01_IMG_7830 02_IMG_7832 03_IMG_7833 04_IMG_7881 05_IMG_7872 06_IMG_7877 07_IMG_7878 08_IMG_7879 09_IMG_7862 10_IMG_7831 11_IMG_7882

Wherever I go I explore the world visually with a camera. Sometimes this is during a walk. Sometimes this is during a workshop. Other times it’s while I’m making a body of work. You might think it distracting to think about one thing while you’re doing another but I find that working on two different ideas at the same time often leads to a fertile cross-pollination. I find new ideas this way.

Of course, you’ve got to stay flexible. Recently, while I was leading a photography workshop in Maine’s Acadia National Park I went looking for the cairns so many visitors leave behind. I don’t like them in public lands, because when I go there I want to be able to experience the land uninterpreted. Still, I appreciate the playful contact people have with the land when they make cairns. So to work on my ambivalence I started making art out of the cairns. But this time, they weren’t there. I was pleasantly surprised and a little disappointed, which also surprised me. So I started to make my own cairns to photograph, intending to scatter them before I left, and never got to it because the first two stones I picked up were all I needed that day. The relationships between them and their environment were much richer than I expected. It felt like arranging still lifes, which I did for hours – and I’m sure I’ll do it again.

These studies relate to my series Alignment.

View my Maine Cairns studies here.

View my studies of Maine Artists here.

View more studies of Maine here.

Find out about my Maine fall photography workshop here.

LandInLand_XXV

For years I’ve used my iPhone as a sketchbook to play, make images more spontaneously, and explore ideas. I’ve always been fascinated by how the tools we use change our perception. Yet, knowing it wasn’t the tool that made the difference between a study and a finished work, I’d been challenging myself to create a series of images with my iPhone that had as much depth of content and feeling as the images I’ve made with cameras that make higher quality files. Land In Land is the first series I’ve done this with. Here’s a quick look at how it developed.

LandInLand_I

I knew I was onto something when I saw this first image in New Zealand.

I got confirmation that the idea could be sustained with this second image.

LandInLand_II

I found that meaningful variations could be found in other locations like California.

LandInLand_XXXVI

This process of discovery was repeatable in Utah.

LandInLand_LXVI

LandInLand_LIX

LandInLand_LIII

This new way of seeing finally became intuitive for me, leading to increased productivity in Spain.

LandInLand_LXXXIV

LandInLand_LXXVII LandInLand_LXXXII

LandInLand_LXXIX LandInLand_LXXXIX

My mother (an artist, a picture editor, a designer) has an exceptional eye. When she asked for a print of this last image and hung it near a prized Tibetan tanka, it was confirmation for me that I’d achieved a real depth that carries through to others.

View the suite of images from Maine here.

View the video here.

Listen to the statement here.

IMG_7541

See new images from Spain and Portugal in my social networks.

Instagram

Facebook

Twitter

View new prints during my 2018 Open Studio event.

New Series – Interference

November 24, 2017 | 2 Comments |

01_image_1 02_IMG_1567 03_IMG_2016 04_IMG_2497 05_IMG_2563 06_IMG_2288 07_image 08_IMG_2549 09_IMG_2531 10_IMG_2521 11_IMG_2020 12_IMG_2018 13_IMG_1998 14_IMG_2541 15_IMG_2526 16_IMG_2552 17_IMG_2555 18_IMG_2554 19_IMG_2548

A new series of images surprised me during our recent DPD Project Death Valley Workshop. While developing another iPhone initiated project Land In Land I discovered Interference and these images ran away with me in a new direction. I anticipate both series will be expanded with DSLR exposures soon. The iPhone is a wonderful laboratory for experimentation. There is no finer sketchbook or journal. Sometimes what you thought were sketches turn into finished works.

View more images in my Gallery.

View my related series here.

Find out about Print prices here.

Now And Then Antarctica 1

Now And Then Greenland 7

Two of my recent studies (experiments made and processed entirely on an iPhone) combine historical photographs with contemporary exposures.

Exposures for Antarctica Now & Then were made at Whaler’s Bay, Antarctica on the active volcano Deception Island.

View more here.

Exposures for Greenland Now & Then were made in the East Greenland village of Ittoqqortoormiit.

View more here.

I’ve been wondering if there was any connection between these explorations and the work that was foremost on my mind during these voyages.

At first glance we seem to make many unrelated images, but often it’s just a matter of finding the connections. Sometimes we find the connections between what we were thinking and feeling while we are having the experience; sometimes we find the connections long after; sometimes we never find them. At the very least, doing one thing provides a rejuvenating break from the other. There’s usually more going on than we are consciously aware of.

What connections have I found? I was looking into the spirit of the land in these locations and these two experiences provided stark contrasts to that sensibility. People concerned with the spirit of a place wouldn’t kill whales in the way they were slaughtered in Antarctica; thankfully this activity has stopped. That bygone members of Greenland’s indigenous population had a stronger sense of the spirt of the place and practices for interacting with it than the quickly westernizing current members do was made evident in the art they left behind. Was my experience limited by my cultural inheritance and current circumstances? Could I, a westerner living today, also participate in more sacred ways of relating to the earth? I think so.

The finished images I produced on these trips, for my series Revelation, are evidence of this.

Revelation_XXIX_425

Find out about my exhibit New Work 2016 here.

NZ_framed_1

Social networks can be wonderful ways of sharing events in our lives, with or without images. Most posts are seen, commented on, and shared more if they include an image.

Some posts are just images. And there are social networks just for images. This all creates an insatiable demand for images, specifically photographs. Now, over one trillion photographs are made every year. (For the past several years, each year more photographs are created in the current year than in all previous years combined.)

Usually when photographs are shared there is no indication of what kind of photograph it is. They’re all shared equally, almost as if they’re all equal and all made for the same reasons, which they’re not. Never mind that some photographs are of higher quality than others. Making this kind of value judgment is another matter entirely – and not the point here. The point here is that we make many different kinds of photographs for many different reasons. (We quickly disregard the imperfections in family snapshots, sometimes they feel more real and immediate because of them, favoring instead their accuracy and spontaneity. We evaluate and use formal portraits in entirely different ways.) How successful photographs are is determined by how well they do what we want them to do. There is no one set of criteria that can be applied equally to all photographs; instead we apply different criteria to different kinds of photographs.

They shouldn’t all be read the same. If we looked at all photographs as being the same, and if we looked at all photographs in the same ways, we’d make many inaccurate conclusions and miss many important points.

So it’s important to ask, “How do we want the photographs we share to be received?”

Can we make it easier by taking some of the guesswork out of it all and tell our viewers more about what we’re trying to say by telling them more about how we’re trying to say it? There aren’t standard conventions for this – yet. (And we need them.)

In an attempt to embrace the challenge of communicating what kinds of photographs I share, I’ve started using specific language to describe and ways of presenting different types of photographs differently.

Here’s my current solution.

IMG_8874

Documents are shared bare with no border.

NZ_3

Studies made during the development of more resolved work are shared with a textured paper border.

NZ_framed_2_425

Fine art is shared with a matt and frame.    

It takes a little extra time to add these touches but I think it’s worth the effort. In the end, I feel I’m communicating more effectively. I also find making the distinction between these types of images personally useful. I become clearer about what I’m trying to do, often while I’m making photographs. I’m better able to assess how well I’ve done what I’m trying to do and don’t waste time and energy applying an inappropriate set of criteria; sometimes this affects both productivity and how I make photographs. And finally, because I ask these questions I find new ideas – and that may be the most rewarding part of this process.

How do you share images in social networks?

Follow me on Instagram.

Like me on Facebook.

Follow me on Twitter.

Circle me on Google+.


keep looking »

Subscribe

Get the RSS Feed  

Subscribe by Email