Well it sort of happened by accident. I had been taking photographs for a number of years. Studying images of the great photographers and showing my work to trusted friends and mentors to see if I was producing quality images. I received positive feedback. At a community meeting a few years ago I was encouraged to enter some of my images, which resulted in 1st and 2nd places. Subsequent entries resulted in a number of 2nd and 3rd places. Now I had judges evaluating my work and providing positive feedback. I continued to take pictures and build a portfolio which would first, meet my philosophy and principles and second, provide a reasonable number of images which would make establishing a web-site feasible. I feel that now is the time.
WHAT MAKES AN EXCEPTIONAL IMAGE
There are images that take on a life of their own like, Dorothea Lange, “Migrant Mother”, Ansel Adams, “Snake River” and Steve McCurry, “Afghan Girl”. I don’t believe that at the time these photographers took these photos they had any idea that these images would become some of the most iconic ever taken. Rather, I believe that they were engaged in doing what they loved and it just so happened that many people loved what they did. Will I ever take an iconic image? The odds are most certainly against it, but that will not stop me from taking a landscape that has been immortalized by a master photographer. It will not stop me from trying to see something unique or unusual in a composition that will make my image interesting. Yogi Berra said, “It ain’t over till it’s over”, so I’ll just keep plugging away and see what happens.
I am not a purest in that what comes out of the camera is what you print. A camera is just a tool and has significant limitations as compared to the human eye. Images out of the camera need some help to approximate what you saw. That said, I want to finish images not fix them.
When I take pictures I almost always compose the image with a particular image size in mind. I do not have any problem with cropping images unless it compromises the photographer’s original vision.
As you go through the descriptions of my images I have indicated were many of the pictures were taken, if I remember! My career at the Art Institute of Chicago was filled with friendships with faculty, curators, staff, and conservators that freely shared their knowledge, which is what they loved. I have not forgotten this lesson and I try to be as helpful as I can.