This section is dedicated to those who are interested in my philosophies and aesthetics. My thoughts have evolved with time. This is not to be a formally structured or particularly well crafted bit of writing but these are thoughts and feeling from my gut and mind. I am not going to filter my likes and dislikes nor am I denigrating the work or ideas of others. My ideas and thoughts regarding certain things may be different tomorrow. For many years I was a painter, often using brilliant pure color. Inexplicably I now am in love with the purity of Black and White Photography. I have arrived at the language and artistic philosophy to which I will remain true. Black and white photography in the past few years has had a rough go. Although there are some dedicated practitioners of the art, color photography and "Historic" and "Alternative" processes have rightfully been given their due attention. I happen to think there is something pure and clarified about B and W. I call it B and W because it denotes the difference between "toned" (Sepia, Platinum, Albumen, etc and a more neutral print. Notice I refer to B and W-, not a silver print. This is because today it is entirely possible to produce an elegantly printed, "neutral" Baryta digital print. Black and white can mean a Silver Print or a Digital Print. In this case, its the technical principle involved- and not the process. If you know what you are doing in a traditional "darkroom", you can produce wonderful B and W Silver prints. If you know what you are doing in the "lightroom"(digital), you can produce wonderful B and W Digital prints. The talent lies in the photographer- not the process.
While I am the first to celebrate all forms of artistic expression, and I have certainly experimented greatly with many ways of using paint and film, what I now embrace and what I find missing in the art world, is art which reaches into our soul in a clean, pure way. Purity. How does one eliminate all that is unnecessary. How does one apply that principle to photography? Today we have seen a revival of "historic"processes, "Alternative" processes, processes applied in multiple ways. People use faulty plastic lenses, paint liquid light on sandpaper, scratch their film for "effects", paint wax on their prints, shoot out dated film, (you get the idea...etc). I have no issues with whatever an artist wants to do, since I have experimented with the best of them. When one is applying effects to create a photograph, what one is not doing is is seeing well and using ones cognitive sensitivity to really "see"in a manner that understands. I use at present a Mamiya 645 Pro Medium format camera. My choice of lenses is wide to medium long because I do not want to use lenses that create effects that are noticeably and characteristically different than the way we see. The reason for this is that I do not want "effects" in an image to have been created that contribute and cause an impure and distorted view of what I have seen. While I HAVE used these methods in the past, I am discontinuing the use of them as I think they represent an intrusion by me into a true "reading" of what I see., and its what I see that I want my camera to record. At present I do not print larger than 15" by 20". I do this because I want to maintain integrity in the printing process relative to the film size I am presently working with. Obviously I most enjoy photographs where artistry is paramount since I don't think that an interesting photograph that is not printed well lives up to its potential. Accordingly, its entirely possible to have an uninteresting photograph that is beautifully printed. An analogy to this is in music: One can play a great work of keyboard music on an dilapidated piano and you can tell its still great music but the song " You Light Up My Life" can not be saved or made into real art even if it is played by The Philadelphia Orchestra.
This principle sums up my general photographic and artistic philosophy: the best art is that which combines high level artistry and interesting ideas. OF COURSE: The hallmark characteristic of creativity is having an open mind and my concepts may change.
Artistry and ideas, together.