Introduction to the Photographs
Often, quite often, when someone gets wind of my photographic interests they will ask me the question: "so what kind of photography do you do?" Usually when that happens my mind goes blank and I stare back at them with what I suspect is a forlorn expression on my face, and I find myself at a loss for words. I struggle with that question and I dread it. I have come to realize that what I express through my photographs I cannot express in a casual conversation. The experience of what I see, visualize, shoot, and later print is far too deep, far too intimate and revealing for a shallow casual response.
In my life photography has become a sort of spiritual companion and practice that started to work its magic in me some years ago back in the early 70's. But it has only been in the last few years of my life that it has really taken hold of me demanding that I not ignore its calling any longer. I have come to realize that photography has a power over me beyond my will. I am increasingly becoming aware of "seeing beyond seeing." [Phillip L. Gross, S.I. Shapiro, The Tao of Photography, Seeing Beyond Seeing (Berkeley, CA: Ten Speed Press, 2001), 134.]
More and more I am experiencing the power of a picture to thrust the viewer into a different state of mind, into the eternal, into the infinite and universal, into the archetypal and the mysterious. The real miracle in this is that it happens in a fraction of a second. A picture has the power to touch something within us, a feeling, a yearning, or an emotion that has no need of words and finds no comfort in explanations. Indeed a picture has the power to make us pause and take note of a deeper reality, a deeper truth, a deeper essence, a deeper mystery (partially revealed) of our journey in life. Moving beyond the sublime and transcendent, pictures also have the power to denounce social injustices, oppression, and inequalities; alas they can also have a chaotically prophetic dimension that harmonizes with all of the elements I mention above.
When taking pictures I now find myself hoping to capture that moment where time stands still, and we are thrust into the core of our deepest reality, which is an enduring quality, a form of truth that is mystical in its content and grabs hold of the viewer, regardless of the photographic theme, why put limits on this?
Photographic themes are endless, and there is no limitation to what those who have a fascination with the camera box and lens can do, I believe this to be true. Current trends force aspiring photographers to focus on single themes. I have chosen not to go that route. We live in a world of endless possibility; a picture can emerge from anywhere. I have also chosen not to put artificial limits on my modest work by printing limited editions of my pictures for the sake of scarcity and profits. Later in his life, the late great Ansel Adams rejected this practice; I think we all have something to learn from this master of the photographic art. [ Ansel Adams, Ansel Adams An Autobiography (Boston: Little Brown and Co., 1985), 361.]
Although the history of photography is relatively short, there have been many great masters of this craft and art. As I mature in my own photographic journey and I begin to take notice of past and current masters whose works in some very profound way have touched my own life I find myself having to mention the name of the celebrated Henri Cartier-Bresson. [Henry Cartier-Bresson III, The World of Henry Cartier-Bresson (New York: The Viking Press, Inc., 1968)]. Cartier-Bresson stands out foremost for me but I also find the need to mention the names of Manuel Alvarez Bravo, Dorothea Lange, and Sebastiao Salgado. Of course there are others but I only mention these to give the viewer a hint of what stirs things up inside of me when I am penetrated by the photographic works of others. I have no pretensions of comparing my work to the work of these accomplished photographers.
The photographs presented on this website are presented primarily for your enjoyment and viewing. I do not have enough wall space in the small blue house where I live to display them so here they are. They represent close to 25 years of my life. These pictures are an intimate part of who I am; I hope they will stir something inside of you. Presenting my work also affords me the opportunity to respond more efficiently to the question: "so what kind of photography do you do?" Here it is; this is the kind of photography that I do. I offer it in the deepest humility and simplicity.