An Interesting Journey

My work has always evolved as my interests changed. The only constant is the camera. And even that changes. Thou not fundamentally. I began to move toward digital around 2000 when I had my first Iris ink jet prints made. They were largely copies of my darkroom prints, just bigger. But color began to slip in as well. I began to learn Photoshop by 2003 and set up my digital darkroom with a massive overhaul of computers and a serious Imacon scanner. I was waiting for a serious digital camera to come along, preferably a Nikon. Canon arrived first and I grabbed a 1DS Mark II in 2004. In 2006 I closed my darkroom. Most of my materials I used were disappearing. I was more of less done with analog photography. At first I tried to emulate the analog look I was used. Converted to black and white, added grain, tried  infrared filters. All looked a bit fake and forced. I continued to shoot black and white film from time to time, did a nice night series in Rome. But even Panda lab, who developed my film was changing and going downhill. They now cater to rich techies who shoot film because they think they are taking a risk of some kind. Funny thing thou, the folks at Panda say they drop off their film, have it developed and digitized and they download it on line, never returning for the original film. So what’s the point?

So I moved on and embraced digital and the world of color. I don’t really miss the analog world, especially the darkroom and it’s stinky chemicals. 30 years of it was enough for me. I do miss the look of a fine silver print and it’s durability. My black and white ink jet prints just don’t have the depth of my older prints. When I do want a darkroom fix, I pull out some negs and do an afternoon of scanning. I can do things with the Imacom and Photoshop that I could never do in the darkroom. I have breathed life into negs that were problematic in the darkroom. It is also nice to create an image in the computer and let it live there until I decide to make a print and not use 10 or 12 sheets of silver paper to get it right. Analog photography was never environmentally friendly.

The IG work started as a lark really. A former assistant suggested I get on board and promote my work. I wasn’t sure how to proceed. Would it be an extension of my website? Old works? New stuff? I had been playing with my iPhoto making images and thought to get started and figure out the system, I would post those images. It was easy to shoot, mess around and post. After awhile I decided that is what IG would be for me, just iPhone paintings, as I think of them. Largely images taken on walks with my dog, I see  them as snap shots of my immediate world. I often refer to them as emotional book marks. I even figured out a way to turn them into beautiful large prints, some of which are carried by the Seattle Art Museum Gallery. And so while my current work is a far cry from the work of my early days, it has been an interesting journey and I still love to practice my craft, in whatever form it takes.