Artist Statement

 


 About the Artist

 My artistic roots go back to my parents being great artists themselves. Mother had degrees in art and English from North Texas State Teachers College and taught art for many years in public schools.  Father was a master craftsman who could build anything with wood. My father sparked my interest in photography when I was just a young boy. He was a talented photographer with his own black and white darkroom, and he processed many rolls of Ektachrome slide film.
 
My fine art photographic images are the cumulation of 45 years of passionate photographic experience. The study of the great masters of photography such as Ansel Adams, Elliot Porter, Jim Bones, Moose Peterson, Dave Black, Joe McNally, Art Wolf and many other legendary photographers has fueled my insatiable thirst for creating great works of art. And the explosion of technological advancements in digital imaging has opened the doors to unlimited creative expressions. I use the latest in Nikon professional cameras and lenses. I use Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom, the most advanced and sophisticated software on the market, to create the art I have in my mind. I use the Epson Ultra Chrome High Dynamic Range printer to produce the finest images on the market. I use the finest in museum quality, archival matting and framing materials. The acrylic used in the mounting of some of my work is the finest in the world. The brilliance of the final piece of fine art reaches into the depths of one’s soul. It quietens the busy mind, giving your mind rest from dealing with the hassles of the everyday world. Viewing my art delivers a feeling of bless, peace and tranquility.
 
In the mid 70’s, I attended Texas Christian University and took some photography classes.  Upon graduation in 1977, my parents gave me a very nice Nikon camera and some lenses.  On most weekends, I would drive around Texas shooting what ever I found interesting.  Being a perfectionist, I was never satisfied with my results. This created in me a drive to keep trying to  achieve perfection. In 1985, I took a photo workshop at Big Bend National Park from a great Southwestern photographer by the name of Jim Bones. Jim is a 4×5 shooter and has published several fine art photography books. He taught me much about composition and camera craft. In those days, I shot almost all Kodachrome slide film and processed my own prints from slides using Cibachrome print material, getting very rich color saturation in the prints. In 1988, I began showing and selling my fine art prints at art shows. In 2004, I attended Moose Peterson’s workshop to the Grand Tetons in Wyoming.  Moose is a Nikon Legend Behind the Lens and a world renowned wildlife and scenic photographer. His web site, moosepeterson.com, is an extensive resource for all kinds of photography information.
 
For a couple of years, I worked in a one hour photo lab doing custom enlargements. In 2001, I bought my first digital camera and I never went back to film.
 
Although I miss the days of making enlargements in my wet darkroom, the unlimited creative possibilities of the digital darkroom quenches my creative thirst. With the technical advancements in just the last few years of digital  cameras, computers, Photoshop software, and the advancements in printers and printing paper, artists of today have more tools to create with than ever was available before digital photography became of age.

Photographic Influences

“I say if I feel something strongly I would make a photograph that would be the equivalent of what I saw and felt. When I’m ready to make a photograph I think I quite obviously see in my minds eye something that is not literally there in the true meaning of the word. I’m interested in expressing something which is built up from within rather than just extracted from without.” ….Ansel Adams

Many years ago, a great Southwestern photographer by the name of Jim Bones, told me that to be a great landscape photographer you must have a  great love for the Earth. Also, he said, “the more you love the Earth, the better the photographer you will become.” Therefore, the  purpose of my fine art photographs is to express through them my deep felt love for our Mother Earth. Through these photographs, I hope to inspire others to deepen their own appreciation and love for our natural environment, and inspire them to be better stewards of our home, Earth. I also strive to create art that soothes the tensions of everyday pressures, and also relaxes one’s soul.
 
In the last 10 years, I started traveling internationally to places such as Sikkim, India, and Ladakh, India. I also have traveled to the countries of Nepal, Bhutan, Turkey, and Myanmar. These amazing places have very long histories and traditions that go back well into ancient times. Visiting these places have been spiritual journeys of a lifetime. To experience ancient cultures, to meet such sweet and loving people, to eat their amazing food, to visit 1000 year old monasteries, all are experiences that are priceless and precious beyond description. In many of the fabulous places I have visited, the people live as they did  many centuries ago making another goal of my fine art photography is to bring an awareness of these ancient cultures to the modern

My Creative Process

 Wherever the location may be, my process begins the moment I start seeing pictures. By that time, I already know which lens and camera settings for that particular lighting are needed. When I see something interesting, I look for converging lines, colors, or anything that catches my eye that looks like a nice composition. I also look to see unneeded objects I can eliminate. I like to crop in tight to the subject. Just as an artist uses contrast of light, color, and lines to create a composition on canvas.  Many of my friends ask me why I take so many pictures of one subject. It is to increase the odds of getting that one image that works!  Now we are halfway to creating a work of art.

 What happens after the shutter clicks determines what you end up with, whether it’s just another snapshot  or a very fine work of art. Also, the magic of Photoshop never ceases to amaze me. I do the usual tweaking of colors, contrast, and and any other fixes that are needed.  Then I start trying the filters that Photoshop possesses. These filters produce an unlimited amount of surreal and different renditions of the same image. From black and white conversions, to shifting colors, to creating textures, to making it look like an oil painting, it goes on and on.  I use Nik, OnOne and Topaz filters that plug into Photoshop and Lightroom that expand the possible renditions.