The images in this Vistagraphos portfolio represent a selection of my panoramic
photographs or "Vistagraphs" from locations in Australia, Canada, France,
Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Nepal, New Zealand, the Philippines, Thailand,
the U.S.A., as well as in and around my current home of Vancouver, British
Columbia, site of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.
Inspired by the creative works of travel Photographer Macduff Everton, landscape
photographer Ken Duncan and Master photographer Garry Winogrand, I am attempting
to present compelling environmental landscapes by capturing drama, atmosphere,
beauty and humanity as they relate to land, nature and form. In my Vistagraphs
I strive to achieve a visual equilibrium in my compositions. By using a balance
between light and shade and colour as well as horizontal and vertical tension,
I can create lines of energy that will escort the viewer’s eye around, across
and ultimately into the Vistagraph's topography. When some or all of these
elements act in combination, I am then able to describe many different points
of view in a single landscape with the subject not always central, but fundamental
to it's given location.
"It is a tool to make art that is a reaction against the refined glass
optics that control the way in which we see the world around us…"
Mark Sink (from "Some random thoughts on Diana")
"I woke somewhere in between a memory and a dream."
Tom Petty ("You Don't Know How It Feels" from the album "Wildflowers")
Even in today's modern era of photographic science, an intimate relationship between light and film will always exist, regardless of technology. This relationship is the inspiration for a work in progress I call "Hawkeye". By employing the limited mechanical design and inherent physical flaws of a vintage Canadian made Kodak Brownie Hawkeye camera, I'm attempting to utilize a simple photographic device to combine my subconscious aesthetic with the most basic principle of the photographic process - to capture light on film as a construct in the illusion of memory as it exists in the relationship between time and space. With "Hawkeye", I have created these fine art black and white photographs to represent a study in local Vancouver iconography that is wrapped in a subliminal narrative. I am asking the viewer to observe sets of three iconographic images, to make his or her own interpretation of each and to discern the relationship connecting them. I feel that once the viewer is transported into the narrative and beyond the contrast or sharpness or tonality in my photographs, they will have been enabled to see beyond the technology and formulate a deeper understanding of what I've created. By trusting this camera to let me redefine my role in the aesthetic process, I can work in a way that is more fortuitous than random, analogous to combining found objects with an emotional commentary.
Following in the tradition of my series "Hawkeye" I’ve chosen to use a
vintage Kodak Brownie Hawkeye camera and combine it with my subconscious
aesthetic to neutralize the tacit symbol of consequence that is represented by
the imagery of modern military aircraft.
For three days in August during the annual Abbotsford International Air
Show, the public is granted access to the airport's runways to see static
displays of modern military aircraft. With this access, I was able to
photograph their massive scale first hand – literally – by walking in, under
and around these impressive machines. The more I explored the more I began
to notice how I felt intimidated by their enormous size and threatened by the
palpable raw power that they possessed.
With "Airshow" I am again exploiting the limited mechanical design and inherent
physical flaws of my Brownie camera in an attempt to deconstruct this personal
concept of intimidation and reduce it into abstraction. This process allows me to
disconnect my perceived threat from it's own reality. In this series I want my
photographs to appear less symbolic and more dream like, and I've done this by
isolating individual elements, taking them out of context and ultimately rendering
them into somewhat unrecognizable forms. My desire is to utilize this juxtaposition
to turn these war machines into beautiful curiosities.