Photograph by Ken McGagh / MetroWest Daily News (©2017, All Rights Reserved)
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
"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 cameras for virtually his whole life, as a still photographer and as a film-video producer-director-writer-cinematographer-editor. He was initially taught still photography from an early age by his father. By his early teens, he had developed an interest in filmmaking. He took advantage of opportunities for "hands on" learning experiences in all aspects of the filmaking craft, as well as working on his own with Super-8 and 16-mm equipment.
As a still photographer, he has done work in portraiture, photojournalism, documentary, commercial, and fine art photography. He has worked in a variety of formats from 35-mm to 8" x 10" and digital; black-and-white and color. He has taught weekend workshops on basic digital photography and visual journalism.
Over the course of his career, he has worked in 35-mm and 16-mm film and in analogue and digital video. He has made local market television commercials and corporate-industrial films/videos of all types. Multi-camera live productions on digital video and documentary pieces are amongst other productions. He has extensive experience both in the studio and on location.
Historical research, writing, and talks also mark his life and career. It has been reflected in his work, in particular, working with and documenting the Collings Foundation. While his focus is primarily on the period 1918 through 1949 - the end of World War I, the interwar period, World War II, and the beginning of the Cold War - he has also researched and written about other historical subjects. Some of these have included The Hiker statue (the most reproduced public statue in the U.S.), a brief history of human rights, avigation, and fountain pens and writing culture. All of these have resulted in public talks before live audiences. He is currently working on long term research on the Downeaster ship Cyrus Wakefield and, with Richard Binder, an upcoming tag team talk on American combat cameramen during World War II.
He has photographed and written about a variety of subjects that have been published in newspapers and magazines. See the page for examples of most recent work.