I grew up as a sort of “wild nature creature” on the remnants of our historic family ranch in Northern California. As a result of this,as well as my parents nurturing me with their own love of both nature and art, I developed a profound love of art along with nature..
Although I have dabbled in many art mediums, the one constant has been photography, ever since I was given a camera by my parents as a child. Although I do take many types of subjects (including in more recent years, “shooing” people into my pictures instead of out of them”), photography has always mainly provided a way of experiencing nature that I might have otherwise missed, such as forcing myself out of bed before dawn to experience and photograph thousands of migratory birds at sunrise …
or drive through fog for those misty magical pictures when most sane people would have stayed home.
Although I sometimes do purely technical or photojournalistic photos, my main goal both as an artist as well as a photographer is to create not just a technical realistic reenactment of the subject, but to create it artistically- to try and capture the artistic design and spirit along with the lines and the movement of the subject.
In the last 3 years I have created a series of “signature” bird prints (and more recently landscape prints) to emulate the look and feel of a Japanese wood block print, an Inuit stone print, or even a painterly feeling. I do this by deemphasizing the background, either by choosing pictures where this occurs naturally in camera, such those taken as snow or fog; or in post-processing by lightening and/or desaturating the background and minimizing extraneous parts of it to bring out the main subject. Distracting elements such as bits and pieces of birds that detract from the subject are removed. A very few are composites in order to capture what was seen, such as a flock of sandhill cranes landing, where only one or two birds of the flock can be photographed at a time.The blur of a subject can also add to the painterly feel.
I then print them on a Japanese photo paper that imparts an additional depth giving them an ethereal look and enhancing the Japanese feeling. I also sometimes add a bit of hand coloring to some of the pictures to further accentuate parts of them.