Jan Staller received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Maryland Institute (now the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA)) in Baltimore in 1975.
For more than 35 years, Staller’s photography has traced a trajectory from uncanny urban landscapes to bold abstracted studies of industrial materials.
Moving to Manhattan in 1976, Jan Staller began to photograph the world closest to his home: the West Side Highway. It was there, working with a mixture of natural and artificial light, he made his influential twilight images of New York City. Over the years, he has expanded the regions of his work.
In 1980, Jan Staller photographed in Europe. By the mid-1980s he began photographing in New Jersey. During this time, he developed his technique of using powerful stadium lighting to illuminate the landscape. Jan Staller also took more distant photo trips: around the United States in 1989, 2001, 2004; Asia in 1996, 1998, 1999, 2004. Despite the potentially exotic subject matter to be found in distant lands Staller’s travel photographs were remarkably consistent with the work he made closer to home.
Using medium format, Jan Staller works in color, his main subjects being cityscapes, architecture, and constructed objects. Jan Staller published his first book in 1988 "Frontier New York", which focused on much of the desolate stretch of West Side Highway that ran along the Hudson River.