Pictura Poesis


Pictura Poesis and
Photographs from Memory

During the years in which I experimented with the hand-building of cameras most of my work was produced on black & white film. However, this process began as a self-directed study of shooting various color film formats and cross-processing. After receiving my undergraduate degree, I was working at a professional photo-lab that included the perk of free film processing. Therefore, I spared no expense on quality of film. Many of the results were simple color fields devoid of much discernible content since I had not quite figured out optics at the time. The first "successful" camera that was was able to capture a somewhat viable image led to the series Les √Čtudes shot on Fuji Velvia. Once I perfected a few imperfect cameras capable of producing a pinhole-like image at a fast shutter speed, I switched to black & white film since it was a format I could print myself.

Since that time I have only seldom shot color film in a hand-built camera. With the advent of digital technologies I continue to make images with modified cameras and custom lenses mounted to a DSLR. The series of work Photographs from Memory were some of the earlier prints from color negatives that were originally displayed along side some novice photographs from my youth.

After I began using a digital camera for color photography I decided to explore the notion of making the most optically deficient images possible, that I could still tolerate by their inherent use of color design. This work culminated in the series Pictura Poesis, referring to the Latin phrase, "Ut pictura poesis," from Horace's Ars Poetica, meaning, "As is painting so is poetry." This reference is intended to invoke the sense of an image as catalyst for one's ponderings. That is to say, when a viewer is denied the tangibility of focus in the photograph, it it left to their own devices to imbue the image with a more emotive quality dependent on their apprehension of the color palette.