Color Work 2000-2019
After over forty years of photographing with various film cameras and making silver (and occasionally palladium) prints, in the year of the millennium I sold my darkroom with its enlargers, miscellaneous trays, clocks, beakers of every size and other relics of the age of chemical photography and fully committed myself to exploring the world of digital imagery.
This site represents a selection of the digital work of the past nineteen years.
The initial impulse was to free myself of the darkroom which wasn't all that dark. In reality it was a little chamber dimly lit by reddish lights and filled with strange odors and noxious fumes. Not that it was all bad; there was music and isolation from the world, and in my younger days sometimes a place of welcome retreat. But now I prefer to sit at a desk in front of a screen with windows allowing a glimpse of the world outside. The music remains the same, from blues to baroque.
One reason for using the new technology was to introduce imagination to my photography using the ability to easily manipulate an image. But after a while, I realized the limitations of such an approach. It seemed the more one's imagination was revealed, the less imaginative it became, if not in general, then for me, specifically. It became obvious that the real attraction in using the new technology was the ability to explore the world of color, an ability denied to me in the days of analog photography because of the expense and complicated technology involved.
Another motive, perhaps, is the fact that I am mildly colorblind,
and thus unable to distinguish between subtle shades of red and green. Purple and brown give me problems too. It's not so much that I want to see the colors you see, it's that I want you to see the colors I see.
Hence the title of this site, "Color Work".
That is not to say I am making any value judgements between black-and-white and color work. Walker Evans thought color photography was "vulgar" (although he turned to color late in his life) and Robert Frank said once there were only two colors in photography, black and white, but even he made a color photograph or two. Well, I have made many hundreds, if not thousands, of images in both modes and I don't have a preference, or even feel the need for a choice. I leave it up to you, the viewer, to decide for yourselves.
My black-and-white work ( 1962-2000) can be seen on my companion site beyondtheimage.net.
For those interested in the story of my journey through the digital world, see history on this site.