2017 was a very productive year for me as a photographer. After coming off a long sabbatical from photographing, I was rejuvenated and inspired, eager to photograph as often as I could. Impatient and not wanting to wait for a particular project to develop, I thought about one of my earliest influences in photography, Aaron Siskind. Aaron Siskind was a photographer who was closely involved with the abstract expressionist movement while running in the same circles as Franz Kline, Mark Rothko, and De Kooning.
I can still remember the first time I saw one of Aaron Siskind’s prints. Here I was looking at a photograph for the first time as not being representational of the subject matter but rather as an abstract itself. I learned a great deal about composition from his work and how to address every part of the print, about visual weight and tension, how one element relates to another. My mind was blown and the course of my life was set from that moment forward. I wound up getting a degree in Photography with a Minor in Art History while going on to get my Masters in Fine Arts in Photography from Indiana University.
So now days when I’m between projects and needing to photograph, I remember one of my first photographic influences, and look for the abstract. I think I am the most comfortable shooting this way. Its a Zen thing I guess, just me and my camera. For me, success is when the image can stand on its own and perhaps invoke more questions than it answers.