I’m 36 years old and live in the Philadelphia suburbs of Southern New Jersey. I have degrees in chemistry and nursing and currently work in the pharmaceutical industry. Since graduating college in 1991, I have found the need to step out of the right brain and have been more interested in the arts.
I started photography when I began to hike and backpack. It was a way to capture the beautiful scenes I encountered. I bought my first SLR in 1992, when I realized that my point and shoot wasn’t capable of capturing the images I wanted. I became instantly hooked.
Photography moved from a hobby to a serious passion about three years ago through a combination of things. I learned how to process film and print in the darkroom. This showed me the true potential of a negative and that pressing the shutter was only half the process. I began to read a variety of books and magazines on composition and the technical aspects of photography, which helped me fine tune my technique.
About a year and half ago, I began to participate in informal internet forums. Being able to view work and receive feedback from a variety of diverse individuals opened my eyes to the infinite potential of the medium.
My greatest photographic influence has been Harry Callahan. His work showed me the potential in intimate subjects and how techniques such as multiple exposures and camera movement can create images that evoke feelings and moods that go beyond documenting a subject. This has been crucial to my work because I live in area that is not know for it’s scenic beauty. There are no massive peaks, vast landscapes, or dramatic waterfalls in my region. Much of my work is taken in small urban/suburban parks, my garden, and patches of woods between strip malls and housing developments. I also draw inspiration from various non-photographic artistic medium. Painters have been a great influence, especially the impressionists.
I shoot 35 mm format, use lenses ranging from 15 mm to 300 mm, and shoot every type of film, from slow high resolution color slide to fast, grainy, black and white print film. While my work here is more traditional, I believe that there are no rules and also use a variety of techniques such as hand tinting, various wet darkroom processes, and digital manipulation. My strongest area is nature and scenery but I also enjoy still life, architecture, and abstraction.
My next photographic challenge is black and white street photography. While the images are my ultimate goal with photography, the process is the true reward. Being able to study the environment and realize the potential in everything, and then reveal this to others is the true essence of photography to me. It's like being a child again.