When I applied to Architectural School, I had nothing but photography to show to the admission committee. Well, that and a planter I designed and built, which, in retrospect was just horrible. My photography from the first I bought a Pentax Spotmatic included a lot of shadows and lines and surprises revealed by the sun and material.
When I applied to Architectural school I had just completed a Masters Degree in Psyhology, specifically, Learning and Attention. When people would ask me about my previous M.S. degree, I first said , “with a dime I could get a cup of coffee.” Thus, dating myself and diminishing the value of this course of study as it applied to my new studies toward a career in Architecture.
Within a year or two of my 3 year program, I met James Prestini. Prestini was a world reknown artist of wood bowls and structural steel sculptures and the Professor of the introductory course in Design. As someone who started out his professional life as a machinist he felt and spoke about the influence of all of our previous experiences in our art. His turned bowls were a creation of a man who studied the woods and then had the skill to bring those hunks of wood into “full bloom” as an artistic piece that might be paper thin and in over 50 years have not warped a bit because he understood the forces within the wood.
What he helped me see was the language of my work and experiments in Learning and Attention often completely overlapped, mimicked, ran parallel to the language of Architectural Design. The leading of a person through a building, the special wall set off by regular walls that becomes even more special and the true draw of natural light in its changes of shadow and form as a day progresses.
My Master’s Thesis installation was Lighting and Design of one of Prestini’s reflective sculptures, and the sculpture was the person in the space because in its reflection it caught the built environment including well -intentioned but potentially glaring light. I gave a lecture called, “From Rats to Architecture” to the introduction to Design class and formalized that parallel language.
The written thesis was really a photographic and sketch narrative of Shadow, Reflection, Texture, Line and Transparency.
I have been a photographer of Shaddow, Reflection, Texture, Line and Transparency for over 50 years and my work has evolved in the past 5 years through my obsession with Japan and the dry gardens replete with all of these elements.
It is in this context I have continued to grow as a photographer adding Color, and improving composition through the use of my Digital SLR Camera.
Photography now, for me, is a form of meditation. I can be at the end of a day in which I have walked over 5 miles, and been out for over 10 hours at 3 temples and gardens exhausted and ready to go home and find a new moment that removes my sense of time, exhaustion, hunger or pain.
I share these photos with friends who, with the knowledge of my various photographic obsessions have found moments for their own that bring them Peace, Calm and Joy.
These are what these images bring me and I hope you will find that true for you as well.