Born in New York City, Ross earned a BA in Art and Art History from Yale University in 1974. Following an early career in painting and sculpture, Ross began his photographic work in 1994. A major milestone in his work was the Hurricane series, begun in 1996. The large-scale b&w images depict dramatic ocean waves shot during hurricanes by Ross while in the water and tethered to an assistant on land.
In 2002, in order to photograph Mount Sopris in Colorado, Ross invented and patented his R1 camera, and then went on to make some of the highest resolution single shot landscape photographs in the world. Having worked realistically and abstractly as a painter and photographer, his fascination with the mountain led him to deconstruct the dramatic realism of his photographs through the use of computer-generated animation. This led to the creation of Harmonium Mountain in 2010, a short form video with an original score by Philip Glass.
Ross' work has been the subject of international museum exhibitions and can be found in numerous public collections, including the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City, the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, and the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston.
His recent collaborations include a multimedia installation with Pan Gongkai, President of the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing, and a 28' x 28' stained glass wall with architects Mack Scogin and Merrill Elam for the U.S. Federal Courthouse in Austin, Texas.