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The best photographs are all about the right light, at the right time, on the right subject. I have long embraced light, art and science to produce photography in several genres and I use, arguably, the best glass in the world to capture that light. Here is how I got started and my journey learning light.
I grew up in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. I spent considerable time hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains and Pisgah National Forest. As I got older, I added film photography to my hikes. I learned to see the early morning light and evening colors. This is where the light in my photography first developed.
Like any child, I also loved to draw. In the second grade Col. Williams, born in 1898, gave me a watercolor picture of a lion cub he had painted. He talked with me for days about painting. I was instantly obsessed with water color painting, which I continued for over a decade. The creation of colors on paper sparked the art in my photography as I studied the light in art.
After high school I began studying Physics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. This was in the 1980’s and 35mm black and white film photography was taught in the physics department. There, I spent three years teaching the photography lab - developing film, printing photographs and mounting them for display. This was the science of my photography and was where I began to refine light in my images.
My mix of experiences has enabled me to develop a unique vision in several photographic areas. I use medium format and 35mm format Leica cameras. Leica lenses have an incredible history of science, and mounted on the medium format Leica cameras, paint light on the sensor. This is my passion - to capture the light and paint photographs with my camera.
I concentrate on landscape photography and documentary work, having published books in both areas. A variety of projects are always underway and my current work includes the importance of protecting our natural resources and the relationship of humans in nature. My focus is the coastal areas of South Carolina and a collection of work from Iceland.
I also created a non-profit, Mission Photography, promoting the education of social and humanitarian projects worldwide through documentary photography. The first publication from this organization is centered in Bayonnais, Haiti. Images from the work, A Fly in a Donkey’s Eye, are being curated now for a gallery here. The net proceeds from these images will go to benefit the organization supporting Bayonnais and all works include a tax-deductible charitable component. Sign up for Coffee Talk to hear about the release dates first.
If you want to see more about what I have done, read about my accomplishments.
David in Iceland, 2018.
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