The documentary photograph presents a view of real life events and attempts to portray those events with minimal distortion. Subjects can range from photographic evidence to documenting current or disappearing culture. They are often used to effect social change. My main interest is documenting culture different from my own and the slightly offbeat aspects of my own culture. In either case I am mainly an observer, but approach this process as an artistic venture.
A successful environmental portrait captures the rhythm, simplicity and feel of everyday life. Photographer and subject must find commonality and reach some degree of connection. This almost always requires eye contact. The obvious relationship between photographer and subject is what makes environmental portraiture so compelling and finding it without the luxury of a common language is a most rewarding experience. I don't just "take" an environmental portrait, the subject must be willing to "gift" it to me.
Street Photography is difficult to describe and there is much disagreement on its characterization. The photograph needs to feel spontaneous, but not always, it must be in a public place, but not always, it must contain people, but not always, it should be candid, but not always. What great Street Photography will always do is stir our emotions regarding humanity. It takes the photographer and viewer into people’s everyday “public life” and provides opportunity to interact with them either directly or indirectly.
Land and seascape photography are both a joyful and excruciating experience for me. I love being alone in wild places looking for the right moment…..the right geometry……the right light. Even when I find it, capturing it can still be elusive. The natural world is so vast and beautiful, where to point one’s camera can be an overwhelming decision. BUT, when everything comes together the reward is great. The hope of that rare perfect image and being present in the solitude of the natural world is what keeps drawing me back to this type of photography.
Wildlife and nature photography can be quite mesmerizing to view, but it has never had much of a pull for me as a means to create art. The long expensive lenses and patience required to properly photograph many species of wildlife have done little to coax me in that direction. However, I completely respect this as an art form and I do take advantage of photographing flora and fauna (whether living or dead) when the occasion arises. I guess you can say I'm simply an opportunist when it comes to photographing plants and animals.
Manmade Things can cover a very wide array of subject matter, from the remnants of now vanished civilizations to modern structures including cars, boats, buildings and machinery. My main interest lies with recently or nearly abandoned structures and technology as well as more ancient dwellings like the Anasazi ruins of the SW United States. Some sense of strutural decay is appealing to me. Once again, this is about connection with people, but in this instance the people are gone. When I’m alone in and old building or exploring an ancient dwelling, I can feel the former residents all around me.
Performance is an individual or group creating something fleeting or solid for the artistic enjoyment of others or in some cases only for the individual or group performing.The breadth of this is hopefully displayed in my selection of photographs. I would like to elaborate on the presence or absence of an audience with an example. Marta Becket, a successful ballerina in New York City, moved to Death Valley Junction, California in 1962. From 1968 until being confined to a wheelchair at 87, Marta performed each week in the Amargosa Opera House, whether an audience was present or not.
I didn't know what to do with these photographs, but knew I didn’t want them lost in another category. They are simply too much fun to overlook. Each year since a local college opened in 1970, the Mud Bay Race occurs during the last low tide before Graduation Ceremony. Racers gather at Mud Bay and race across the low tide flats stark naked in the hope of retrieving the coveted flag stuck in the mud at the opposite end. It's always a thousand laughs and visiting parents sometimes participate. No one has been arrested in all the years the race has taken place although someone driving by on the freeway often calls it in.