The patterns found in a majority of my images were created by nature. Yet the surfaces in these pictures are not untouched by me. I have influenced them all: by selection of moment; by choice of perspective; by use of tool; by inclusion and exclusion with the picture frame; by further eliminations from and additions to what remains within the picture frame; by changing proportion; by orchestrating color; by creating symmetries; etc. I consider all of these opportunities to collaborate with the hand of nature.
With growing frequency, traces of my physical presence are displayed in my images. Sometimes I set things on fire. Sometimes, I push and pull smoke with my breath. Sometimes, I toss ash in the air. At other times, I create ripples in water. In this case, the circles and trails in the receding foam were created by placing my feet in the pulsing surf.
I prefer that the marks I make in nature remain ephemeral. In this way, the next person who experiences the same location I was in, is free to experience it in their own ways. If we’re lucky, we may even be able to compare our experiences. The only durable mark I leave in my process is the photograph itself.
The impulse to acknowledge my involvement in every moment and create something beautiful from it, has been growing stronger and stronger within me.
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I recently produced these two images Inhalation VA & B while completing the long-standing series.
I only use the same source materials in composites when I want there to be a strong connection between the separate images. I like to produce serial images, where a change in state is displayed between the separate frames. I like the sense of disappearance between these two frames. And I like that even though an empty space is left by the absence of the ice, the space left behind is still very full.
More than one picture is required to produce a body of work. The separate images within it reinforce each other. I sometimes find the same is true of individual images within a series.
When does a situation benefit from multiple images and serial images? It’s a guiding question I hold with me wherever I go.
The source images for this image were exposed at Jokulsarlon during my annual Iceland workshop.
Find out about my Iceland digital photography workshops here.
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The first thing I do when I walk outside is look up. The next thing I do is scan the horizon. Hopefully, there’s water nearby; no matter how active or still it is, I’m mesmerized by it. I’m always looking at the sky, the horizon, and water for information and inspiration. Sometimes I stare for hours. More often than not, just for seconds or minutes. I consider myself luckier the longer I look. I have no idea how much time I’ve spent gazing at these things, but I’m always rewarded – if not with an image, then with a new state of mind. That’s how these images were made, through the accumulation of a lot of looking. These images are meditations. They’re an invitation to look closely at looking. They’re an invitation to see more fully, more deeply, and in many ways. Read More