Inspired by the work of Ansel Adams I decided to take up photography as an avocation in the early 1970’s. To this end I purchased a 35mm SLR camera and started to take photographs. Adams’ work was not only an inspiration to photograph but through his books I learned the basic techniques of photography. Because of his influence I approached 35 mm photography with a view camera mentality, frequently using slow fine grained film and a tripod to obtain maximum sharpness and depth-of-field. Never completely satisfied with the small view screen and small contact sheet images, in the mid 1980’s I moved up to first a 6×6 SLR and then a 6×7 press camera. Finally, in 2007 I purchased a 5×7 view camera. At last a large focusing screen, large contact prints and camera movements. In 2011 I retired from my 20 plus-year career as an environmental scientist and made my avocation my vocation.
I classify my style of work as straight black and white photography. My subject matter is predominantly taken from the world around me although with the view camera I have started creating still life compositions and photographing nudes. With the exception of the still lifes, I consider much of my work a collaboration either with nature who creates while I record or with the models who strike the ideal pose for me to record.
Recently I have introduced the computer into my work flow. I currently scan all my negatives (old and new), adjust contrast to have maximum compatibility with my printing paper, remove spots and do any necessary cropping. I then create a digital negative for contact printing on silver-chloride paper. Except for special orders I only make prints on 5×7 and 8×10 paper.
I have two basic principals when it comes to photography: I believe any subject, when properly viewed, is an appropriate photographic subject, and the silver-chloride print is the most expressive presentation of a black and white image.