” Estrin said


May 2012 - Article written about my art by artist Serena Kovalosky.
Artful Vagabond A Creative Place for Artists, Vagabonds & Cultural Adventurers

Creating from Life: Finding the Magic

Knock Before Entering by Bob Estrin © Bob Estrin

"Knock Before Entering" by Bob Estrin © Bob Estrin

The success of any creative work that is inspired by life requires not only talent but the ability to recognize the potential in whatever we are viewing. Whether we’re writing our memoirs or searching for the perfect landscape to paint, we rely on our Artist Mind to know when a story or a particular setting has that “special something” that sparks with magic.

Bob Estrin is a traveling photographer, taking his camera off the beaten path to capture that magic, creating some of the most captivating and unique images that invoke a deep sense of place and the stories that place might reveal.

Estrin often spends hours and days looking for just the right shot. How does he know when he finds it? “Sometimes I know as soon as I trip the shutter that I have something special,” he says. “Many times I shoot a specific subject numerous ways, knowing in advance which one I will want to use in the end. Most of the time, however, I don’t really know at the time if I got ‘The Shot’ until I view the images later, where I can see them more as someone else might view them.”

The artist has been known to rearrange some of the objects he finds at the scene, such as a door, pants or shoes, in order to enhance his composition. “The idea is to be creative,” he says. “You can have numerous photographers in the same space and they will come up with totally different concepts. Some photographers go into a room and only look for subjects as they are, others look for the possibilities. I have had different photographers actually come up to me and say I can’t rearrange the subject matter for a photo. These people either have no concept of what art is or for some reason are confusing me with a photojournalist.”

Mesa Arch by Bob Estrin © Bob Estrin

"Mesa Arch" by Bob Estrin © Bob Estrin

“While I have an interest in photographing a wide variety of subjects, my main theme is exploring objects that represent the past – ones, where it would be, is difficult to tell if I photographed my subject matter last week or twenty years ago,” says the artist. “With this in mind, I focus on exploring old abandoned homes, buildings, trailers or even the main streets of small-town America.”

“My favorite local area is a ghost town called Vulture Mine near Wickenburg, Arizona, which has many old buildings still standing.

One of my most popular subjects to photograph is old gas pumps, and I discovered a unique place south of Taos, New Mexico that has over fifty old pumps. I photographed at this location for three hours and only scratched the surface of the visual opportunities there.”

Empty in Retirement by Bob Estrin © Bob Estrin

"Empty in Retirement" by Bob Estrin © Bob Estrin

“Recently I was on my way to a ghost town and, in the middle of nowhere, I came across an interesting location called Kramer Junction in the California Mojave desert. Stopping at an antique store, I asked permission to explore some of the areas on the property where the public isn’t generally allowed. It never hurts to ask and this often leads to unique subject matter that hasn’t been photographed to death. Not only did this place have a variety of old gas pumps and many objects left over from World War II, but it also had a small airport storing old planes and military hardware! They had the biggest private classic car and military collection I have ever seen! I ended up spending four hours of intense photographing at that place, and never got around to finding that ghost town I was looking for. But who cares!”

Denim and Lace by Bob Estrin © Bob Estrin

"Denim and Lace" by Bob Estrin © Bob Estrin

“I often use my photography as an excuse to be more adventurous – to go places and do things that most people would not even think of doing. Life can be exciting if you let it happen.”

Bob Estrin is not only a talented photographer – he’s an excellent vagabond.

- SerenaK

Artist Serena Kovalosky. Independent Curator, Cultural Project Development




April 2012 - DPreview Photography Site Photo Contest.
First Place winner "Chasing the Bear" by Bob Estrin.

Canon Imagin8ion

November 2011 - Project Imagin8ion sponsored by Canon.
Photo of the Week winner "Carve Me a River".

Canon Imagin8ion


August 2008 - Phoenix Magazine Artist of the Month

August 2008 - Phoenix Magazine Artist of the Month

Artist of the Month - Bob Estrin
Although he may be a relative newcomer to the Phoenix arts scene - he started showing his work in 2002 - Bob Estrin has been taking photos for 30 years.

He received his degree in photography from Southern Illinois University, but he decided to go back to school and ultimately worked in the computer-programming industry for almost 17 years.  In 1999, Estrin left computers behind and let his artistic hobby become his part-time business.

Of the pictures he has shown in public Estrin says he is often recognized for his historical and landscape shots.  “I’ve shot a lot of documentary-type work, and I’ve always been interested in things from the past and photographing small towns,” he says.  Estrin’s influences include Dorothea Lange and Ansel Adams.

The photographer now lives in Gilbert, but he and his camera travel all over Arizona.  He says he visits areas like Jerome, Tucson, and the Warehouse District in Downtown Phoenix because they are places outside of his normal routine.  “Photography is an excuse for me to get out there and explore the places I wouldn’t normally go,” he says.

For his latest exhibition, Estrin has been working on photographs that cover his favorite subjects: old cars ghost towns and night images.  He also will be showing new Southwest landscapes.

Estrin’s work is on display through September 17 at Su Vino, 120 S. Main St., Scottsdale.  He also is working with the new Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel and Banner Thunderbird Medical Center in Glendale, where his photos will be on permanent display.

April 2008 - Mesa Lifestyle Magazine
Promoting Bob Estrin's solo gallery show at Boyce Thompson Arboretum.
Image on right called "Sandstone Waves".


The Arizona Republic Newspaper – Article written by Ty Young

Bob Estrin stands in the center of the San Marcos Hotel courtyard, considered by some as the most picturesque spot in downtown Candler.  The longtime landscape photographer peers at the sun through the lush leaves and flowers and is met with a thought.

“No, it’s just not right,” he said.  “ Maybe an hour ago or a month ago, but not right now. Estrin 48, has been here before.  Like other professional photographers, he often knows what he wants before even looking into the viewfinder.

When he moved from Ahwatukee Foothills to Gilbert two years ago, photography was just a passion that supplemented a sedentary and admittedly docile computer systems analyst job.
But in the past five years, he has turned his passion into a profession.  Along with teaching numerous seminars throughout the Valley, Estrin is a popular photographer who can find an image where none seems to exist.

“ Bob has a great sense of composition,” said Candee Lewis, exhibitions and arts specialist at Chandler’s Vision Gallery.  “In some of his images, he takes subjects that seem ordinary and non-descript and turns them into something beautiful.”

Estrin and 14 other local artists will show their work Saturday at the Rowena Theatre in Chandler.  The historic Chandler building is now used by di Sciacca, a specialty retail store featuring mouth-blown, hand-crafted glassware and unique ceramics.
Showing his work is nice, Estrin said.  But getting into the environment – rural or urban – is what drives him.

“I like to get off the beaten path and shoot things that others haven’t,” he said.  “Sometimes it involves shooting things in ways others haven’t  thought  of.”

Walking from the opulent hotel courtyard, Estrin turns his attention to a simple, unnamed building nearly 100 yards from the courtyard.  He picks up his tripod and camera and saunters down the road, stopping every few paces to squint down the road.
He has found his subject – a 40-yard walkway bounded by eight ionic Greek columns.  The afternoon sun shines down on the roof, a series of parallel wooden beams slicing a ladder line shadow pattern along the walkway.

It is here, next to a building with no name and an out-of-place walkway, that Estrin finds his shot.  His image will be artistic, but his explanation still hints of his computer and cubical days.

“I am excited about the power and magic of photography and its ability to capture my own unique selective perception of the moment in a form that I can share with others,” he says.

At his most recent seminar a landscape photography class at the Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park in Superior, Estrin detailed some of the finer points of landscape photography.  When teaching, he tries to inspire others to see the world for themselves.

But he will also step in to lend a guiding hand.  “I don’t want to tell them how to take pictures,” he said.  “I just want to give them the perspective from a more trained eye.”

Photography tips from Bob Estrin
  1. Find a subject matter you are passionate about.
  2. Walk around the area and see what the possibilities are before shooting.
  3. Don’t be afraid to try different angles.
  4. Get close to your subject matter and only include what is important to the shot.
  5. Take lots of pictures.
  6. Get off the beaten path.  Try to be unique and come up with things that haven’t been down before.
The Arizona Republic Newspaper – Article written by Ty Young

Your Photo Tips Photo blog - Weekend Perusing: Sandstone Waves
by Damien Franco

Sandstone Waves
Sandstone Waves
The photograph Sandstone Waves by photographer Bob Estrin really jumped out at me. The color and tonality of the image
lends itself well to the sweeping lines are a great example of landscape photography. Print information: 36 X 24 - $425 on Fuji Crystal Archive Paper at


September 6, 2009 by Bianca Pitman

I was unable to attend an actual gallery show this weekend as well. Since my reasons for tardiness are seemingly obvious I will not delve into them at this time. :) I did spend some time browsing the net to find some photographers that might interest and inspire my future work. Bob Estrin's landscape and wildlife photography was extremely eye-catching and reminded me of my attempts at similar subject matter.

I was never very successful at portraying the mood or distorting an angle like I had originally set out to accomplish so hopefully I am picking up some detail and information that can help me when I try, try, try again. After looking at Estrin's work I feel it inspired me to photograph in this style once more. Estrin likes to photograph scenes from the Southwest and images that give clues to the past which I find attractive and interesting. I love color and I really like how his images have such a crisp and vibrant boost to the found color in his subject.

My favorite piece of his (posted above) is Stepping into Decay, an image of a bathroom that was long forgotten and abandoned. I absolutely enjoy the colors and textures that this image portrays. It actually makes my skin crawl and yet the colors are so enticing I can't help but to keep staring at it. Many of his images are well thought out and well titled. I would recommend checking out his gallery works at the link posted below. It may not be your cup of tea but I really enjoyed it.


2009 October 6 “Outside The Box” Fine Art Photography by Bob Estrin

Featured Photographer on

Two of my great passions in life are travel and photography. Though my photography I seek to document my own personal experiences. Photography is the medium of choice for my creative expression. I am still excited about the power and magic of photography and its ability to capture my own unique selective perception of the moment in a form that I can share with others.

It is my goal as artist and photographer to encourage this closer examination of ordinary things by presenting them in unusual context. While my photographic subjects vary widely, I find myself repeatedly drawn to landscapes and objects from the past such as ghost towns as well as the influence of man on both.

A fine photograph is not only the creation of the original camera exposure, but also the result of significant technical and aesthetic consideration while making the final print. This allows me to not only record a literal moment in time, but rather the emotion or experience of the moment.

All prints include a signed Certificate of Authenticity. The copyright notice will not show in the prints. Prints are also available in museum wrapped canvas, for an additional cost. Discounts are available to Interior Designers for multiple purchases.


Bringing Up Baby


A Place to Call Home


Motel 1

Color at Sea


In Reflection


The Rocker and the Cross


Adobe Blue


To the Bell Tower


Pane Reflections The Iron Prison


Boyce Thompson Arboretum one man show in Superior, AZ: Gallery exhibit information.