I believe the power of photography lies is its connection to the real world. Photographs can move us unlike no other form of artistic expression. How many times has someone shown you a photograph of a person and said, this is so and so? Of course it is not really so and so; it’s a smart phone. We know that cognitively but at the same time there is a visceral connection constructed between the photograph and the viewer. We want to believe the object photographed existed in the real world. Susan Sontag in her seminal work On Photography, said, “Whatever the limitations (through amateurism) or pretensions (through artistry) of the individual photographer, a photograph — any photograph — seems to have a more innocent, and therefore more accurate, relation to visible reality than do other mimetic objects”.
With today’s technology, it is possible to make photographs into whatever one chooses. My photographs are reality based. However, I do consider myself a cook. When a chef takes a piece of raw beef and cooks it in his or her own special way, it is, after cooking, still a piece of beef. Similarly, I make reality based raw camera files and “cook” them my way.
I’m a flâneur (wanderer) and an expert at getting lost walking with my camera. What I find most fascinating are the incongruous aspects and the surprises I find along the way. My images themselves are “documents” because they are reproductions of what the camera recorded when I tripped the shutter. However, they are — at the same moment– my beliefs, feelings and understandings of the subject filtered through my editorial mind’s eye using camera angle, exposure, lens properties, shutter speed, F-stops and a bit of “cooking”. I don’t claim they are “the truth” or unbiased. Roland Barthes said that all pictures are always two things at the same time: What they are of and what they are about. My images are “of” real world objects but they are “about” my beliefs, feelings and understanding of the subject. In the end, all photographs are as much or more about their creator than the thing photographed. They reflect my interest in culture, cities and my sense of humor. I’m an unapologetic city boy and my camera is my like a dog, it wants to “noodle around” tasting and smelling everything. For me walking has a higher purpose than its salubrious benefits. I’m a stroller, loafer or saunterer with a camera. For me, experience, consumed slowly, is the essence of the good life.