Artist’s Statement

About my images:

“My photographs are of the natural world, meaning natural light, whether the setting is urban or wild. I am determined to accept what presents itself to the lens, inspired by the challenges and limitations of working with a camera.  So often, I “see” an image long before I create it – in fact,  for me photography is a quest – a search for the right scene or light pattern or expression on a face that I have visualized.  I may return to a location or situation many times, never quite finding what I am looking for,  then suddenly, all comes together as I intended and  a special photograph is made.  And sometimes it never happens – the image in my mind is there, hovering in the background, but not ever discovered in the real world….this is the my challenge, and the reason I chose a camera rather than a paintbrush or other tool.

My eye is drawn to simple, almost severe overall patterns, inlaid with rich textures and bold light contrasts. Trees, water, soil and sky, elemental shapes that strike a chord with the viewer.

I find that the natural world, photographed with a twist of perspective or framing gives an other-worldly effect. The best of these hints at a dream world not made explicit but which hovers near a transposed horizon line or in a reflection more substantial than the world reflected.

I am intensely conscious of working in a photographic tradition that proceeds from an undistorted human range of visual perception, tweaking but never completely abandoning classic composition. I strive for strong compositional “bones”.

My latest pictures seem to obtain a spare, pared down look. Maybe, as in other forms of art, the more one leaves out, the more a viewer will bring to the image.” 

About teaching:

“I find that teaching others about my craft is as rewarding for me as it is for my students. I often work on a subconscious level, in a manner that involves thought without articulation. Teaching requires me to slow down and examine my process, in order to be able to describe what I do. I learn more about my own work through this.”

“When I see a student who is new to photography suddenly understand the beauty of capturing an image with a camera, I am reminded of the first few times I ventured out with a camera myself.  I remember that sense of discovery, as I had in the beginning, and still feel now when creating a photograph that captures all that I intended.  I believe that by sharing what I have learned over the years, I renew my delight in photography over and over again.” – Sylvia Galbraith