In the 1960s, David Batchelder received an MA and MFA in photography from the University of Iowa studying under John Schulze. He taught photography at Smith College, Amherst College, Boston University, Dartmouth State College, and Plymouth State College. His early photographs were exhibited widely, published in Aperture magazine, and can be admired in the following collections: Addison Gallery of American Art, Fogg Museum, George Eastman House, Michigan Institute of Technology, Smith College, Bowdoin College, Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Hood Museum, and Dartmouth College. Batchelder did not start making creative photographs until 1984. Ninety photographs from Tideland were exhibited at the City Gallery at Waterfront Park, Charleston, South Carolina in 2014.