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Detail from: Secrets of a Shared Existence
My interest in photography began when I was thirteen...
...and led me, eventually, to study Fine Arts in Photography.
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While in college I came across a process camera. Looking something like the camera shown here, they are generally used by engravers for copy work. I started experimenting with combining pictures into a mock-up which I would then re-photograph using the process camera and a 4x5 film back. The resulting negative was then printed in black and white. Thus began my lifelong interest in photomontage. The properties of the medium availed itself to the creative freedom of painting with the unique characteristics of photography.
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Here are some examples of the work done using the process camera. While somewhat crudely constructed, I believe they reflect my enthusiasm for the medium--it was like learning to write. Each one had parts that were hand-colored making them one of a kind. Many years later I would start printing in color allowing me to take advantage of one photography's greatest assets, repeatability.
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One could argue that the DNA of this process, combining pictures to make a singular statement, goes back to the use of Hieroglyphics or perhaps even cave paintings. Fortunately, I had the advantage of photography's long-established syntax. My photography background provided me with an understanding of how photographs are structured, e.g., shadows, light, and depth of field. With those tools I could borrow on the relationship we already have with photography.
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Left: My digital studio in the 1990's

Until 1991 my work was done mechanically; literally cut and pasting. My desire to expand my visual repertoire coincided with the advent of digital imaging. It was like going from cutting pictures with knife between my teeth to having both hands freed. Digital imaging released the photograph from its analog binds and made it as malleable as one's imagination. However, I didn't give up working mechanically all together. Rather I integrated it into my existing mechanical process. That hybrid process, that included both digital and traditional methods, resulted in work lacking the "thumbprint" of either. At the time digital imaging was a new concept, making this way of working attractive from both an aesthetic and technical perspective.
Below: The processor I used for making 20x24 Cibachromes in the 1990's
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In the late 90's I had an opportunity to publish a book on the subject of photomontage (Photomontage: A Step-By-Step Guide to Building Pictures). It covered the fine points of mixing digital and mechanical techniques. While many of the digital references are now out of date, the gallery section has stood the test of time providing a glimpse into the diverse applications of photomontage. In recent years I've integrated three dimensional imaging into my process. While I've maintained my connection with photography, most of the mechanical techniques have been greatly reduced or eliminated. For example, my darkroom has been replaced with a large format printer. Others may be nostalgic, but frankly I don't miss the dark, fumes, or hours of trial and error.
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Right: My hand coloring and copy area in the 1990's
The work on this site is in chronological order starting with the most current series; Temptations in Paradise. However, viewers may want to begin with the older work first to better view the progression in context.