About the Process

As an artist and longtime art teacher, I am concerned with the formal aspects of visual art.
Formal elements and principles act as a structure to help the artist organize and transpose their
creative ideas into a successful work.  Although the lexicon will vary with other art forms, such
as the time arts like theatre and film, or literature, they frequently include line, shape, texture,
form and pattern, among others. Having come from a filmmaking background, I often explore
the concepts of light, time, space, and motion.

The word photography has its origin in the Greek language; photo, meaning light and graphe,
meaning to draw. This concept of drawing with light has informed and influenced how I view
my own work.

Controlling light is vital in my creative process. Light therefore is not simply a means for
illuminating, the light itself is treated as subject matter.  Shadow, and the gradient values of
darkness, coupled the deep blacks that result when light wraps around the solid form, are equally
important, and treated as integral, meaningful content. My interest in the nature of “light” in all
its variant forms, including its ability to be redirected in countless ways, has led me on a journey
of exploration, invention and inspired discovery. Photographers such as Minor White, Laszlo
Maholy-Nage, Josef Sudek and Man Ray, among others, have all had a profound impact on me
and the way I perceive light as a key element in my work.

Working in my studio, I often combine instantaneous lighting with continuous lighting. I also use
mirrors, condenser lenses and prisms to modify the light to create mysterious globes of
illumination, inexplicable shadow light trails, and other gradient forms.

Because I am not in the digital realm, I do not have the benefit of immediate feedback while I am
shooting. I often rely on intuition and experience to get the exposures right.  One negative can
sometimes involve six or more flash exposures to get the depth of field needed, as well as
minutes of burning-in with continuous lighting and even light painting with a small penlight.
This is all accomplished while working in the darkened studio. Aperture settings may be varied
during the multiple exposure sequence, all on a single sheet of film. Taking copious notes during
the whole process is vital to perfecting these techniques. Not all of my photographs are this
involved, but many are.

During a printmaking session, I may make slight, but deliberate changes in emphasis between
one print and the next while I explore alternative interpretations of the negative.  Ansel Adams,
the master teacher, photographer, and classically trained pianist, would frequently impart his
wisdom to his workshop students: “The negative is the score, the print the performance.” While
the negative may be set, the printing process allows for wide latitudes of creative interpretations.​

I use only premium quality, high silver content, double-weight fiber-base photo papers.  All
prints are processed to archival, museum exhibition standards. Prints are always mounted and
over-matted using 100% acid-free and lignin-free museum rag board made of cotton fiber. My
prints, if properly cared for can last for generations.

Specific tools and materials that I use:

Cameras: Deardorff 8/10 and other formats

Lens: Schneider Kreuznach various focal lengths

Film: Ilford Delta 100 @ ISO 64, 8x10 Panchromatic film

Paper: Ilford Multigrade Warm and Neutral tone 16x20 and 20x24

Lighting: Tungsten hot lights/ strobes /penlights for light painting

Film chemistry:  Bostic and Sullivan's Rollo Pyro

Print chemistry: Photographers' Formulary F130 and BW-65 and Clayton”s P20 neutral tone

Dry-mounting materials: 4-ply Rising Museum Board for both dry-mount and over-mat

Mounting Tissue:  Bienfang “RagMount” Dry Mount Adhesive with Cotton Rag Carrier.

Other Tools: Durst Enlargers equipped with Rodenstock lenses, Unsharp Masking System
made by Alistair Inglis