The thrill of producing these photographs is to directly articulate the world in a manner that is larger, more varied and more sensitive than I could by solely relying on intellect.
The French writer Guy de Maupassant wrote:
The smallest thing has something unknown in it; we must find it. To describe a blazing fire, a tree in a plain, we must stand face to face with that fire or that tree, till to us they are wholly unlike any other fire or tree.
Through a close observation of reality, I am able to transcend my views and strategies to extract narratives and emotional impressions from fragments. These images render worlds which I understand and can live in.
I walk around with a camera, raising it to my eye and clicking in the split seconds it takes to see a scene, recognize and capture it. I develop the films and print many versions of a particular negative - some darker, some lighter, some with more grain, others silky smooth. I study them closely, live with them on the walls around me and continue to print variations of them, until I see the elements of beauty, narrative, elegance and emotions of the photograph. This process typically requires months or years to resolve the dynamics of a particular image.
The photographs are all taken on film and made using traditional analog darkroom processes. I make extensive use of the physical properties of materials to develop my vision beyond my initial strategies and preconceptions. Changes in heat, light intensity and chemicals produce visual results that expand my vision of what an image means, then I iterate to deliberately include these effects in the next version of the image. I stop when I feel the photograph and its emotional dynamics have emerged from the negative.
Since I work in the dark, the projected light image of the negative on the paper gives a luminosity that allows me to feel the rich world depicted by the image. The silence of the darkroom, the trickle of water in the background, the clicking on and off of the enlarger, and the late-night New York City radio stations, all combine to illuminatethe emotional possibilities of the image on the negative.
My direct photographic influences have been the works of Brassai, Alexey Brodovitch, Louis Faurer and Lillian Bassman. I have been very fortunate to be a part of this lineage through my friend and mentor, Chuck Kelton. Further afield, the visual sensibilities of Edgar Degas and the films of Hiroshi Teshigahara and the simultaneously sparse and rich narrative styles of Maupassant, Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan have also played a significant early role in my development.