Colin Harrison was born in 1947 in Sheffield, England and grew up in Scarborough on the North Sea coast. He showed early talents in science and engineering and studied Electrical Engineering at the Imperial College, London, and Physics at the University of Munich. He gained a PhD in Materials Science and then worked several years at CERN in Geneva and EMI Medical Systems in London, before joining the IBM Corporation in California, later in Danbury, Yorktown Heights, New York, and Zurich, Switzerland He has lived with his wife, Lynn, by the Housatonic River in Brookfield, Connecticut since 1982.
Photography is a lifelong passion and a professional skill. He received his first camera –a Kodak Brownie—at at age 7 and became fascinated with the paraphernalia of photography. He learned to make contact prints and progressed to second-hand 35 mm viewfinder cameras.
While much of his work captures scenes from around his homes in Connecticut and Switzerland, it tends towards minimalism and abstraction. His series of “Water Colours”, the reflections of varying light on still and moving waters, is widely admired. He shares with many other photographers a love of lone trees. He presents his work mainly at galleries in western Connecticut, where he has won prizes in juried shows at the University of Connecticut Stamford and the New Canaan Carriage Barn. His work may be found on Behance, an online platform to showcase & discover creative work, and is also part of the permanent collection of the Community of Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland.
On his long list of “Things I will do when I retire” was to study for an MFA in photography. Two people dissuaded him from this. Joshua Chuang, who is Associate Curator of Photography and Digital Media at the Yale University Art Gallery and who awarded him the prize for colour photography at the Carriage Barn Photo show in 2013, said “You don’t need an MFA. You know all that. Now go and use it.” And Esther Gwerder, owner of the Kunst & Kleider gallery in Schwyz, Switzerland, challenged him with the same thought: “You know how to do this. Now go and find what you want to do with it.” His late friend, Kunio Owaki, a highly successful stock photographer for Corbis, confirmed that he had the target when he was shown “Blue II.”