Rose in Water

February 22, 2020 at 10:10 am

Still life with a rose sub­merged in car­bon­ated water. Feb­ru­ary 2020.

Photo Exploration: Rotten 2. December 2013.

April 15, 2014 at 1:07 pm

This photo is (prob­a­bly) my favorite from my Rot­ten series.

Rotten 2

In this series I pho­tographed food that would oth­er­wise have been dis­carded. I pro­duced this work as a play on the tra­di­tional still life and a reflec­tion of my own habits.
I became frus­trated with the amount of waste leav­ing my own home. At the same time I was enam­ored with col­ors and tex­tures that appeared when food, espe­cially fruit, was left to rot.

By tak­ing light­ing cues from the Old Mas­ters and uti­liz­ing bro­ken, dried, molded or oth­er­wise unap­pe­tiz­ing pro­vi­sions as sub­ject mat­ter, I jux­ta­posed some of our tra­di­tional pre­sen­ta­tions of edi­ble beauty with our waste.

This work also speaks to the lux­ury of my abil­ity to con­sider the scrap­ping of food when a great many com­mu­ni­ties can­not. Our con­tin­ued refine­ment of food pro­duc­tion enables us to have greater con­trol over appear­ances until it reaches our home, but after­wards we eas­ily dis­card that which devel­ops an unpleas­ant appear­ance. Even if the food main­tains qual­ity, we will quickly dis­pose of that which looks unap­peal­ing. Granted, some of the ele­ments used in this work were lit­er­ally dis­gust­ing, but much of the mate­r­ial could have been eaten or oth­er­wise reused with­out ill effect.

With this work I explore con­cepts of what is appeal­ing, suc­cu­lent and edi­ble while explor­ing my own stan­dards of that which sus­tains. This work ven­tures to bring the focus back to ordi­nary decay and nat­ural cycles. With the desire for cleaner, newer, brighter, shinier or clearer sub­stance we read­ily dis­card that which is still — or even more — beau­ti­ful once left to nature’s own processes

Photo Exploration: Empty Cabinet

March 5, 2013 at 10:24 am

Mis­sis­sippi is a bit of home. There isn’t any­where I’ve spent as much time, and very few places I’ve done as much pho­tog­ra­phy. I tend to tread care­fully with that imagery how­ever. It’s a loaded space to pho­to­graph — nearly every­one I’ve known has his­tory there, and not all of it pleasant.

How do you go from broadly painted strokes to per­son­ally vivid, nar­rowly focused work? Where is a start­ing point, maybe a touch­stone for focus­ing in on a sin­gle moment? If that can be found, then we can work back­wards and build a nar­ra­tive that involves the his­tory and the pres­ence of the area. Instead of a few vague thoughts, we will have cre­ated a solid con­struct to han­dle all the infor­ma­tion and emo­tion from engag­ing such an over­pow­er­ing entity.

I had the excep­tional oppor­tu­nity to pho­to­graph in two dear places in late Feb­ru­ary. One, the town of Natchez, was where I was born and spent a great major­ity of my early life. Walk­ing around down­town and vis­it­ing my grandparent’s old home and church, tak­ing pho­tographs of places I’d been pho­tograph­ing since nearly my first roll of film. It was remark­able in the quiet and noth­ing­ness of a sunny Tues­day after­noon. The other loca­tion was around my in-law’s fam­ily farm house. My wife’s great-aunt passed away in the late 1990’s and the house had been untouched in many ways since. Although the prop­erty is occu­pied with equip­ment and horses, the house itself has been devoid of per­ma­nent res­i­dence in over a decade. Being granted per­mis­sion to pho­to­graph the rooms as I found them was a lux­ury — the insight into what is still a very accu­rate por­trait of life there was amazing.

Using those two loca­tions as the gen­eral map for track­ing a path across Mis­sis­sippi, I gath­ered mate­r­ial for a series ten­ta­tively titled “Where the Dust Set­tles.” Below is one of the pho­tographs from that series. All film, either Ektar 100 (120) or Ilford HP5+ (35mm).

Empty Cabinet

The sim­plic­ity of a bath­room — a heater, a cab­i­net. Left ajar for a dozen or more years. To be hon­est, I don’t even know if the cab­i­net is empty. There could very well be med­i­cine, band-aids, old mag­a­zines and Maalox wait­ing for a bit of light to shine in. But it was not my turn to dis­turb the scene. I set up, metered/focused and exposed the film.

March 8: Sequence

March 9, 2012 at 1:56 pm