Focused light hitting film creates an unseen “latent image”, physical changes in the emulsion revealed later by chemistry. Composition, lighting, and camera control are critical in producing this latent image. But beginning with my earliest darkroom experiences, the tools used to nurture and mold this latent image quickly became the paramount players in my own artistic process. I manipulated chemistry, temperature and agitation to impact the processed negative. And I relished sculpting prints by choreographing hand shadows over the enlarger easel and warming the developing emulsion with massage.
Digital cameras have changed my methods but not my art. The immediacy of the digital “raw” file has replaced the invisible latent image of film. An array of contemporary digital tools has supplanted wet darkroom techniques as the means of sculpting what the sensor records. But just as with film, the click of the digital camera shutter remains the true birth of any image I create. My artistic enjoyment derives from molding this “nascent image” in a search of humor, enigma, symmetry, tension, or simple beauty.