I am fascinated by interfaces: Art/Science; Nature/Machine; Pattern/Randomness; Abstraction/Representation; Old/New; Painting/Photography. I have always been intrigued by the contrast between the living world and the dead stillness of a photograph.
I am reluctant to alter the world by the photographic act; I am mostly trying to preserve something we are rapidly losing. In recent years the very definition of photography as an art has been turned on its head, as digital imagery brings to the fore troubling questions of what a photograph is when it may never exist as a physical print.
I feel a strong connection to using glass and geometry to allow the light of the world to somehow make marks on paper, and as such I am drawn to techniques that somehow leave their direct imprint on the photographic image. I often use the throw-away stuff of old photographic processes - the discarded peel-away part of Polaroid, a cyanotype negative on paper - left-behind pieces that contain dim photographic images that could never have formed a print before the advent of digital scanning and printing. Although I use digital techniques to bring into view images that otherwise would go unseen, my prints only contain information that was there on the original touched-by-light negative.
Just as I am finding new ways to use old processes and techniques, those very materials are disappearing one by one. I feel as though I am racing against time, using rediscovered but dying processes to photograph a world that also is quickly vanishing, turning into something that I often fail to recognize.
My formal credentials are in physics and astronomy, and not in art or photography. But I have had informal training from several excellent mentors and collaborators who really do know what they are doing. Apart from teaching photography for the University of Wisconsin Colleges, I have exhibited photographs in many juried competitions in Wisconsin, Ohio, New York, Missouri, Oregon and Colorado, even occasionally winning an award or two (well, two actually). I have had several solo exhibitions, as well as joint exhibitions with the artists Judith Baker Waller, Diana Ludwig, Dawn Patel, the poets Elizabeth Breese and Meredtih Mason, and the photographer Teresa (Saska) Patrick.
I am the author, published by Morgan and Claypool, of the three volumes of The Physics and Art of Photography. These books use art photography as a point of departure for asking fundamental questions about the nature of nature, and the nature of art, with an emphasis on the intersection between the physical photographic process and a physicality in the work that can form a deep connection to nature.
My particular area of expertise is alternative-process photography, especially regarding the combination of antiquarian or analog photographic processes with modern digital scanning and printing. Probably the most significant examples of this are my own sort-of inventions of what I call cyanonegative photography and ephemeral-process photography. I have taught these process to many students over the years, and even a few other photographers, some of whom have won prizes with their own efforts. I am also a fan (and small-time collector) of old cameras. How many old cameras do I have? Well, it depends on how one counts (working, non-working, barely-working, duplicates, etc). But I need yet another camera like I need a hole in the head.