Tolbert completed his studies with the Famous Photographers School
of Westport Connecticut, a course designed by the staff photographers
of Life Magazine, Richard Avedon, Philip Haslsman , and Ivering Penn.
Tolbert opened a portrait studio in Santa Barbara County, California.
His association with the f11 club in San Luis Obispo has also
been influential in his development.
But, his close friendships with fellow photographers have been
most meaningful in the formation of the style he has today.
Tolbert is accomplished in the darkroom transforming chemistry and
light into original black and white prints. His selection of
equipment is a 4x5 view camera.
Tolbert has a love for texture and geometric shapes found in natural
things common in the rugged California landscape, which he incorporates
in the print, matting and frame an abstract form in a unique use of texture.
His work is exclusively his own, creating original matting materials