We See As We Are

Reflection XVIII, Yellowstone National Park, Montana, 2008

 The motivation for the creation of the first image in the series Reflection was to suggest a state of unusual calm by showing clear reflections in waters so calm not a single ripple or distortion could be found. As the body of work developed, a clear progression in the character of what was reflected revealed itself – from calming, to clearing, to illumination. Initially, I appreciated the first images for their calmness. Later, works began to contain a remarkable simplicity. In time, the photographs became so simple that the pure spaces they described began to reveal how charged with light they were. Finally, at first only in the byproducts they produced in their environments, the sources of light began to reveal themselves. Throughout this progression a growing intensity builds as the gaze is focused more directly and deeply into the source of illumination. Reflection XVIII represents an important culmination in the development of this body of work. And an important realization. I was surprised that a thing so simple could have such strength and depth.
In my work sky and water become metaphors for states of mind. Many religious traditions use bodies of water and weather as metaphors for states of mind. Throughout the ages, the world over, skies and water have been used in ritual practices to intuitively reveal what often goes unacknowledged by the conventional mind. If you watch water and sky closely, you’ll understand why. As water grows still, it becomes clearer so you can see more deeply into it and its surface becomes calmer so reflections reveal more fully what’s above it. When the sky clears you can better see the light in it and as color fades you can better see the lights behind it. In these states, it’s not clear where one thing begins and another ends. They become calmer, clearer, deeper, fuller, and more connected.
This progression in character happened inside me as well as in the work, perhaps from years of meditation, perhaps from doing the work. It’s rewarding to consider how our inner states are reflected in the things we are attracted to, that we surround ourselves with, and that we create.
Questions
 How much can you do with how little?
When is less more?
When is more less?
At what point is it too much?
At what point is it too little?
Find out more about this image here.
View more related images here.
Read more The Stories Behind The Images here.

Condensation – How Looking Inward Illuminates The Outside

Enjoy the text from my book Condensation.
.
Condensation
.
Light
.

All photographs are about light. The great majority of photographs record light as a way of describing objects in space. A few photographs are more about spaces they represent than the objects within those spaces. Still fewer photographs are about light itself.
Time, space, light. All the things this work is about are ultimately missing from the final product – the print. Put it in a dark room and there will still be no light. Touch it and you’ll find it’s flat. Consider it for an extended time; you’ll change but it won’t. Curiously, these conspicuous absences within the print make what’s missing more intensely felt. How does absence make something more clearly experienced? Perhaps it’s that the gap between representation and reality gives us pause and begs us to more carefully reconsider the world around us and the experiences we have in it, at first as a way of verification but later as a way of celebration. Read More

Reflection – What Still Inspires Me After 10 Years

Enjoy the text from my book Reflection.
.
Reflection
.
Cloudwatching

What child hasn’t spent scattered minutes, accumulated into hours or even days, watching slowly unfolding clouds and the changing sky? Wondering what they were, are, and will be. Imagining bodies (either whole or in pieces, especially faces), animals (whether commonplace, exotic, or mythical), plants, landscapes, and even mechanical devices. Who doesn’t pause at the sight of the blazing colors of the morning and evening sky? How few pause long enough to see the stars begin to appear? How strange to think that the same sky is blue by day and black by night, studded with twinkling stars. Are we like this too? Why do so many adults cease to probe these mysteries as consistently and frequently and with as much curiosity as a child does? What do we lose when we lose the search? Read More

New Work 2010 Exhibition Preview

reflections_iceland_1
reflections_iceland_2
Here’s an interesting sampling of images from my upcoming exhibit – New Work 2010.
All of the source images for the ground in these composites are drawn from Iceland.
While the body of work (Reflection) isn’t site specific, it’s interesting to note that many of the images are drawn from similar locations. In the case of the ground exposures a majority of the sources came from Iceland, Utah, and California.
When successful work becomes more site specific like this I ask “What was it about that place that worked so well?” or “What was it about my experience of that place at that time that worked so well?”
Then I plan to return to that location and/or that state of mind.
Find out about my Iceland workshop here.
Preview the book here.
Learn more about my upcoming exhibit here.
reflections_iceland_3
reflections_iceland_4

New Book – Condensation


Condensation reveals a mysterious series of images, hovering on the brink of abstraction, stripped of everything nonessential, leaving little more than pure essence. These photographs are not only about the light-filled spaces they represent, but also the inner state of illumination passing through them brings. With extraordinary simplicity and directness, they lead us down a path of perception encouraging us to turn inward and take a mystical journey through ever increasing stages of awareness; thinking, associating, self-reflecting, centering, meditating, praying, and contemplating.”
45 images
Inspiring text
Find more books here.

New Book – Reflection


“Reflection presents selections drawn from a powerful series of works, remarkable for their tranquility, clarity, and depth. Images of bodies of water and the skies reflected in them become metaphors for changing states of mind. Together, they chart a progression of consciousness moving from calming, to clearing, and finally to illumination. Throughout this progression a growing intensity builds as the gaze is focused more directly and deeply into the source of illumination. The images become mirrors for continued reflection, invitations to look, and look again, and to look at looking.”
45 images
Inspiring text