Welcome to my web site. Here for your enjoyment are images from areas that I am drawn to over and over again for their beauty, peace, and charm. Each of these represents a special moment in time, the fortunate intersection of season, light, weather conditions, and of course, my being there to witness and record the scene. Some were chance encounters, the serendipity sublime. These moments where all the right conditions intersect are fleeting; most will never be repeated. My best efforts to recreate favorite images done years ago on small film have been largely without success, but have led me to wonderful new scenes none the less.
CREATING THE IMAGE
Once I identify a promising location, I attempt to determine optimal conditions, often returning repeatedly to the location just as a gardener checks his crop. Sometimes the composition itself is predetermined, sometimes simply the location and the conditions (such as peak bloom or fall color). Often up before dawn, many miles from home, the final image may represent days of work and lengthy travel. Quite a few required hiking in the dark for hours through trail-less wilderness to be on site for first light or hiking out in the dark after last light.
THE DIGITAL PROCESS - MAKING A PRINT.
Printing from a film capture involves several steps, the workflow is far simpler with digital capture. Once processed by the lab, the selected transparency goes then to the scanner, which does introduce artifacts, as well as softening of detail and contrast, which must be corrected back to baseline. Large format sheet film attracts dust like a magnet, leaving spots on the original image. The digital process allows spotting out that dust like Ansel never thought possible and sidesteps the need to spot the final print with ink. Preservation of reality is not a contentious issue in black and white printing, because everything is interpretation. Ansel stated that the negative was just the beginning in the art of print making and worked those negatives to death to produce his fine images.
We accept almost any manipulations in black and white as being fair game but decry even minor manipulations in color as trickery. Yet each of us perceives color differently: age, gender, genetics, mood, and time of day all play a part in how we "see" color. People frequently make the comment, “That can't be real”. That is partly correct, it can't. The color print is a compromise, an interpretation of an original scene to the best that dyes can be transferred to the final print with all the limitations inherent to the process.
There are wide differences in the way film and paper render color. The print, or printed page, is in fact a facsimile under the best conditions. My goal is to share special moments in nature with you, using modern methods to optimize the process of conversion from magical light to printed page or display print.
IS IT ART?
In the fine art world, nature photography has always been the red headed stepchild. Only with the passage of time have the works of Ansel Adams, his contemporaries, and the many fine artists who followed gained acceptance. Yet Ansel's own fine color work to this day remains obscure. Those who chose to work in black and white have my undying respect, for they seek to interpret a world of infinite color in shades of gray, and they create magnificent works in doing so. Having worked in black and white for several years, I still cherish those earlier prints, but I was born with color vision, and now work in that medium.
Color prints of landscapes and other natural scenes are frequently denigrated by some in the art community as “poster art” or "post card art", not worthy of serious consideration. The “art “ was created by an artist much greater and more skilled than any of us; I simply record those moments that I am privileged to share. Let the chips fall where they may; critics do not create, but they often destroy. You be the judge.
THE WORLD OF NATURE
Our grand scenes are rapidly vanishing, under the onslaught of clear cuts, cell towers and ridge line development. Our unblemished natural heritage still clings to life in protected enclaves, and in areas too remote to have yet interested developers, but it is only a matter of time. The internet has been a further threat to fragile areas that now are trodden to the point of death.
We are failing in our task as stewards of these natural areas and have little hope of leaving them to our children in the same condition they were bequeathed to us. I hope these images in some small way will inspire you to value and help protect our natural heritage.