A Bit About Why Photography

If I could fully describe why I photograph I suspect I would give up the medium all together. Fortunately, things aren't that easy. The course of my life seems to always come back to the same driving principle — a desire to live deeply engaged in the universality of life, the grand mystery that unites us all.

View camera poses with his trusty servant, Douglas.
View camera poses in Zion with his trusty servant, Douglas.

I work to convey fleeting moments that resonate as guides to my own life — subtlety, simplicity, the sublime. The canvas of my inspiration is the American West, its broad brush strokes of wilderness and agriculture. I value intimacy of place, returning frequently to locations where time and communion have deepened my understanding of both place and self.

I've disciplined myself to explore without a camera. The ability to see photographs is a mysterious balance of curiosity, receptivity, and experience. The acuteness of my receptivity, a discipline of letting go, can often be elusive and frustrating. The process is a meditation, a "non-effort" in becoming fully present and engaged to my surroundings. When inspiration is found, it necessitates careful consideration of subject and light. Returning, under optimal conditions, to make the intended photograph can take minutes, a day, sometimes years. Or not at all. While intended photographs are sometimes lost, I believe this approach enables me to create intimate meditative photographs that evoke both a sense and transcendence of place and subject.

Snow, El Capitan Meadow, Yosemite
One of those days when it all flowed so effortlessly.

The exposed photograph is only the first half of the creative journey. Whether exposed to grain or pixel, the goal is to articulate the composition into a meticulously crafted and considered photographic print. A new process begins, exploring variations in color and tonal balance, contrast, and emphasis, each iteration informing the whole. My intention in the final print is two-fold: to convey the veracity of the original composition while invoking a sense of wonder beyond the composition's physical elements. While the print is the culmination of my effort, it is only successful if my effort is transparent to the viewer.

Conveying light and form to move the viewer to emotion, even introspection, is the true joy I find in photography.