Artist Statement

In my view, photography is all 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 minuscule, 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 turned over 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. Not much has changed, as my photography still involves 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 say something about the unique history, qualities of light, and sense of place in spaces where my subjects are more or less at arms length… close enough that I can reach out and touch them. To me, it’s about the process of exploration and 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 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 in that place, at that moment.”

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 pictures 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 and well into the future, the inspection and interrogation of frozen moments 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 never adding any content that was not present in the scene, or removing image content that was visible through the lens as part of the composition at the moment of exposure (I will never replace a dull sky with a more colorful one, for instance). 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, but the image content will still be what I framed in the 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 at scales large and small, in an effort to share unique ways of looking at landscapes, ecosystems, animals, natural phenomena, human activity, 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.