I am an artist who specializes in the fine art photography landscapes, nature, and architecture. Much of my work features the contrast between the static and the ephemeral, between the monumental immovability of stone or structure and the ever-changing chaos of water and sky. In the pursuit of this contrast, the geometric principles of architecture hold as much interest for me as the rough forms of the natural world.
Where once I painted, now I take photographs. The change in medium has dramatically changed the nature and rhythm of my work. Instead of working quickly to capture a scene, now I work slowly; long exposure has superseded quick brush-strokes to create impressionistic effects. And in working slowly, I feel I am better able to take in the sounds and the smells of a place, and I can work with the changing light rather than fighting against it. In working slowly, I try to convey the sense of being at peace within a frenzied world, of being unaffected by the surrounding surging elements and of being beyond the swift passage of time.
While my medium of choice is photography, I do not seek to simply record the world before me. The negative is merely a starting point for crafting an image. I do as much as I can to create a good negative in-camera, often nowadays with optical filters. Then I work on the image in with various tools in digital post-processing to make a visually and, I hope, emotionally compelling image. As I have progressed as a photographer, so too have I come to work with increasing intensity on the post-processing of the image.
I had once thought that, if I had wanted to infuse my work with philosophy, that I would have written a book on it. Recently, though, I have realized that my work, especially from Scotland, New Orleans, Jasper, and Toronto, has actually been influenced by two separate philosophical traditions, a legacy of my studies of ancient Roman and Greek history, art, and culture: Stoicism and Platonism. Stoicism, in the sense of seeking to provide a focus for attaining peace of mind; Platonism, in the tension between the ideal and the real.
I arrived at photography through a roundabout route. For a time as an undergraduate student, I studied oil painting before switching to the study of history. Over the course of later academic studies and subsequent careers as an editor and a teacher, I increasingly came to use the camera for creative expression. It was only while trying to sort out the wreckage of a PhD program that I came to teach myself more advanced photography. And down the rabbit hole I went.