I consider my photography to be factual. I am drawn to certain types of subject matter, and then approach it in a direct, confrontational manner. Beyond the specific subject, the creation of each image requires a certain visual and mental struggle. It requires sensitive eyes visually exploring the subject before the exposure is made. Beyond “sorting out” the subject, there must be a strong recognition of form. Photographs are really the recording and interpretation of form. I follow the light. Light reveals form. Light and form are recorded using the craft of photography. The visual tools of photography, the use of lenses, film, sensors, printing materials, all allow for the communication by the photographer of their unique and most salient viewpoint.
I can only make photographs in one way, the idiosyncratic manner in which my brain observes the world. When confronted with a range of subject matter, I first go into a state of visual contemplation. I look for essential form. This can be challenging. Painters begin with a blank canvas and only add that which is relevant to them. Photographers begin with a myriad of clutter in the viewfinder. They must subtract and simplify. Having spent years under a focusing cloth examining an upside down image on an 8”x10” piece of ground glass, I now subtract and simplify before looking through the viewfinder. In fact, looking through that viewfinder has become a late stage formality, to make small changes and adjustments just before recording my visual thoughts.
Using “sensitive eyes” to visually contemplate the subject, the created image will reveal the essence of the subject, and hopefully that will resonate with the viewer.
My artistic purpose is to use the visual photographic tools available to reveal the essential form of the subject, drawing the viewer (and me) into the image.