The Sublime West


Before I started to devote myself full time to my personal work, I spent 40 years in
the world of commercial photography. The majority of my clients were ad agencies
and graphic design firms. My photographic focus was on corporate offices,
factories, oil refineries and aerospace companies with dark busy manufacturing
facilities. I learned that my job title was not “photographer.” What I really was – a
problem solver. Over the first few years, I developed a style that, with the help of
artificial lighting, helped me to see past the clutter and create photographs that
were more design than immediately recognizable objects. I worked with whatever
was there, all the mundane things that most people walk by or do not notice. I saw
great imagery in graphic shapes, shapes that repeat, like patterns in ceilings from
ugly fluorescent lights or rows of desks or chairs. It was a created opportunity
instead of found.

I became known as the photographer to send into hell-holes to bring back the
goods (a blessing and a curse). Graphis Magazine once used a quote of mine: “It’s
amazing how much time I spend lighting, just to get things dark enough.” Absolutely
true! Once I got past that particular hurdle, I was able to move on to subjects that
had real possibilities and make them look even better. But I kept the same thought
process, the same eye, looking for and adding to the graphic qualities. (A special
shout out to mentor Arnold Newman and the works of Piet Mondrian and Edward

On to my current images – landscapes. While certainly not working with the same
control I had in the advertising world, it provides, in some ways, more. Or perhaps I
should simply different. What I have found is that I could bring the same vision I
used for my commercial work into my landscape work. In fact, I do not think I really
had a choice. The work I do now is 100% informed by my experience shooting for
clients. I see how I see and, after 40+ years of making photographs, it seems foolish to try and change now. I trust that what I have learned works. I have even brought
artificial light into the landscapes!

Simple shapes, graphic lines, eliminate clutter. Light when necessary. Repeat.

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