After completing the early Washington, DC works in 1980, I had planned to attend graduate school to further my studies. Unfortunately, no schools accepted me, and I was left to ponder my photographic future. Rather than return to the design world and get a job as an art director, I decided to spend the summer exploring the possibilities of working as a photographer’s assistant. I was fortunate enough to land a job with one of the top photographers in the DC area and never looked back at the world of design. But I still want to pursue additional education in fine art photography and decided to take a class at George Washington University that fall. Initially I wanted to take a zone system class to work on my technical skills. But my only option was to take an independent study. At least that gave me access to the darkroom, other photo students and the academic environment. My main film in those days was Kodak Infrared film. It had a dreamy quality that appealed to my romantic view of the world. I chose the gardens of Dumbarton Oaks as my subject and began to solidify my interest the man-made landscape that started with my earlier DC work. I spent many afternoons exploring the quiet grounds. Once a private residence, it is now home to not only beautiful gardens, but a large collection of Byzantine art works. I almost always found myself alone there and it was very peaceful to sit among the fountains and make photographs. I passed my independent studies with flying colors and the work I did at Dumbarton Oaks helped to move on to graduate studies the next year. In the years to come I would return there often and always find something new to experience. The work I did there would become the foundation for images I would make for the next 20 years.