The first photograph I made was in 1956, probably of the Rose Parade because I had been given a camera for Christmas, a Brownie Hawkeye 127. It came with one roll of color film and a flash, neither of which I use in my work.
The years between my first camera and some sort of formal photography classes included a grounding in graphic arts, design and printmaking.
In 1974 I attended the Ansel Adams Workshop in Yosemite, California. It was part of my independent study program in college. That experience changed the way I understood photography; it changed what I knew about being a photographer and what it meant to be an artist/photographer. A question I'm still grappling with today. It also caused me to reevaluate my commitment to photographing the landscape. I realized I needed to change to a larger format if I was going to concentrate on the landscape and the process of printing platinum.
I don't photograph the "grand landscape" in the Adams or Weston sense, but concern myself with the subtle more personal vistas that surround me. I think I was attracted to photography because for the most part photographs give you a seemingly traditional representation of what is "there". The photographer can be passive observer or active participant in any event. And yet one has control over the image produced by making choices concerning composition, light and subject.
Making platinum prints is a contact print process requiring the use of large format cameras. I feel the larger camera causes me to consider each photograph very carefully and since it is not possible to manipulate the image in the darkroom through enlargement or other traditional techniques, each image needs to be complete at the moment it is exposed. What I like about the platinum process is that it has a whole different feel; it evokes the subtleties of the landscapes I choose to photograph and it becomes a part of the paper rather than only a new surface as with silver prints. It combines for me the processes of fine art printmaking and photography in a much more intimate way.
I plan to continue to create photographs in the landscape for there are still many areas both literally and figuratively that I would like to explore. The rapidly diminishing wilderness areas, in the United States and the unrelenting forces of nature will provide a continuing source of subject matter for me.