I am a confirmed digital photographer. But as a passionate landscape photographer, I am acutely aware of the limitations of digital technology in that pursuit. Even among higher-end digital cameras, the technology has not yet reached a point at which individual digital images can meet the resolution and quality standards of scanned images from medium and large format film. This shortcoming is particularly evident in the creation of fine art landscape images, often most advantageously displayed in large format, high-resolution prints. I have sought to overcome this limitation by creating stitched mosaics from arrays of juxtaposed digital images. Using robust mosaic-stitching software, I am able to produce seamless, large format, high-resolution images of a quality comparable to the larger film formats. Preparation of a finished mosaic of 24 or more component photographs may require days for setup, processing, modification and finishing to my satisfaction. Some of the more challenging mosaics, shot in rapidly changing light or with moving subjects, may require several attempts to get it right. However, there is considerable creative satisfaction in the process and in the result. I do not feel a need to wander too far from my Centreville, Virginia home to practice my avocation for landscape photography. I find particular satisfaction capturing glimpses and hints of a disappearing life and natural setting in rural Virginia, a region that is yielding far too quickly to the chain saw and bulldozer. For me, the pleasure of “being there” when I find an image worth capturing is an integral part of the joy of the pursuit.
I shoot with relatively inexpensive lightweight and flexible equipment. I process my images digitally, but I use no distorting digital “artistic filters.” Still, I am not interested in capturing photographic time-slices of reality. In my stitched landscape mosaics, I seek to achieve an image effect that is sharp in resolution and yet soft, and sometimes even surrealistic, in tone and feeling. Giclee printing with high-end Epson printers using century-durable pigment inks on archival fine art papers lends itself well to this desired effect. I consider it a compliment, and a success, if my mosaic landscapes are sometimes initially mistaken for paintings.
I hope that viewers will find my images compelling and emotive, touching them in a meaningful way, and conveying my love for, and awe at the natural and visual gifts with which we have been endowed.
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