Self portrait as a man who planted 20 ferns of which 12 survived
"LIFE photography is a form which seeks to capture life as it is, in all of it's facets and perspectives. It's practice requires an explorers mind with the goal of finding profunditity and power of daily existence, capturing and then sharing."
In the beginning....
I began my journey with a camera while attending the Kansas City Art Institute where i ended up getting a degree in photography. At the time, photography was all film. I learned how to process the film and how to use a dark room to print and use traditional techniques to create photographic prints. I remember going in in the afternoon and not emerging from the building until the next morning. in that darkroom i learned the fundamentals of photography that would inform the processes that i continue to put to use to this day.
back then, i would set out with rolls of film that held only 24 or 36 shots in each roll, and all of those rolls would have to be processes in toxic chemistry that would take hours just to be able to see the negatives that i had gotten.
Digital turned that around. Suddenly, i could shoot to my hearts content and have immediate access to the results of every shot that i made. It was liberating.
Still, it was the foundation and understanding of how a traditional camera works that has always informed my editing process. Dodging and burning, pushing and pulling, using color filters...everything was applicable. Photoshop became the new dark room.
I've never been one to want or need the fanciest equipment. In fact. the first year that i began digital, i used a 175$ pocket camera as my tool. i used it to learn digital on and was able to do so because it had one simple setting that i understood. a manual function which allowed me to use a digital camera in the same way that i would with a standard single lens reflex camera.
That first year i began my first 365 project. The intention was to learn how to shoot digitally and to use photo editing software, but more importantly, to put myself in a position with a goal. i started mailing out the best photo that i could make every day and asking if they'd mind getting them every day for a year. i called it AUGUST RADIO. a term that i still use. that small list became thousands and, by the time i had finished the first year project i was hooked and promptly left the scenic beaches of walton county to live smack dab in the middle of chicago and kept doing the daily mailings. I went up, down and out every day in that town. talk about a change of scenery.
Since, i have lived and worked in florida, chicago, seattle, hamburg, Berlin, richmond, VA and my home town of Omaha. I've travelled globally for projects and have extended that reach to all sorts of places in between Europe and the U.S. My next target is South America.
What i have always been insistent upon is to shoot no matter what. whether it was sunny or cloudy, majestic or bland. there is always something to be found and even when there isn't, the consistancy has added a level of expertise through practice in any environment that i can call upon to get right to it when the subject appears. The manifesto on this site is a collection of things that i have learned over the years. Perhaps there will be something in there for you.
People have often asked me how i intend to sell the prints that are seen here. They say, many of these works aren't something that seem meant to be put above a couch. they aren't decorations."
I'd argue a few points to that. 1. okay, maybe not for you, but you'd be surprised. 2. Selling it has never been my reason for doing it. an artist should never be doing something just because it is pretty. if every artist did that, our museums would be pretty boring. The work is as much about artistic expression as it is anything else.
Follow me on Twitter
Follow me on Flickr