Wednesday, January 13, 2016


When it comes to nature photography, the impact Ansel Adams left on Americans is undeniable. I respect how the power of his images are directly linked to preservation of so much wilderness.

(Click to enlarge)

His exquisite B/W images, through that full range of tonal values, and the magic realism portrayed in a print from an 8x10 negative can easily sweep the visually minded person off their feet.

But, early influences for me came from photographers like Edward Weston, Paul Caponigro, and Minor White to name a few.

I was devoted to the Zone System, both seeing and reacting in B/W, steering my lens towards nature in a different light. Composition often revealed itself as much through tonal values as it did with subject matter. The two were a marriage. The process was spiritually leisurely and tightly controlled. Ten images a day was a successful outing.

I used a 4x5 view camera for everything, developing each sheet of film separately, exposing for the shadows and developing for the highlights. A process where previsualization was realized by carefully completing each step all the way to the print. Or, more as stated so eloquently by Adams, "The negative is the score and the print the performance."

This photograph of an ice field in Alaska caught my eye. A fresh break in the wind blown ice field created a dynamic pull and stirred my imagination. I was lucky. I'm sure within hours the scene was totally different. And, that's the way of nature. Constantly changing, evolving and challenging the artist.

It's why we keep coming back.

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