Peter B. Kaplan was born in Manhattan, NYC and raised in Great Neck, Long Island. He has lived in New York City, NY; Chilmark, Martha's Vineyard, MA and at present resides in Hockessin, Delaware. He still maintains a studio in New York City where he resided for over thirty years. After his military obligation, he continued his college education majoring in photography at Sam Houston State in Huntsville, TX. He assisted many of New York's top commercial photographers and because of his avid interest in nature and wildlife photography, studied under Ansel Adams, Bob Sisson and Doug Faulkner.
His interest started to shift to architecture upon completion of the World Trade Center in 1974 when his specialty of "Height Photography" was born. Mr. Kaplan's photographs have been placed in time capsules under the Empire State Building for its 50th Anniversary and the Brooklyn Bridge for it 100th Anniversary, and also in the spire of the Chrysler Building during its 50th Anniversary Restoration. He was awarded the title of the "Preferred Photographer" of the Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island Foundation, Inc. where he was a volunteer for ten years, starting in 1982 when they started the restoration for the 100th Anniversaries of these two world renowned monuments. He has created over 125,000 images, while painstakingly documenting every aspect, of the Statue of Liberty's historic restoration. To date, he has the most extensive and complete story on the Statue. These photographs were used to raise over $500 million for the restoration of these two National Monuments.
He has been featured numerous times on the Today Show, Good Morning America, Sunday Morning with Charles Karult, P.M. Magazine, Cable News Network and Real People just to name a few. He has appeared as a spokesperson for Eastman Kodak, Nimslo 3D Camera, Soligar Lens and Nikon Cameras. His photographs have appeared in almost every major magazine in the world and have hung in shows at the Canton Art Institute, Ohio; Cooper-Hewitt Museum, NYC, Municipal Arts Society of New York City, New York Historical Society, NYC; N.Y. State Museum, Albany: Nikon House, NYC; Museum of Modern Art, NYC; Smithsonian, Washington DC and International Center for Photography, NYC; to name a few.
He was honored when the United States and French Governments selected his image for the Statue of Liberty 100th Anniversary Commemorative Stamp issued July 4, 1986. His images were also selected to appear on 170 different commemorative stamps in thirteen other nations.
Harry N. Abrams published his first book, High on New York. "These unusual pictures combine the skill of a professional photographer, the perception of a fine painter and the daring of a trapeze artist." said Paul Goldberger, Architectural critic for The New York Times. His Statue of Liberty photos were used exclusively in two books published for the centennial of The Statue, A Celebration of Freedom and Liberty, The Statue and the American Dream published by the National Geographic Society.
In May of 1987, the Friends of the Golden Gate Bridge appointed Mr. Kaplan the .Official Photographer. for the 50th Anniversary Celebration of the Golden Gate Bridge. Eastman Kodak created a limited edition of dye transfer prints from this assignment and presented these to various dignitaries.
In 1990 he was sponsored by Eastman Kodak to produce a one man show called Three Coasts, which was on display for over a year, at the Museum in the St. Louis Arch for their 25th Anniversary. In the summer of 1991, the .Operation Welcome Home, NYC. committee named him the Official Photographer for the parade. In 1992, he created the advertising photos for the World's Fair in Seville, Spain. The following year he created advertising photos for the German Bundapost. Both of these images were created from cranes with his signature 16 mm fisheye overview.
In 1985, he married Sharon Rosenbush in a ceremony held on the 96th story ledge of the Empire State Building. Their wedding bands were created from scrap copper of the new torch of the Statue of Liberty. They have a daughter, Ricki Liberty and a son Gabriel Liberty. In 1995, Mr. Kaplan moved his corporate headquarters to Hockessin, Delaware where at present he resides with his family. Since moving to Delaware, he has had several one-man shows and in 1997 he was awarded a State Fellowship and a NEA Grant to work on his newest Statue of Liberty book, released in December of 2002 called Liberty for All written by his co-author Lee Iaoccoa. In the spring of 1998, the US Postal Service released the Art Deco Commemorative Stamp in the Century Series using Mr. Kaplan's Chrysler Building image. In November 1998, he did the first pull out cover for the 90th Anniversary issue of Philadelphia Magazine, along with an eight-page essay inside showing his height and special technique called "Pole Shots" of Philadelphia. In 2002 he had more images selected then any other photographer to use in the one year commemorative book of 9/11 published by Rizzoli called Eleven. In 2003 his work was selected to be used in .America 24/7. It was also used for the cover of the Delaware book.