Imaginary Landscapes Eggs Urban Zen Stop Signs Cape Cod Spring in New York In the Loft With W. Eugene Smith Portraits



I am inspired by patterns in nature that defy size and scale and transform visually into imaginary landscapes. The title for this series of still-life photographs came to me when I discovered that my photograph of a kale leaf looked like an aerial view of a river delta. I love how the camera can move up close to a relatively small object — a vegetable, a fruit, a sea shell, or an egg — and transforms it into something monumental, like seeing the universe in an apple, or a planet in motion in the tiniest of sea shells, or the pattern of storm clouds in the florets of a cauliflower. It is interesting to note that the “imaginary landscape” of every image changes with each viewer. Often, one can see more than one “imaginary landscape” in every photograph. I believe this is proof of the power of imagination and creativity each human being possesses, not only artists.


Exposure and lighting is the key to photography, both for film and digital images. While my still-life photographs are not portraits, I approach each still-life subject as if it were a portrait. Arnold Newman's influence is present and can be seen in my lighting. What I learned from him is evidenced in the highlight-balanced, printable images that hold rich shadows and detail. Of equal importance is W. Eugene Smith's influence on my black and white printing process. Gene’s unique darkroom techniques, which to the untrained eye seemed as if his hands were dancing as he printed each one of his images, helped me attain the rich tones and deep shadows in my prints. At all times, my goal is to create black and white photographs that transcend technical wizardry and transform them into works of art.


These photographs were hand-printed by me in the darkroom. They are not Photo-Shopped or digitally manipulated in any way. I used a 4 x 5 View camera and B & W film. Eliminating reference points by coming in close to the object changed its scale. Lighting was essential to bringing out the solid forms, reflections, and textures that create the images. The quality of each print is consistent with others of the same image, but subtle variations do occur since they are all hand-made.


Apple Universe
Three Peaches
Swirl Shell
Saturn Shell
Cabbage Leaf
Kale Leaf Delta
Cauliflower Clouds