When I began the Historic Ruins of the Bluegrass project I wanted to express both the deterioration and the beauty of the ruins. I used the HDR process because of polarities in the effects of the process: the grungy deterioration that was enhanced by the process, and yet the delicate rendering of detail. While I am a strong advocate of preservation, I am also deeply fascinated by the otherworldly beauty in the reclamation of the human built world by Time and Nature. In these images I explore memoir of place through light, decay and deep stillness within the unique beauty of each location.
The Images of the JE Pepper Distillery is the first in a series of documenting Bourbon distillery ruins from a creative perspective. I photographed this site for two years,mostly in the winter. Everywhere was color, pattern, form, texture, light, space and spirit. The building is both art piece, museum of isolated art pieces, and connected art pieces. From this gallery come the images for my first book,"Images of the J.E. Pepper Distillery Ruins" and the inspiration for my 2015 release "A Visual Archaeology of Kentucky Bourbon Distilleries" by the University Press of Kentucky.
My interest in industrial archaeology began as a result of the JE Pepper Distillery project. I went on to photograph three other distilleries in ruins, many foundations and remains of early distilleries, and finally the National Historic Landmark/Register areas of currently operating distilleries. I photographed these sites with an eye to both documenting the old distilleries and presenting an early twentieth century industrial still life. The images in this series are published in my book, The Birth of Bourbon: A Photographic Tour of Kentucky's Early Distilleries, by the University Press of Kentucky, coming in September 2015. In this gallery I present some of those images, plus some not contained in the book.
The Black and White image is able to convey an authentic representation of presence and time. By presenting the fundamental structure of what is happening through the polarities of black and white, we are able to go beyond the content of the photographed moment. Minor White called it "practical mysticism". The images in this gallery represent two series translated from film capture: "Paris, 1974", and "Shakertown: Light and Line".
Landscape photography for me is an exploration of the deeper relationships present within the natural elements and my own awareness. As I go out into Nature's landscapes I am searching for an intensified consciousness, an experience that is beyond, or adds to, what we expect to see and experience.
The Memoir Project: The images in this set use a Polaroid Transfer process to explore personal memory. Working with slides from 1974 when I was a student in Kentucky and later in Europe, I attempt to express memoir in a way that closely reflects remembered experience. I like the way the PT process has a hazy, aged softness because in a visual way, that is how the memories associated with the slides are experienced now for me. I barely remember the places in the slides, but the atmosphere presented in this transfer process match how I currently feel about the places: soft, quiet, without detail…