Photography has been a personal practice from my earliest years growing up in the Chicago area. When a professional quality camera and darkroom arrived at age 16, I knew it would be my life's work. This realization allowed me to concentrate from the start and spared me many distractions that creative people must experience before choosing their path.
A few months later, I traveled to the mountains of Colorado for the first time. During this high school ski trip, I found a copy of Ansel Adams' classic This American Earth in the Vail bookstore. On the bus back to Denver, I was glued to this beautiful book. A friend pointed towards the big bus window and said the mountains were out there and to stop looking at a book. While I was in awe of the mountains, I was equally transfixed by Ansel's exquisite depictions of the natural world.
The next year, I was initiated into the art of fine printing by an older cousin who became my first mentor, and who continues to make great photographs. At his studio loft, I saw Weston's Daybooks, Cartier Bresson's work and much of the photography that changed the way the 20th Century looked at the world. Elemental detail and strong compositions became my mantra.
In Philadelphia at age 21, I started teaching photography and making images that are the foundation of my style of seeing. When a friend showed me Ernest Haas's book The Creation, I said to myself, I can do that! To supplement my income at that time, I helped my girlfriend to care for thirty stories of indoor plants in the First Pennsylvania bank tower at Center Square. We would work all night long every few weeks, and had the tower to ourselves. I was amazed by the extensive art collection and learned that our contact was also the buyer for the art. After several months, I got up the courage to ask if I could show her my work. She set up a presentation with their art curator who selected several dozen images. When asked how much would the prints cost, I said I had no idea as I had never sold any.
Forty years later, I am still working away, well actually playing. Someone told me once that if you make your hobby into your living, you will never work a day in your life. Each year, I continue making photographs of the places and objects that I love, in ways that I find exciting and inspiring.
In 1982, I built a studio about an hour from Seattle, where I live and work surrounded by hundred foot tall fir trees on a cliff overlooking the Puget Sound. When not working, I enjoy growing flowers, raising Shelties, cooking, music and long yoga practices with my partner Audrey.
Through photography, I have explored many amazing cultures and places around the world, and have studied the work of numerous great architects. One of my favorite memories was showing my architectural images of Louis Kahn.s building in La Jolla to Jonas Salk. His office in the Salk Institute overlooked the Pacific Ocean was filled with hand made furniture by George Nakashima.
A student for life, my curiosity remains unabated. As part of the education department at the contemporary museum of the University of Washington, I was an exhibition guide specializing in photography and conceptual art for over ten years. From Rodchenko to Cindy Sherman, I challenged and provoked people to learn to think about art in new ways.
The digital revolution allows me to expand my work in previously unimaginable directions. The popular conception that photography is currently done with little effort is a myth. I actually now take even more time to make a fine print. The possibilities for improvement are endless and I have the knowledge and system to go further than ever. A favorite motto is: If it's worth doing, it's worth over doing.
Thanks for taking time to look at my work.