If you're an artist, what kind of art do you make?
I am always considering composition tones and textures. I am the worst visitor to an art gallery as I am perpetually suggesting in a not so subtle way as to how this or that image could be made stronger with a little judicious cropping or some other such adjustment. I have been tossed out of more than one gallery - especially the private ones. if I think something is not very successful in appealing to my sense of what is interesting, I am not shy.
About my artwork
I remember, as a child, spending many long wonderful summers with my grandmother in the small Kootenay town of Nakusp. In the late 1950’s and early 1960’s there still remained large pockets of virgin interior rain forest in British Columbia. These ancient trees were hundreds of feet tall and measured 6 to 10 feet in diameter at their base. The woodland caribou were abundant. Large stately cottonwoods ringed the Arrow Lakes. The lake rose and fell with the natural rhythm of the seasons. This was my playground and classroom. My natural sense of curiosity was my teacher. My first encounter with a camera was at age 6 – a Kodak Brownie box camera. I used it to photograph my family and pet dogs and stuff at the aquarium. My first serious camera was a Nikon f with a macro lens. I was now able to photographically consider the world of nature. From my time as a cowboy in the high mountain meadows to working as a Park Naturalist in the BC Provincial Parks system to studying birds on an isolated island off the West Coast of British Columbia to my long-time residency in Newfoundland. It was after my Newfoundland experiences that I acquired my Pentax 645 and a variety of lenses so that I could make good quality prints to 16x20. This when I started to use black and white (and Ilford Pan f film) almost exclusively in my work. My basic darkroom skills were learned during my time as a member of the UBC Photographic Society and later refined through further private study. After my return to BC from Newfoundland, I was invited to join the Western Photographic Circle. This was (and still is) a wide ranging group of photographers who embodied many skills in producing fine prints. We would critique each others’ work on a monthly basis and give workshops on particular processes. This peer review and teaching opportunity enabled a high standard of photographic excellence to be maintained. My prints are represented in many private and corporate collections. I have had 14 group shows and 7 solo exhibitions in selected galleries over the past 20 years. My current main outlet for my work as photographic fine prints is my website at www.naturphoto.com where over 900 images are displayed.
Artists I like
William Garnett, Bernice Abbott, Elliot Porter, Fred Chapman, Duncan McDougall
Water Polo, getting lost in the forest, ambling slowly for hours in nature with my camera gear. Watching good film. Researching environmental impacts as a consequence of pollution. Publishing the latter in international scientific journals. A strong advocate for the prevention of pollution.
I read your statement:
"In this anything goes world in photography these days, I find that mediocrity has risen to the top"
I have observed that there is a distinct line separating those who are
trying to pay their dues in the "scene", is hard for me to define, but seems to be as much about the social whirlwind, who is cool and radical, but maybe that type of thing is a flash in the pan, here today, gone tomorrow........
The real ones have paid their dues, developed their eye, found a voice, and are the real craftsmen, and some evolve into artists.
As far as mediocrity rising to the top, maybe when something has the broadest range of appeal and acceptance, the principle of the lowest common denominator applies.
Anyway, like your images, you know where you're going
Michael, Thanks for your insightful and assuring regards!. I needed them i thought i was being crazee but they are really messing with life in a irresponsible way. Here's an insightful link to some great viedeos about this http://www.augustreview.com/option,com_seyret/Itemid,52/ Take Care! Francisco