Contemporary Prairie Art
Landscapes of Solitude
I am an artist using the medium of photography. My approach to photography is pictorial, meaning I accentuate tone, texture, values, color, and composition over the literal depiction of reality. I return to the same places in rural McHenry County, Illinois, near my home in Woodstock, in each season. With such familiarity, I’m able to capture the essence rather than the reality, the mood rather than the place.
Although I head out with my camera in all seasons, I prefer early spring, late fall, and winter, when forms are simplified, and the light is the most enticing. I like mornings at first light, preferably when fog hugs the ground and softens forms and colors. Details are lost, which adds mystery. Very often, I include telephone poles, silos, roads, barns, sheds, trails, and lanes as subjects or compositional elements. I also frequently use a long, horizontal format to emphasize the flatness and starkness of the landscape. My color palette is muted and harmonious.
I view photography as an art, not a craft. The camera is a tool, like a painter’s brush. Therefore, I do not burden myself with gear. I use one camera with a full-frame sensor and one lens. I shoot wide and decide on my composition when I see the photograph on the computer. Design is the element upon which success depends. A successful picture incorporates only one idea. A successful picture also evokes an emotional response in the viewer.