These images are part of a larger body of work that began for me in 2003, when I was taking photos out of the window of my car while driving down the road at 60mph. The resulting images, with their motion blur, affected me very strongly and changed the direction of my photography. I have continued to use and refine the camera motion technique because it challenges me, it allows me to continue to grow, and I love the images I create.
The tradition of landscape photography is based on static images, exposed using large cameras firmly attached to a tripod. The ideal has been to capture as much detail as possible. This camera motion work turns that ideal on its head. Moving the camera during the exposure wipes out the fine detail, and reveals only the essence of the scene: vertical tree trunks, horizontal ocean waves, broad swaths of color and bright patches of light.
All of the motion in my work is produced in camera. There is a craft involved in this. I love the fact that the final image is a collaboration of hand and eye. Individual points of light move across the image, and I control their movement: short strokes or long, straight or wavy. The result is an abstraction, freeing the image from the responsibility of representing a particular place. The images reveal the world in a way that we don’t normally perceive it. There is Mystery here, and Spirit. In some images everything quivers with life energy; yet other images achieve an almost perfect stillness.
My photography has always involved a search for both beauty and meaning. As a spiritual seeker, I am drawn toward the mystics who desire above all else the direct experience of the Divine. Being in Nature is where I experience the most profound sense of being “in the presence”. In each image, I am expressing how I felt, being alive in that place, in that moment.
While I respect the craft element involved in capturing the motion image, I also use digital technology. I use a digital camera, because seeing the image in the field gives me the instant feedback I need to fine tune my technique. I also use Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Lightroom software to achieve the color and contrast that I want. Seeing the tree paintings of Wolf Kahn and Tom Thomson inspired me to use color more expressively. For the longest print life, I use archival pigment inks on 100% acid-free cotton rag paper.