b s t r a c t i
o n s
idea of a quality considered apart from any particular instance
B&W images were my first photographic love. That is probably borne of
the magic of experiencing a print develop before my eyes in a tray of
developer. The infinite manipulation of that print through burning, dodging
and cropping enhances the magic. Thirty years later creating B&W photographs
still draws me, although I now sit at a computer rather than work in a
darkroom. Although I now work in color frequently, B&W images continue
to excite and inform me in ways that color cannot.
Color can carry an image, in fact, become the reason for the photograph,
surpassing subject and composition in importance. A black and white photograph
cannot fall back on color to define it. It must sing on its own. Many
photographic masterpieces of landscape and human experience are B&W photographs.
In them we are face to face with exactly what the artist wanted us to
react to without the embellishment of color to distract us.
The style of my B&W work also serves to direct the viewer to precisely
what I wish them to see. I choose to elevate the elements of composition
to subject in this body of work This was not my conscious intent from
the outset; I began by just working instinctively.This is what I have
come to know looking back at years of my work with an increased ability
to understand it intellectually.
I have always been drawn to abstractions, isolating a detail of my subject.
The detail would then take on new meaning, its qualities becoming the
subject of the photograph. I find these qualities, the classic elements
of composition - light and shadow, texture, form, balance, symmetry, repetition,
space/negative space - compelling and gratifying to work with because
I experience them intuitively. They are visual conventions that may be
hard-wired in our brains. That is why a photographic composition suddenly
feels right as I work. These visual elements are powerful and capable
of evoking an emotional response in the viewer. I embrace these elements
as the subject itself.