In my family, creative endeavors werenít so much encouraged as taken for granted. I grew up surrounded by artists and instinctively knew that these were my people.
I've worked as a musician, directed theater, and written screeplays for Hollywood. But when I came across a box of photos Iíd taken as a kid, I was really startled. Strangely, they worked.
I began shooting again. The photos were terrible. But it was the start of a journey to rediscover and explore many intangible things that I realized I'd lost while growing up. Now, in each photograph, I'm trying to reconnect to that simple and unaffected way of seeing.
I photograph the world as I find it, trying to approach each subject with wonder and awe. Iíd like to see through my lens if were opening my eyes for the first time. Who is this person? Whatís going on here? How could this be?
Iím skeptical of the decisive moment. For me photography is a process of discovery. Itís also a physical performance: things have a way of changing when you point a camera at them. Iím intensely aware of the way the act of photographing is an inherent part of the result. Everything I do becomes part of the image.
I work almost exclusively with large format cameras, not much different from those used a hundred years ago. I often use homemade and vintage lenses, and I print my work using simple, traditional chemical processes Ė silver gelatin toned in selenium, and kallitype toned in platinum. For me, a great photograph is more than an image. Itís a mysterious artifact with its own special gravity.