My background as a newspaper photographer in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s heavily influences my photography today.
As a photographer for a small daily newspaper, we routinely cruised the area looking for feature photographs. We often operated under deadline pressure to find that compelling photograph for the front page.
Like then, much of my current work is the result of hours spent wandering, looking for interesting images. I frequent the two-lane country roads and highways in rural America searching for what is often unseen, the components I believe make a great photograph. Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Eastern Kentucky and Route 66 are some of my favorite destinations.
I still prefer to work in B&W with available light in a documentary fashion. This carries through my image processing, where most images have little manipulation other than the conversion to B&W along with expert adjustments to density and contrast.
Over 25 years of darkroom experience processing hundreds of rolls of film and making thousands of prints has given me the experience and insight to use today’s technology in a way few can.
One of the challenges was finding a digital B&W printing method that equaled or surpassed what I did in the darkroom. After two years of research I started using a dedicated black and white ink set combined with special software developed by Jon Cone. Today I use a professional grade Epson printer with a custom set of Cone K7 Piezography inks that allow me to achieve the tonal range, highlight and shadow detail equal to or better than traditional darkroom prints.
These inks use carbon as the pigment, which makes them resistant to fading. I use these inks on a 100 percent cotton paper with minimal optical brighteners in a matte finish. Prints are matted using archival materials and methods. This means an experienced picture framer can easily remove the print from the mat with no damage to the print.