Light is the guiding force and leading element in the photographs I make. It is a demonstrable element or it is a subtle element, but it is always the element that makes an ordinary photograph extraordinary.
I am always looking for where and how light impacts a scene or a subject. It can be a "splash" of light thrown against a building as the sun rises or it can be looking directly into the sun and how it provides a silhouette and further enhances a subject with its rays. At other times it is an interior scene where sun creeps into windows, doors and under-noticed crevices, touches various surfaces producing an overall mood of drama in a photograph. Similarly, my studies of ordinary objects captured in their random existence celebrate abstract qualities that in their happenstance are fascinating moments in artistic expression.
As I teach photography, I try to help my students of all ages to find that kernel of artistic expression within and discover ways in which they can exploit that expression. That comes about with patience attention paid to tried and true visual practices and allusions made to other artistic genres.
I help students understand that each approach to a photographic moment - that moment in which they consider making a photograph - is the sum total of all of their heretofore moments of visual and auditory experiences fomented as sensibilities to capture new moments of artistic expression.
Each time they listen to a musical composition regardless of whether it is classical or jazz or bluegrass, their immediate appreciation for it, imprints upon their brain and is recorded as a complete sensory moment devoid of value judgments.
Those judgments are made at other times, but initial exposure records that which is seen or heard. All of such moments are brought to successive experiences where they consider making a photograph. Therein lies the moment of judgment in which the artist, through composition and the use of his instrument, decides how to depict the scene. The craft of using those tools is the craft of judgment and scrutiny.
It is then incumbent on me to assist them in crafting that moment into a resulting photograph that has a strong visual statement. Through repetition and exploration, the use of visual concepts and practices as well as understanding their instrument, I encourage them to begin creating a memory system to be used when they consider making a new photograph.
The approach I take to teach photography is synonymous with how I produce my artwork.