Artist’s statement

My primary focus is street photography. I wander through an environment, usually urban, searching for images that interest me. I view my photography as a partnership between the environment and me. The environment provides the aesthetic treasure, usually hidden, and it is my job to find and successfully capture it. My photographic excursions are intense but almost always rewarding.

A number of factors influence my choice of subject matter: human interest, telling a story, capturing a mood, making a statement; but arguably the most important is aesthetics—the fusion of all aspects of the image into a compelling work of art.

Comments on specific galleries (portfolios)

Walls. I title this portfolio Listening to Walls. I am fascinated by the effect that can sometimes be created when a variety of images from different sources are combined on a single wall. Individual images come from many people with a variety of motivations. They are rarely coordinated. They often cover a range of artistic and commercial levels. Vandalism also plays a role. All of this is then altered by the forces of nature—weathering, discoloration, and fading—adding character and subtlety, and occasionally creating the subject matter of a good picture.

Some photography background

It seems like I have always been interested in photography. I bought my first SLR camera in 1968 when I was living in New York City, and was soon developing and printing in the darkroom. For decades I was an enthusiastic hobbyist. More recently, after an early retirement, I decided to explore the possibility of becoming a more serious artist. I took courses at the Photographic Center Northwest, a small, but very good, fine-art photography school in Seattle. I graduated from their certificate program in 2009.

Before going all digital a number of years ago, I worked exclusively in black and white. I now enthusiastically pursue both color and B&W, trying to play to the strengths of each approach.

Technical concerns

I am an enthusiastic proponent of Adobe Photoshop. I find it significantly increases my ability to achieve my desired artistic vision. While I use only those image modification capabilities that are available in the darkroom, I find the much greater latitude with which they can be applied results in superior photographs. In my straight photographic work I never modify actual scene content.

I am, however, intrigued by the manipulations made possible by Photoshop. Clearly, we are witnessing the emergence of new approaches to art, and I find it very exciting to observe the various directions it is taking. As examples, I admire the work of such artists as Loretta Lux and Maggie Taylor. I have dabbled a bit in the creation of manipulated photographs, and include a small gallery of this work.

I presently shoot with a Canon 5D Mark II digital SLR camera. My principal lenses are a Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 IS and an EF 70-200mm f/4 IS. For printing I use an Epson 3800 archival inkjet printer. My current paper of choice, for both color and B&W, is Hahnemuhle FineArt Pearl.

Previous life

I started my working life with degrees in mechanical engineering. It didn’t take long for me to realized that my passion lay elsewhere, and I started over again, becoming a psychologist with a specialty in the area of visual perception and psychophysics. As a research scientist, I explored the development of visual capabilities in both human and monkey infants. After a dozen years working with infants, I made yet another professional move into the area of human factors, merging my psychology and engineering backgrounds. At this point I began working in the aerospace industry. Research and development projects included the writing of design standards for manned space vehicles, flight deck design for a new supersonic commercial aircraft without forward facing windows, and the design and evaluation of displays for enhancing pilot performance capabilities. These R&D projects had a strong cognitive science component. I also taught university classes during this period.