This visual story arose when I joined Susan on a business trip to Hollywood, Florida in December of 2018. She had an academic conference to attend, while I was going to visit some friends and photograph what I saw and experienced.
What made an impact on me was the magnitude of the “built world” we have created to enjoy a more natural habitat. In addition, I was struck by the irony of valuing an ocean view in the place where we sleep. Finally, as I explored my surroundings, I came to feel the isolation of the “No Trespassing” signs, the gated communities, and the barrenness of the poured concrete.
These images are meant to share my interpretation of our relationship with the natural world and the habitat we have built to enable our enjoyment of that world. I hope you enjoy the view!
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Selected Past Stories:
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This story originated when the Greater Pittsburgh Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Pennsylvania asked me to volunteer my services and photograph the 2018 Pittsburgh Pride march. I normally don’t photograph people, but I found this opportunity to expand my visual vocabulary a compelling one. On the day of the march, I arrived early to photograph the marchers as they assembled, and then I found a street corner to capture the movement.
Several days later, I awoke with memories of listening to Sly and the Family Stone’s “Everyday People.” Instead of playing a “45,” I listened to it streaming and then read the lyrics and found them relevant to today’s LGBTQ community. So I title this project as such.
"Along the Rim"
This body of work arose after arriving at the Southern Rim of the Grand Canyon when a low-pressure system highlighted the canyon with a blizzard that dropped eight inches of fresh snow.
As with any trip, I usually take a book that I’ve been meaning to read but haven’t had the time for. On this trip, I packed Thich Nhat Hanh’s “The Art of Power” in which this Zen Master helps the reader to reframe power, ambition, success, and happiness. What I gained from my reading was the concept of being mindful and in the moment – to be aware of each breath and footstep. This turned out to be especially important, as I suffer from acrophobia. With many of the trails now covered with snow and ice, we needed to wear crampons on our hiking boots and to be extra aware of each footstep, especially along the rim where only a few feet separated the trail from the edge. Thanks to the reframing I took from the “Art of Power,” I was able to go beyond my fear of heights and hike both the Rim Trail and a trail down into the Canyon. The latter was something I thought that I would never do. These images reflect my experience of the Grand Canyon while I was under the influence of mindfulness.
The idea or inspiration for this body of work originated when I wanted to explore the concept of movement by photographing the sculptural textures or abstract configurations of these structures or conduits that provided for the flow of air, electricity, gas, and water.
This body of work was influenced by the 2014 International Center of Photography’s exhibition on “What is a Photograph?” that explored creative experimentation in photography. Giving myself freedom from tradition, I attempted to channel the exhibition and explore the role of light and composition on the subject at hand.
"Sitting In Traffic"
This story arose out of the frustration of not having time to focus on my art. My day job was keeping me very busy, so I decided to photograph when I had some time, and that meant during my commute to and from work. At first, it was a creative distraction. Then I started to realize that I was transforming the mundane, those things we see while driving that we take for granted, into something of interest.
As a cohesive catalog of images arose, the work itself became an exercise in seeing things differently. By reframing this constraint of time, I was now experiencing creative freedom. To expand upon this idea of reframing constraints, I decided to photograph every image in a square format to see what would further emerge.