Artist Statement

Oak, Grassland
Oak and Grassland

In my landscape photography I strive to create works of enduring beauty – images that will inform the soul and convey my deep belief in the value of wild places.

In the doing, the struggle is to distill the everywhere-you-look splendor of a place like the Utah Canyonlands, or Yosemite Valley, or the North Coast redwoods into an essence which fits within the confines of a rectangle.

When it works, it is often because I’ve managed to capture a fleeting moment of light, color, motion, or stillness that gives the image a sense of heightened reality. I’m left feeling that I have witnessed something that has transcended the realm of ordinary experience.

When it is the sun shafting through a storm ten miles out over a canyon, then the moment can be grand, the mood one of awe. When the camera isolates a quiet coming together of nearby shapes and textures then the feeling may be one of profound serenity.

As I travel, I seek out forms and contours in nature which will give graphic structure to my pictures. In the broad views there is often a palpable foreground that yields to lines curving back—rivers, coastlines, canyons—to pull in the distant landscape.

In the closer views it is more likely to be a matter of layers, or diagonals, or elements which work across the plane. I am happy when the result creates depth and dimensionality.

Morning Mist Rising
Morning Mist Rising (2004)

In the search for images I am also drawn inexorably to color, especially when it is reinforced by atmosphere—mist, rain, storm clouds, the afterglow of sunset. They work together, like the interplay of harmony and melody in music, to create moods.

Ultimately, I am satisfied that my work is successful when the viewer is struck by a sense of place. It may be a very specific connection to the landscape. But it may also be a sudden wave of nostalgia, or a longing to get back out on the land. It is successful when it serves as a tangible reminder in the everyday urban world of the intangible meaning to be found in the natural world outside our own creation.