About the Images

All images are printed with archival inks on Ilford papers. Images are printed to 12x18 or 20x30 inches.

Surgical Photography

As a Medical Photographer, I was often asked to photograph in the operating room. The images were used to accompany journal publications, illustrate teaching texts, or for medical/legal purposes. Always, the photographs were meant to document the procedure in process and as such they need to be accurate and true, faithful to the subject.

These photographs are not to those standards. Unmanipulated, they are a product of the photographic limitations of digital cameras. The overhead theater lights so over power the room lights, that proper exposure of the foreground forces the background black. The reality of the scene is of a room well lighted.

These images remind me in style and mood of a Caravaggio. He manipulated his lighting to sweep away extraneous detail, sharpening focus on the action, creating mood and capturing the attention of the observer. Applied to this subject, one is able to visualize the delicacy of motion and choreography of activity. Surgery is seen as much art as science.

It is ironic to me that these images are, in many ways, more accurate depictions of the surgical procedure than the proper documentary medical photograph.



There is little light at night and as a result camera exposures are long; 1,2 10,20, or 30 seconds. I’ve photographed with the camera on a tripod, a monopod and handholding. I think the most successful photographs are the handheld ones. If you look closely enough at these, sometimes you can see my respirations and feel my pulse.

As dusk turns to night color fades from our vision. Our retina contains rods and cones. Cones are responsible for color vision. They must collect a lot of light for our perception to be in color. Rods are much more sensitive. They function under very low light levels, and they present a monochromatic image. As a result we loose the awareness of color at night. The camera, at night, does not suffer from this limitation.

Surface reflectance and the color composition of light determine our perception of color. During the day the quality of light has a fairly even mix of all of the colors of the spectrum (roy-g-bv) (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet). Only when objects are illuminated with light of this composition will our perceptions of color be normal. Cameras are designed to see color like our eyes, presented with a full color spectrum, color is recorded as expected.

Light at night tends to have limited color composition and the camera’s recording necessarily appears otherworldly. If we could perceive color at night, likely it would appear like this.

Fast Food

fast food and pink meat
we are what we eat
foods of convenience and necessity

Food is more than just what we eat; it is life itself, family, tradition, birth, marriage, sickness, and death. I have been looking a lot at food lately and much of it looks like this

In science, truth and beauty are often equated. Although beauty is always in the eye of the beholder, clearly much of what we eat is not food.

Fair Fruit

As an educator, it is at times difficult to convince my students that interesting, compelling images may be made anywhere with almost any subject. That’s not the geneses of these images; however I think they prove the point.

Prize-winning fruits and vegetables. Judged to a standard which is incomprehensible to me yet never the less I am drawn to the mystery of their triumph. A discussion between two exhibitors on the relative merits of apparently (to me) identical jars of pepers is as fascinating as string theory.

I love the fair.  

Fall Leaves

I Love the Fall – The air is crisp & cool, the sky a brilliant blue. There is nothing better than lying on my hammock and looking up and through a canopy of leaves. The transformation from lush greens to spectacular yellows, oranges and reds is a wonder to behold.

I Hate the Fall – An appropriately named season. We have 14 trees around the house; each having what seems to be countless leaves, all of which end up on the ground needing to be raked. It is an arduous chore and changes my seasonal joy to dread. Raking takes several weeks, I curse the trees and their leaves.

This year I decided to photograph them as the fell to remind me of delight they in fact do bring.


Tilt ~ Half Life-Size ~ Green

One of my favorite photographers, Minor White, wrote
“….It is like writing verse in some strict form, the sonnet, for instance, whose rules are enslaving till they become second nature. Then by some miracle of adjustment the manacles themselves become the wings of expression.”

Although he was not specifically writing about photography at the time, I’ve often used this thought, giving myself “strict form” or more precisely exacting restrictions for an image series, hoping the limitations will allow me to spread “wings of expression”. The photographs in the series Tilt, Half Life-Size & Green were made in this manner.



Constraints - 80mm tilt/shit lens @f/2.8 - Left & Right Tilts On Monopod 24 inches from subject

I like this quote, “Focus helps distill subject from content”. The amount of focus in an image (depth of field) is easily controlled; f/stop, focal length & camera to subject distance all play a defined roll in controlling depth of field. It easily possible to have the entire image in focus or just a tiny slice focused. Depth of Field influences image rendering and changes the meaning and intention of an image

I like this quote also, “An image composed of subject and everything else”. Frequently, it is the appearance of the everything else that separates the good from the excellent. Often the everything else is found in the out-of-focus stuff.

Lenses are designed to have their optics parallel to the camera’s imaging device and as a result depth of field (the plane of image focus) is also parallel to the device. Tilt/Shift lens allow for the lens optics to be moved at an angle to the capture device.

lens tilt
I’ve tilted the lens both left & right. This results in a change in the image crop as well as the placement of depth of field. The images read almost like the l.r. views of a stereo photograph; similar but subtly different. The subject (focused object) is the same in both; it’s the everything else that acquires significance. These really need to be seen at size ~24x16” in order to appreciate the differences between the images.

My intended subject of these image pairs is really the alteration of the photograph caused by the lens tilt. To my eye the differences in the distribution of the depth of field is most significant. These differences make for quite different images.

The objects are really just place holders making the image comparisons easier, but they intrigued me leading, somewhat later, to the next series – half-life size

Half Life-Size

Constraints - 60mm macro lens focus set manually to ½ life size - subjects @ 10 inches

I own and regularly use 7 different macro lenses. They allow you to get very close to the subject and photograph at higher than normal magnifications. These lenses are optically designed to photograph at least life size. Looking and framing are major photographic concerns. Close focus work concentrates both. Slight movements of the camera dramatically changes composition. Macro lenses require a hyper-awareness of vision & that appeals to me. They allow for discovery of extraordinary beauty in things or scenes that were not designed with an aesthetic in mind.

These objects, found while walking my neighborhood, were all photographed at ½ life size; each was exactly 10 inches from the camera.

Magnification is easily understood photographing with film. The image of an object photographed at life size (technically 1:1) will be the same size as the object itself. Photograph a dime with film and place the dime on the negative & they’ll be the same size. Image-object comparisons are easily made.

The concept of magnification digitally is a little trickier to come to. Open an image in photoshop & choose image size. Then refer to the pixel dimensions (top arrow) and copy the smaller of the 2 numbers into the resolution box, insuring that the box resample is UNCHECKED (bottom arrow). Send the resulting image to a printer and you’ll be able to make the image-object comparison necessary to calculate magnification.

digital mag



Green Leaves

Constraints - 55mm nikkor @ f/1.2 with +4 diopter - Trans-Illuminated Leaves.

The subjects are green leaves, each with light coming from behind and thru. But the photographs are really about bokeh.

Bokeh is a Japanese term concerning the aesthetic quality of the blur produced in the out-of-focus parts of an image produced by a lens. Bokeh is not how far something is out-of-focus, but is the character of whatever blur is there.

These photographs were made with a rather old and fast lens (a 55mm f/1.2 nikkor dating to the late 1960’s). As differences in lens aberrations and aperture shape & size are primarily responsible for the appearance of the “quality” of the bokeh, the age of this lens’s timeworn design characteristics seem to make it an idea choice for an exploration of bokeh, particularly when photographing wide open (@ F/1.2). I also used an inexpensive +4 diopter lens to allow for tighter images and to accentuate the lens’s foibles.


A well-honed portrait could be viewed as evidence.
Images from this series are of SX70 polaroid portraits. They are autobiographical and forensic in nature. Identity is elusive.

evidence of life allowed
evidence of life lived
evidence of life

Mothra vs Godzilla

My son Talor built a beautiful balsa wood frame house in a high school architecture class. We kept it around our home for a long while.  Eventually, he decided to set it alight. I photographed the burning and was quite taken with the images.
For years afterward I envision an image series entitled “Burning Bechers”. (Check out the Becher's book Frame
Houses) The series just never came to pass.

Awhile back I was in harbor freight and discovered dye-cut wooden model kits of dinosaurs and insects. Easily assembled, relatively detailed and very flammable. I returned to a misspent childhood of watching too much Japanese Sci-Fi; Mothra vs Godzilla. These photographs are from these influences.

If there is a pyromania gene, it runs in my family.


In striving to make meaningful images often times we lose sight of the fact that at its most fundamental, photography is a visual means of expression. These are just pictures of fowl. Pretty ones indeed. Visual confection, satiating but not symbolic....Some times this is enough.

Ribs 4 Ways

The family had been eating ribs – I was looking at dieter applet’s photography & this image caught my eye. I asked my son Weston to model a sculpture after applet’s image.appelt

Series 1 – My intention was to photograph the bones over the course of a year – the bones were on a table outdoors. I photographed different times of day & moved the table to capture changes in the direction & quality of the light. I used every lens I had. Eventually the sculpture collapsed.

Series 2 – I wasn’t quite finished and asked Weston to build another piece –his next effort wasn’t what I expected. I photographed outside – but the images just weren’t working. I realized I would need to change my direction and worry less about continuing the series and think about starting anew. I brought the piece into the studio and photographed with a single lens and focus stacked. The photographs really need to be seen enlarged, the detail is quite stunning.

Series 3 – Yet another set of ribs. Thought I would work outside again & filled a large saucer with sand. This time I planned to reposition the bones after each photographic session. I neglected to account for drainage. The saucer filled with water after each rain. The bones began to dissolve. Again not what I had in mind. I brought the ribs into the studio, photographing with strobes & as a foil to series 2, I photographed with a shift lens – causing limited and interesting changes in focus. And as planned, I repositioned the bones regularly.

Series 4 –Edward Weston (my favorite photographer) made a truly outstanding image of seaweed under a sheet of glass. As homage, I added glass to the dissolving outdoor bones.weston
Very un-intentionally the color pallet of these images matches those of the first. The circle squared and series complete.

I worked for 20 months and shot 1500 images. Although there were many interesting images, these were chosen because they seemed to maintain a narrative thread.




Lobsters & Roaches

We used to have Lobster races the evening before Thanksgiving. The loser would go into the pot first. Our friend Jane insisted that Lobsters and Roaches were related. She never participated


After 9/11 almost everyone I know who makes art, made art. My son Talor and I made the images of police and firemen at that time. I’ve continued through the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq with images of solders.


In the early 90’s I recorded the broadcast news on vhs tape, frequently but not regularly. At the time I had a Targa frame grabber which allowed me to digitize single image frames from the tape. The process was quite tedious. Off a fraction of a second with a mouse click and the wrong portion of the tape was captured. This was pre PC Photoshop. RIO, TIPS & QFX were the software available, all now gone.

I searched the tapes for images of Clinton. I hadn’t any pre-conceived ideas about what I was looking for just Clinton and whatever he was on camera speaking about.

What interests me most about these photographs NOW is how little has changed. We are still discussing the Military & LGBTQ, Education, Immigration, Iraq, Healthcare, North Korea, Special Prosecutors, Human Rights ………

Morandi Homage

I had been working of series on images, which were explorations of photographic representation, and had been wondering about the minimum amount of information necessary for a readable image when I became acquainted with the paintings of Giorgio Morandi.

About Morandi: from "Giorgio Morandi" by Karen Wilkin
...a tug of war - between the specific and the elemental lies at the heart of Morandi's work. He seems to explore how much he can simplify before the objects … become unrecognizable. …It often seems as though he were testing the limits of representation… …objects seem to be on the brink of dissolving without ever quite relinquishing their recognizably solid origins. …apparently identical groupings of objects, altered by the addition or subtraction of a single element,..., can serve to completely shift the dynamic weight and the spatial logic of a given composition… …Taken one by one, the paintings are close studies in rhythm and balance…seen in series, intricate rhyme schemes surface as objects change shape, placement and chromatic tone…

Morandi’s paintings seem a perfect point of departure for this body of work. I have photographing still life’s in homage to Morandi. Although I am quite comfortable esthetically with digital image manipulation, these images are not of that ilk. Full resolution photographs are re-sized to 36 pixels wide and printed with an inkjet on transparency material. These small (3.6mm wide) prints are re-photographed microscopically and re-printed to 24 in x15 in. The dots on the enlarged photographs are actually drops of ink. I am beginning to understand the translation from large to small and back again to large and its affect on the limits of representation. I still have much to learn about Morandi’s approach to spatial logic.  

Restrooms in Public Spaces

I played chess at the Taggart’s every tuesday night for two years. While it was Tony’s move, Bonny spoke to me of art. Rauchenberg and Johns, Klee and Kline, the usual bunch. She believed that Duchamp anticipated all of 20th century Art. Rrose Selvay & R. Mutt’s Fountain. At the same time I was reading the Daybooks and discovered Weston’s Excusado.

These images are the most recent exploration of those influences.