Q: How's your book on Route 66 coming?
A: I have a top agent from New York City who is now pitching my book to publishers, and a noted author will write essays within the book. As soon as it's published I will announce it on this website and on my blog. Please email me if you'd like to be notified upon its publication.
Q: When did you get started in photography?
A: In college I spent a year abroad in England and took a small rangefinder camera with me everywhere I went. I entered a photo contest upon returning home, won second place, bought a new camera, and I've been shooting ever since.
Q: Did anyone influence your photography?
A: In high school and college I spent countless evenings watching movies by Bergman, Hitchcock, and Kurosawa. I certainly don't imitate these filmmakers, but something about the care they put into their images may have rubbed off.
Later, I admired the photography of the French street photographers, like Cartier-Bresson, Doisneau, and Boubat, as well as photos of New York City by Berenice Abbott. Visiting Yosemite frequently during my 20's, I was pretty immersed in the photography of Ansel Adams. In fact, I own photographs by Boubat, Doisneau, and Adams.
I certainly don't shoot like any of these photographers, but I admire them. I also admire modern masters like Jay Maisel, and sports photographer Dave Black.
I'd say if anything, I'm influenced more by going to art museums and looking at works by the likes of Degas and Sorolla, and spending nights watching Turner Classic Movies! I was also influenced by reading The Fountainhead. Among its themes, the idea of staying true to your artistic vision is a powerful one.
Q: Did you have formal photography instruction?
A: I am 100% self-taught as far as photographic technique and style. At the onset of the digital revolution, I was quite stuck before I took a number of weeklong workshops from some of the leaders in Photoshop, such as Tim Grey.
Q: What is your opinion about digital photography?
A: People take great photos using film, digital, SLR, large format, point-and-shoot, or pinhole. What's most important is one's vision. For me, though, digital photography gave me 100% control from start to finish. I am finally able to achieve what I had always visualized. It's a dream come true.
Q: Your style seems to vary with subject matter. Is that a drawback?
A: That's true, I approach different subjects differently. But I do try to create a cohesive body of work within each subject.
When I shoot Route 66, I'm shooting more realistically, more to document the road, but always actively searching out the best lighting, composition, color, etc. Lately, though, I've also shot it with a Lensbaby, deliberately evoking a retro-feel, because that's the feeling I often get when traveling back in time on the highway.
When I shoot flowers, I'm drawn to a completely abstract, sensual, impressionistic approach. That just works for me.
When I shoot certain sports, I want to convey more than what a straight photo would. I started to experiment capturing motion in the camera. It was a start. I then experimented in Photoshop and developed a technique which accentuates the motion (actually by heavily accentuating edges). I've never seen it described elsewhere, but it really expresses what I want to convey. Viewers who have seen the work in galleries have responded favorably.
What it comes down to is I am driven to create images that I enjoy looking at. I'm not trying to save the world, I'm just trying to make pictures that I don't get bored with! If I've seen the same type of picture a hundred times before, it's unlikely I'm going to take that picture...
Q: What about that quotation from your previous website?
A: I think it's more true than ever!
From the late photographer Edouard Boubat (as interviewed by Brooks Jensen in Lenswork Magazine):
"Every day we turn on the TV and are smothered with cruelty and I don't need to add to the suffering. So I only photograph peaceful things--a vase of flowers, the face of a beautiful girl. To me, sometimes, through my flowers or through a peaceful face, I can bring something important into the world."
Q: Do you think anyone will read this?
A: I hope they'll let me know with an email!