When I was a
teenager, my Mom inherited a small amount of money and told me to "go
out and buy something fun". So I bought a camera and a few rolls of
film. I went out to the rural countryside and immediately started
arranging all the shapes, forms, lines, and colors, within the
rectangular shaped viewfinder.
When I got those
negatives back from the processor and held them up to the light, there
was an immediate connection - I knew that this was something that I had
to do. So I kept at it. The more I images I shot, the more mistakes I
made, the more I wanted to do it. The insistent drive never stopped.
So here it is 30
years later and the insistence continues. I am still journeying through
the chaos of the natural world, in hopes of restoring order within the
confines of that rectangle. To create that elusive perfect image, while
spending some quality time with the greater powers that be.
Artist Process Statement
Nature based photography from digital and film based cameras.
Original images are scanned or imported into the computer. The computer is my darkroom.
Software is used to create the final product before output. Call it "manipulation", if you want,
but I prefer "enhancement". The amount of which, depends on the mood of the piece.
All output is created with archival quality materials. This starts at the ink and continues
through to the paper and mounting board. All my pieces are limited edition. They are signed, numbered,
and dated on the back, and include Certificate of Authenticity.
Output is on paper using Epson Pro printers (4800 and 7900 models). I use luster, pearlescent, glossy, or matte paper for my
color work. I use matte paper for my black and whites. My papers are supplied by Red River Paper and Epson. All my printing work
is performed in my studio by me personally using a color managed workflow. I do not use an outside lab, unless the size of the
required print is beyond the capability of my printers. I use Nielsen Profile #99 matte black metal frames.
Images are printed out on special transfer paper using special inks in a large format inkjet printer.
Aluminum sheets are acquired from a manufacturer in KY. The manufacturer has cleverly applied a coating to the
metal sheet. When you look at the raw sheet, it is pure white with a glossy coating on it. The image on the transfer
paper is placed business side up, the aluminum sheet is then cut to size and placed on top of the paper, business
side down. The two pieces form a sandwich.
This sandwich is placed in a large clamshell-like press which operates at 400 degrees.
When the press is closed, the inks are vaporized off the paper, they rise up (since they are a gas at this point) and settle on the aluminum.
They transfer through the coating on the aluminum, which opens up under the heat. Once on the aluminum, the gases change back to a solid.
The image is literally infused onto the aluminum. The two pieces are brought out and allowed to cool. The paper is then peeled off
revealing the images now on the metal. This entire process is known as dye sublimation and works in the same way that t-shirts get imprinted.
The result is a highly luminous presentation of the image that has an almost 3D look. The coating on the aluminum now acts as a UV protectant. It is also
very durable - fingerprints and smudges are easily cleaned with a window cleaner. Scratches are extremely rare. They are perfect for
your covered outdoor patio or high humidity bathroom.
How it Started
I was born and raised in Upstate NY. I garnered my first camera in my
late teens. I thought of it as an interesting hobby and no more. I took
the manual SLR camera out with me whenever I could. I made lots of
mistakes. I always tried to learn from them and strived to do better
the next time I went out.
It started really
clicking when I started to travel. Seeing new places always make people
take photos, and I certainly took my share. But I coupled this with my
urge to do better. I studied the works of others and the principles of
design. I slowly learned the difference between a good picture and an
I concentrated on
nature subjects by no special plan. I took many pictures of many
different subjects, but the ones that brought me the most satisfaction,
were the nature based ones. So really, it was happiness that determined
which way to go. Mother Nature is the most profound artist there will
ever be. It's the main reason why I do, what I do. Mother Nature does
all the hard work, I just show up for the performance.
And then it really started coming together when people
would say that my images were just as good as what was appearing in
magazines. So I starting submitting to publishers around the country. I
got a ton of rejections, but I also got a few publication credits.
But my ultimate goal was to sell prints of my work. The
most satisfying feeling any creative person can have, is seeing their
work admired by others. If you can, for just a few moments, take people
away from their busy lives and see things in a different way, well,
that is just about the greatest feeling in the world. This is the
second reason why I do, what I do. I get to connect with some truly
People: First and foremost, Edward Weston. His unique vision, ability
to make an ordinary object look extraordinary and breadth/depth of
work, are his greatest traits. Also: David Muench, Galen Rowell, Art
Wolf, William Neill and William Garnett. Beyond Photographers, I admire
the work of Miro, Picasso, Kandinsky, Albers and Mondrian.
Books: The Life Library of Photography series, Photography
by Upton and London
Places: Southern Utah, Southern California Deserts, The Pacific Coast,
The Adirondack Mountains.
Tools of the Trade
Throughout most of my career, I have used film to record
my images. I have employed many different sizes: 35mm, to medium
format, to 4x5 large format. I started using digital in 2006. Currently,
I shoot full frame Canon DSLRs. I also employ b&w film with a 4x5 large format
foldable field camera (Canham DLC45 v2). I process my own b&w negatives. b&w negs are
then scanned into the computer.
Photoshop and Lightroom are my darkroom. Most images receive only
modest amounts of adjustments in the computer. Some images demand more
enhancement. It all depends on the image at hand and what I see in my
mind's eye. I am a big fan of the NIK Software series plug-ins for
Photoshop. My output is either pigment ink on archival paper, or dye sublimation on aluminum.
(1) Do not try to beat Mother Nature, it will make her angry.
(2) Regardless of the weather, there are always images to be had, you
just have to look for them.
(3) When you are concentrating on one image, don't forget to look
behind you, there might be something even better over there.
(4) Trust your instincts and always strive for more. Be your own worst
(5) Carpe Diem. Work until you are exhausted. It is interesting how
creative you can be in altered states of consciousness.
(6) Study the works of others - what makes their work so special? But
then don't go out and imitate them, work on creating your own personal