I was born in Schenectady, NY around the time when people were moseying around on the moon. I had an average fascination with
photography at an early age and started taking photos with my Mickey Mouse 126-film camera. Later I "upgraded" to a 35mm camera
that was free with some magazine subscription and took some pictures with that.
In 1988 I moved to Rochester, NY to go to the
Rochester Institute of Technology
and have stayed ever since. Although RIT has a respectable college of photography, I opted instead for a more pragmatic path as a
computer programmer. In college I experimented a bit with photography using a snapshot 35mm camera, but I was consistently
disappointed with the results. Around 1994, I got a little more serious with a Pentax K1000 with a 28mm-70mm f4 lens. I continued
using color film throughout, and experimented with long exposures and color correction filters. I was pleased to have made a
successful image from a cold night in January 1996 of an atmospheric effect known as "diamond dust" where man-made light sources
reflect off flat ice crystals to give the illusion of columns of light streaking into space.
After that, I began exploring photography on an artistic level. I have added another camera body to my arsenal: a Pentax ZX-7,
and several more lenses including a 75mm-300mm autofocus zoom, and a 50mm f1.4 (a fully-manual screw-mount lens with an adapter)
which is my favorite for band photography do to its fast speed.
Looking back at my images, I found that there were distinct themes that ran through my images. Some were obvious, such as
pictures of performances or those of architecture, but there were also some which were more subtle. Below are the themes in my work
and some examples of each.
I have enjoyed live music performaces from about 1998 to the present. One of my most prolific photographic endeavors is to
capture color images of such performances. I enjoy the challenge of using existing light—typically stage lights which are
incandescent lights of varying colors. Most of the time, the lighting changes continuously throughout a performance, and the lights
are often quite dark for anything but the fastest film. I started using a flash with a zoom lens to capture candid close-up shots
of the performers as well. My ultimate goal is to be able to capture images that represent what I experience at a performance.
Flowers Dance to Dream Engine
The first subtle theme I discovered was one I like to call "uneasiness." I was fascinated by images from Garry Winogrand such as
in his compilation,
The Man in the Crowd: The Uneasy Streets of Garry Winogrand
and although I greatly admire his work, I am exploring a slightly different theme.
I created a number of ways to explain what I thought I was trying to do. When I shoot, I look for scenes which produce a feeling
of uneasiness in myself—perhaps an instinctive fear response which I don't have conscious access to—and I try to capture
the scenario accurately enough so the image itself can recall that feeling. I sometimes explain this theme by starting from the
image and suggesting that the viewer subtract out all the elements which are familiar, and what is left is the uneasyness. When I
selected images for the
I said that the images capture the fleeting glimpses of hallucinations experienced when one is overtired and high levels of the
brain chemical serotonin are being produced.
In all, these images produce a primitive feeling of danger and a cause for heightened awareness in myself and I am interested to
see if that is true in others as well.
Sixty-Three and One
Occasionally, I will attempt to capture the feel for a location. I concern myself with trying to accurately reproduce the feeling
of space. I am more interested in capturing a mood or a personality than I am in capturing the entire experience. My goal is that
if a viewer of the image were to visit the subject location that they would immediately recall my image as their most similar
Inside City Hall
Tonic Bar and Tender
I think all photographers attempt to capture the extremes of the human experience, particularly the positive ones. I'm no different
and will occasionally take pictures of "pretty things" if the mood strikes me.
Icy High Falls