Artist's Statement

Urban Relief, Meaux

Urban Relief, Meaux

My odyssey as photographer began with an almost slavish commitment to realism. I printed my black-and-white images, and eventually my color images, exactly as they appeared on the negative. I would never crop, nor use filters, nor manipulate the images when printing them. 'What I saw is what you got.'

In the mid '90s I decided to explore, more for an academic exercise than an intention to pursue it as an art form, how the computer - digital imaging - would impact on the medium, and by extension, the future of photography. Hooked on having a 'darkroom in my computer,' I spent several years studying digital imaging.

The power that the digital imaging technology conveys can be addictive. I eventually realized that I was sometimes making electronic photomontages and manipulating images because I could, not always because the aesthetics of the images warranted doing so. What I really wanted to do was to create the kind of images that I did on the computer, but without the computer.

These landscape/waterscape photographs represent the evolution into what I call constructed abstracts. But the construction occurs internally. I visualize the abstract images in the camera's viewfinder and print them out as straight (unmanipulated) images. They often appear to have been manipulated, or cropped, but have not been, and the printed visuals - the photographs you see here - are exactly as they appeared in nature.

What you are seeing are simply snapshots of what I saw in Venice, Maine, Florida, Meaux, Montreal, Washington, Norfolk, Baltimore, Annapolis or the Chesapeake Bay. They are, in a sense, a return to using the photographic medium in the way I began: still a commitment to realism, only now I am manipulating reality.