16” x 20”
A pure natural landscape, or one into which a barn or bridge has made its way, or a village street that may be brightly colorful or gritty or both—this is what drives my photography. The image in the current exhibition features such a scene from the Adirondack Mountains.
My background as a historian is an important influence. Many sylvan scenes and historic buildings (think of the great Catskill resort hotels) have disappeared forever, fallen victim to the workings of nature, the wrecker’s ball, neglect, or a combination of these factors. I believe passionately that such scenes and objects must be preserved, at least in visual form, for future generations to appreciate. They are, after all, a part of our history. The red barn in this image was demolished a year ago. Thank goodness for the artists who have preserved its memory.
I tend to develop relationships with my subjects and strive to convey my love or respect for them to you, the viewer, by accentuating their primary characteristics: for example, their beauty, picturesqueness, or grittiness. Consequently, I experiment with different processing approaches to my photographs, usually avoiding a straightforward “documentary” look and instead often giving them an “artsy” or painterly appearance.
My “serious” photography got its jumpstart one summer many years ago when I accompanied my son on a photographic trip to the far north of Sweden (the land of his birth). Already deeply into photography, he gave me a Nikon SLR and a telephoto zoom lens so we could share the experience. I never expected to fall in love with this bleak, remote region, but I got hooked on it and on landscape photography.
We returned to those Swedish mountains for many summers, during which I came to equate photography with landscape imagery. Then one autumn day, as we were driving past a farm stand on Long Island, I stopped to photograph it. Maybe it was prescience: I didn’t want to limit my photo activity to times that allowed for hiking in the mountains or to that subject matter; yet even the “human” element in that rural picture showed the structure in a scenic setting. That, in essence, has been the trajectory of my photographic work ever since.
Along the way I took several online courses to hone my craft, went digital in 2005 with a Nikon DSLR, joined a camera club, got a website, and began selling my pictures at local craft fairs as well as, eventually, at art exhibitions. And my photographic subjects have come full circle: Having grown up on Long Island’s shores, along with the Catskill/Hudson Valley and New England town and nature scenery I most frequently shoot, I’ve added coastal and nautical subjects to my favorite themes. Look for me on the Rhode Island rocks.