My photographic work has always been interested
in issues of perception, analyzing the way we look at and see the world
around us. This has led me to experiment with many different cameras
and film types: stereo cameras, toy cameras with plastic lenses, “half frame” cameras, pinhole
cameras, with infrared film as well as various “normal” color
and black and white films. In recent years I’ve been particularly
focused on working with a variety of pinhole cameras.
I’ve become fascinated with the way the pinhole camera can transform
very ordinary and mostly overlooked parts of nature and make them suddenly
become a mixture of beautiful, awe inspiring and even frightening. The
pinhole—or lens-less camera—has the unusual characteristic
of being able to show everything at an equal sharpness. Nothing is out
of focus—from subjects less than an inch from the camera to those
hundreds of feet away—something conventional cameras are incapable
of doing. This allows us to see very small subjects with clarity while
also showing the larger context. Additionally, because the cameras I
use have a wide angle of view, there is a startling shift in proportions.
Objects close to the camera take on a larger-than-life quality while
those more distant begin to look much smaller than we normally perceive
them to be. This has the effect of inverting our human perceptions of
spatial and size relationships.
The strangeness of the pinhole image allows me to take greater distance
from the “normal” and human perceptions of the natural world.
This has the effect of disrupting what we have come to understand as the
“natural order of things.” Little weeds that one rarely notices
(except with irritation) are seen from their own perspective and consequently
cease to be insignificant while natural objects big enough to capture
the attention of humans are pushed into the background to the point of
The resulting vision has a quality of the prehistoric—not only in
the sense where the monstrous size of elements evokes some bygone age
of mythic and titanic scale--but also in not showing a human presence.
Humans are completely absent from the pictures and it’s not clear
if we have yet to arrive in this world or if we’ve already become