Born in Brooklyn, New York in 1940, Tress currently lives and works in Cambria, California. From 1962 to 1968 he created documentary photographs throughout Europe. His work is in major museum collections such as the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris.
His recent retrospective at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D. C., entitled "Fantastic Voyage: Photographs 1956-2000," surveyed the vast terrain of his photographic career. The exhibition included his little seen early documentary work; the surreal dream imagery found in three of his best-known photographic series, "Dream Collector," "Shadow," and "Theater of the Mind"; and his exploration of sexuality and eroticism. As a photographer, Tress has touched on nearly all the major themes of his time.