45 years in photography


 

After all this time, I still hold photography close to my heart.  I think about it every day and dream of it almost every night.  Much of my personal work is influenced by my dreams.

Having lived 45 years practicing, obsessing about the craft, it is still as vibrant and essential to me as breathing.  I still find myself struck by the beauty of the light as it breaks through the heavy clouds of winter to illuminate the mundane and bring it to its own splendour.  

I was lucky in the mid seventies when I signed up for a course with Rodney Polden in Vancouver.  One of the first things he did was to bring an orange to class and bathe it in perfect light.  It was a seminal moment for me and I remember it to this day.  I had never seen an orange like that before.  It was such a simple demonstration and set me on a path from which I would never deviate.

For anyone who may be curious, I still shoot film.  I have two large format cameras.  One built in 1906 and another from 1947, the year after I was born.  They both take wonderful pictures.

I have a stock of Kodak 4x5 Infrared film that was discontinued in 1999.  It has been in suspended animation for those 20+ years.  I stopped doing large format when I moved to Gabriola Island as I was concerned with dumping chemicals into the aquifer.  But times have changed and I recently discovered a new process that is much more environmentally friendly so I have allowed myself to go back to the magic of large format again.  

I don't shoot a lot, less than 1 frame a day, even when I am shooting digital.  I have returned to the meditative approach that I developed with large format and I find it immensely satisfying.  

I have also returned to teaching photography, my second passion.  My students are between 11 and 15.  I have never taught young people before and I find it to be a big challenge.   

I have to admit that Covid has had a positive influence on my life as it has forced me to go back into my archive to retrieve work that I did decades ago.  It also forced me to build this gallery that I wrestle with on an ongoing basis.

 If you have any questions about this work do not hesitate to contact me by email.