I have been creating art, in one form or another, since childhood. After graduating from the University of Kansas, I painted as a full time artist for a number of years. I was fortunate to have my paintings placed in the collections of the National Air & Space Museum, The Truman Library, and the Air Force Art Collection as well as a number of private collections. I have had my own graphic design and commercial photography business, been the art director of a national trade magazine and I have also been employed as the photographer in a busy advertising agency.
With your paintings in national museums, why is your focus now on photography? My interest in photography is not new to me. I’ve actually been a photographer for as long as I have been involved in art. My uncle loaned me a camera to use when I was in the 6th grade. That was over 50 years ago and I’ve been hooked ever since. Photography fills my need to be involved in producing fine art that a number of people can enjoy. While the tools are different, the problems to be solved in creating a fine photograph are much the same as those which arise when creating a painting. The challenges are universal: composition and light, contrast and form, and the ability to communicate through a visual medium so that the viewer might be touched by the imagery.
What is “Fine Art” photography? While there seems to be no single, formal definition for the term, when I use it, I mean that my work was not created for a commercial client and that it is intended to stand on its own, much as a painting would, as a piece of art.
How would you characterize the style of your work?
I am not a minimalist. I really enjoy detail. It gives me the feeling that I can almost walk into an image. It invites more than a casual look, and provides the opportunity for new discoveries within. Strong composition is a characteristic of my work. There is a solid, underlying sense of design that comes through. I’ve heard a number of people say they think my images are very serene and peaceful. I think my work represents my unique vision, and it shows the influence of my years of painting and studying the work of other artists.
Do you make the prints yourself? Yes. I consider printing my photographs to be a key part of my artistic process. Because I do it all myself, the quality of the finished print is completely under my control. I have my own Epson 7890, 24 inch fine art printer, a machine capable of producing the finest prints available. I use heavy, archival printing paper and premium canvas, materials designed for use in making museum quality prints that are intended to last for a very long time. The inks are also rated for archival applications. Regarding printmaking, Ansel Adams used to say “The negative is the score, the print is the performance”. Once the photograph is captured with the camera, I believe it’s up to me to apply my creative vision with the tools that are available and interpret the raw image so it becomes a creative piece of art. Doing my own printing enables me to do that for you.
Are other print sizes available? Since I do my own printing, I am limited by my 24 inch wide printer so one of the print dimensions can’t be any greater than 24 inches. For example, I could print a panoramic piece 24 inches tall by any length, or a 24x36 inch print. For special requests, I can have larger pieces printed by commercial printers who print at a quality level I trust. If that is your need, please talk to me.
Do you number your prints? What is meant by “Open Edition”? Every print I ship will be hand signed, titled, and numbered. I will keep a record of it. I don’t limit the number of prints I can make with a given image. Because the number is not limited, but each printing of the image is registered with it’s own unique number, it is referred to as an “open edition”.
What is meant by “archival” and why should it matter to me? When artists say their work is “archivally produced”, they mean the materials and techniques they use to produce their pieces meet accepted standards for longevity when stored and displayed under the correct conditions. It should matter to you because you’ve made an investment in a piece of art. It will last a long time if you care for it by having it framed with archival materials and keep it out of direct sunlight.
What kind of cameras do you use? For years I used medium and large format film cameras to do my work, and many of the images that appear on this website were taken with medium format Hasselblads and large format 4x5 view cameras using traditional film. Recently, technology has had a transformative effect on photography and several years ago, I bought a very fine Canon 1DS Mark 3 DSLR camera body. I purchased adapters for all of my Nikon lenses so they can work with it. Now I shoot digitally almost exclusively.
What software do you use to edit your images? I’ve been an Adobe Photoshop user for many years and it is my primary editing tool. I also use Adobe Lightroom and On1 Photo 10. With Photoshop, I can do everything I used to do in the darkroom with ease,and so much more. Digital editing gives me a tremendous amount of creative latitude. I have no doubt that Ansel Adams would have loved Photoshop.