I have spent most of my professional life as an astronomer, searching out patterns encoded in the light from distant stars in the hope of understanding how our sun and solar system came to be. Over a research career spanning four decades, I have spent countless hours perched on remote mountaintops, looking upward mostly, but also contemplating the desert below during those precious moments of quiet and solitude before and after nights spent at the telescope.
During those times, I became drawn to, then seduced by the changing patterns of desert lands sculpted by the glancing light of the rising and setting sun: light that reveals forms molded both by millennial forces and yesterday's cloudburst into undulations of shapes and colors. In response, I began what has become a 30-year long devotion not only to capturing in images those remarkable patterns and the rich history they encode, but to attempting the nearly impossible: via camera, paper, silver and ink, to evoke and perhaps recreate the powerful emotional responses that desert lands elicit in me. My tools are simple - a 4x5 view camera or 35mm SLR, and long focal length lenses whose power to compress space can create an illusion of intimacy, of comprehension, inviting viewers to look deeply into what light and earth together form.
During the past three decades, most of my work has centered on interpretations of the landscape itself. More recently, freed by digital cameras from the physical and psychological burdens of large view cameras and heavy tripods, I have turned my attention from the macro- to micro- worlds: choosing to image fragments of the desert and seaside beaches that express in their quiet, understated way the same powerful combination of pattern, history and emotion as the grander landscape.