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Abstract Photography

Photo Impressionism

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Photo Impressionism

Autumn foliage, Duck Brook, Acadia National Park, Maine, USA

I've never been a painter. But I wish I could paint. I envy those who can convey the sense of a scene in oils or watercolor, or artists who can conjure up scenes in their minds and commit them to paper or canvas. But instead, I use a camera to create my art. But unlike many photographers, my goal is to create a sense of a place (its essence), not just a snapshot of what it looked like. I want my viewers to see what it felt like.

I could've photographed this pool of water along Duck Brook the way it looked when I came upon it– deep water, littered with fallen leaves and surrounded by the rocky edges of the brook. But to me, I saw it differently. I noticed how the colors of the bright autumn foliage lit by the sun reflected in the water, if viewed from the right angle. And, even though it was almost imperceptible, the pool was slowly revolving, so I brought out that movement by using a slow shutter speed.

I think my interpretation of the scene is an image of the colors, movement and beauty of the scene. This is what the Impressionists in the late 1800's were trying to accomplish. Not a literal transcription of what they really saw, but more an artistic image of the feelings they had when they painted a scene.

I haven't picked up a paintbrush in many years, but instead I use my camera to paint scenes. Not all the time– occasionally a scene just photographs well with little artistic interpretation on my part; natural light paints its own beautiful images without any help from me. But I love the opportunity to use my camera to paint the landscape, and be an artist, not just a photographer.

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Opal Magazine Feature

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Opal Magazine Feature

“I’m looking at colors and the way the light plays on the landscape and using my camera to paint an image. I’m always trying to move beyond a snapshot, beyond the big, grand vistas, beyond recording just what I see in front of me.”

Back in June 2017, I had just driven 1300 miles to Bar Harbor, where I was going to show my work at the annual Art in the Park art fair, then doing some hotel photography afterwards. Literally, within a couple minutes of walking in the door of my hotel room, I received an email from the publisher of Opal Magazine, who wanted to do a feature on my photography for an upcoming issue. A couple weeks later, a writer called to interview me and the story was underway.

Opal is a high end publication for luxury hotels along the East coast, from Maine down to Florida. The coffee table magazine will be placed in every room at two of Bar Harbor's premier luxury hotels, the West Street Hotel and the Harborside Hotel, when they open this Spring.

It was a long wait, but I've just received my copies of the magazine and it looks great. They've published a nine page spread of my Abstract Acadia images, where, among other things, I use camera movement, fast and slow shutter speeds and multiple exposures to create more artistic interpretations of the landscape. The images chosen are pretty different from the usual pictures you see of Acadia, but I'm proud of the the fact that they wanted to feature these more creative images. You can see some of the images they chose below, or visit the full gallery on my website here.

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