Charles G. Henningsen Biography

Charles G. Henningsen




Charles G. "Chuck" Henningsen was born in Des Moines, Iowa on June 28, 1935. He graduated from Iowa State University with a a degree in industrial engineering. In 1957, he went to work as an engineer for Hewlett-Packard in California, “when they were 300 people.” Dissatisfied after a four-year stint with Hewlett Packard, he moved on to form his own electronics distribution company in California, which became quite successful under his 30-year stewardship. But in 1976, Henningsen says, he began to be nagged by a feeling “that there was something I should be doing but wasn’t doing it.” To clear his head Henningsen took a trip to Yosemite National Park where he discovered Ansel Adams’ gallery and ended up meeting Ansel Adams and taking one of his photography workshops.

After a business partner’s death Henningsen and his remaining partner decided to sell the electronics businesses. It was the 1980s and Henningsen walked away a very happy man. “We were just luckier than hell,” he says. “We got away with more money than we should have.”

From that point, Henningsen was hooked on photography. Under Adams’s tutelage, he quickly developed a professional’s eye for the highest quality of image that was then possible. Henningsen moved to Taos, New Mexico where he built a specially designed lab/studio/gallery. Because of his unique financial situation Henningsen was able to equip his photo lab with the best equipment and materials and he became an expert in printing platinum prints, which he did both for himself and working with other photographers to print using the platinum method.

Chuck Henningsen continued to work until contracting Alzheimer’s disease. He spent the end of his life in a home near Denver, Colorado, where he died on January 18 of 2016.