The camera is an appendage through which I explore, experience and preserve the stark allure of desert environs and wherever else my hiking boots or sandals can trek. I aim to create poem prints of extraordinary scenes or features found in the landscape using natural light and color, at times incorporating abstract compositions or alternative capture techniques such as Intentional Camera Movement or the Zoom Effect.
The predominance of photography as my primary artistic expression has had an off-the-trail evolution beginning with visits to Southeast Utah in the early 80's. I was drawn back to the desert again and again for business, river trips and solo hiking expeditions. After my three sons left home, I decided to move my CPA business to Moab, Utah where I spent the first two years living in a small trailer as a camp host on the Colorado River, carrying in my own water and reading by solar-powered light. I wrote volumes of poetry during that time, but as my accounting business grew, I moved into town.
Besides its reputation for motor vehicle recreation, Moab has an incredible community of writers, artists, and other creative types. In 2001, I was involved with Moab Poets and Writers in creating VOLUNTARY EXILE, a writer's workshop featuring Terry Tempest Williams and Sam Hamill.
I discovered that hiking and camping, particularly solo ventures, fed my creative process and writing, but as my business grew time for such activities diminished. I started carrying a small point and shoot to document the landscapes, colors, and natural objects that caught my eye when I did get out, reviewing them at home to recreate the felt sense which fed my poetry. After a while, I started feeling a sense of loss if I inadvertently left the camera home or in the vehicle.
I purchased a Panasonic DMC-FZ35 which captured raw shots and I began to play around more with light and composition beyond simple documentation. I was delighted by the results, though initially hit-and-miss, in the photo's ability to provide a more immediate and genuine re-creation of my emotional experience at time of capture. I found myself behind the camera more and the holding the pen less.
At first, I found this disturbing. My poetry eye was morphing into something I wasn't sure I felt comfortable with as it changed the way I saw and experienced the places that had moved and molded me creatively. I started leaving the camera home intentionally. Then I missed it. I had become attached to its unique points of view and how it opened up new worlds beyond what's normally seen.
Just over a year ago, I began sharing those views with family and friends and sold some prints locally and beyond and bought a DSLR to expand my vision. My eye has mutated once again to incorporate the settings, the lenses, the filters and now I frame almost everything in my life photographically.
Colors bounce, patterns pop, lines dance and draw me into the non-human, yet expand my humanity beyond its fleshy bounds. This is what I wish to share.