Artist Statement

In my view, photography is about looking into the world, connecting, honoring, and sharing; recognizing the importance or elevating the significance of the content and relationships that I choose to include within the frame, and sharing my personal experience, vision, and perspective with my fellow human beings. I am fascinated by the interconnectedness, and ultimately the inseparability, of wild nature and that almost insignificant portion of the universe that has experienced the presence of humanity, and is therefore variously considered altered, civilized, degraded, developed, exploited, monetized, and transformed. Its profound importance – for us – stems from the fact that it is likely to be the only home that we as a species, and all the rest of life on Earth, will ever have.

As a curious child with an active imagination, I overturned rocks in streams looking for crayfish, transformed granite boulders into medieval castles in my mind, and went into the forest to talk to the trees. My photography still involves curious exploration and becoming intimate with a place. Even when I travel in the vast expanses of grand landscapes, I am commonly drawn into the nooks and crannies in search of intimate compositions that reflect my emotional response and say something about the unique history, qualities of light, and sense of place in spaces where my subjects are often more or less at arms length… close enough that I can reach out and touch them. To me, it’s about the process of open-minded exploration, discovery, and the personal, tactile, sensory connection of a human mind and heart with a place.

The human factor is critically important to me. In this age of artificial intelligence imaging masquerading as photography, drones, camera traps, security cameras, and other robotic imaging, part of my role as a photographer behind the camera is to give a picture heart, soul, and authenticity, whether the resulting photograph is realistic, impressionistic, or abstract. That is to say, “I’m like you, I was there, and this was my personal experience and vision of a place and moment that moved and inspired me.”

Today’s ubiquitous digital media feeds us images at a breakneck pace with the expectation that we will ingest innumerable small, low-quality, high-impact images and quickly move on. I prefer to make photographs that invite the viewer to slow down and spend time with them, discovering unexpected elements that reveal themselves only in due course. To that end, I have used high-resolution processes to produce finely detailed compositions, printed at a large scale using museum-grade techniques and materials. This approach leverages photography’s greatest strengths: to permit, over long spans of time, the inspection and interrogation of moments frozen in our past, and to enable us to explore the passage of time within a still image.

My work falls broadly into two categories: realistic work intended as fine art meeting photojournalistic standards, and pure abstraction/design. In the former case, my personal image processing ethic includes neither adding any content that was not present in the scene, nor removing image content that was visible through the lens as part of the composition at the moment of exposure. For instance, I will neither digitally add a moon to a composition, nor replace a dull sky in one frame with colorful sunset clouds from another. Rather than fake it to achieve an image I had hoped to make, I’d rather work with the hand I’m dealt, and find a new composition that honors what can be done with the conditions of light and weather nature has given me to work with.  With regard to my more impressionistic or truly abstract works, I may in some cases take more liberties in how I process the image with regard to contrast and color to the extent that the scene is an obvious departure from reality anyway, but the image content will still be what was recorded by my camera at the moment of exposure at the location where the picture was made.

I invite the viewer to join me on a journey of exploration, in an effort to share unique ways of looking at landscapes, ecosystems, animals, natural phenomena, humanity, and aesthetic relationships in the world, whether or not the viewer has the opportunity to experience them on their own. To the extent that my work helps to open viewers’ eyes to experience the world in ways that are new to them, then I consider it to have succeeded.