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Artist's Statement

We live on an ocean planet and share it with many creatures. As the distinguished marine biologist Sylvia Earle says in the introduction to her book Sea Change, “the living ocean drives planetary chemistry, governs climate and weather, and otherwise provides the cornerstone of the life support system for all creatures on our planet from deep sea starfish to desert sagebrush. That’s why the ocean matters. If the sea is sick, we’ll feel it. If it dies, we die. Our future and the state of the oceans are one.”

I see my photographs as a harmony among art, science, and the spirit. I photograph in many different kinds of water, from the powerful saltwater oceans to the quiet beauty of the pristine freshwater Florida springs. When diving and snorkeling, I am captivated by the exquisite and diverse natural light that graces these environments and use it solely to light my pictures. It doesn’t matter if the water is crystal clear or muddy. In fact, the particulate matter–the mud and the muck–is the seasoning in the soup that helps create the magnificent variety in underwater light. Grainy film accentuates the look and “feel” of this environment. The photographs are black and white as well, sometimes toned to add browns to the traditional gray scale to further the “feel” of the atmosphere below...Photographing in these places is a visual, physical, and emotional experience.

I print my photographs on a large scale to envelop the viewer and bring him or her into my world. The pictures are elegant, and their tonal scale reminds many of historic drawings, etchings, or charcoals. they are big, beautiful seductions. the goal is to draw viewers to the pictures by hitting their hearts and guts just long enough to spark their own appreciation, curiosity, and quest for knowledge about these fascinating creatures and places. If my work can do this, then I have some small satisfaction about doing my part toward conservation of these places whose health is essential to us all.