These images were first realized on the ground glass of an 8X10 large format camera. After I composed, focused, and metered the images, I inserted the film holder and selected the f-stop. With the shutter set and cocked, and the dark slide removed, I released the shutter and held my breath–as if not breathing would prevent failure of the image. Racing against time and the possibility of nature encroaching with a hearty gust of wind, the shutter whirred for a second or two before it stopped again. I released my breath. The result is moments in time burned and recorded in silver on single sheets of 8×10 film.
I am drawn to the barren riches that the desert offers with its wilderness of sharp patterns, mottled hues and sun-bleached rock formations. It is a harshly illuminated landscape that can overpower and bewilder the eye. In this desert environment–where it is easy to wonder if nature has in fact died–there is an essential character that reveals itself through careful observation.
I place my camera before a landscape subject and take in every detail. I am interested in conveying the subtle essence of a subject through its natural form with a sharply focused but gentle intensity. A different world begins when these natural formations are distilled, revealing themselves to me in this moment of motionlessness. There is only one negative and thus but one chance to produce the image. Within moments the evanescent beauty of the desert–lovely and strange and frequently subtle–shifts again under the piercing rays of the sun.
My images are part of my quest for a more profound understanding of the desert and its fundamental structure, a desire to delve deeper into its subtle beauty and design. The spirit of the desert is a thing consciously felt and valued by those who wander and live in this unforgiving yet beautiful environment. To me an exquisite delicacy washes over the desert with its ever-changing shadows and light, yet its vibrancy dissolves in the minds of many as a disowned wasteland.
The desert is important to me because it is a sheltering world of simplicity, silence, and solitude. My goal is to assemble a body of work that expresses the deep and subtle beauty of this place that patiently cycles through the seasons, endlessly rolling forward through time like a giant tumbleweed.