People often ask me what my favorite photograph is. I’m never quite sure what it is they really want to know. One photographer glibly stated that his favorite was the one that made him the most money. I usually have to live with my pictures it for a long time, and consider them in different states of mind to decide if I like them. Sometimes my first impressions are right, but often not. I find that if my first feeling is positive but lukewarm, it may grow on me. At first look I often project the excitement I experienced in taking the picture, and later on I realize that this excitement is only in my expectations for it, and not in the picture itself. It takes me a while to see this. Like looking at any art, I usually have to see it over time to fully get to know and appreciate it. It takes me a lot of time and effort to make a print, and I choose which images to print very carefully. If an image doesn’t continue to excite me throughout the whole process, I’ll abandon it. Why should I expect others to like it if I don’t?
Some of my prints are universally popular. Others appeal to just a few people, but they are passionate about it. It’s all a matter of personal taste. Just because everyone likes a print doesn’t mean it is a superior image. Some of the world’s greatest art was disliked for years before becoming appreciated. As a licensed artist I am the decider of what I like, and I print it the way I want it to look. Frequently the pieces I think are my best only appeal to a few people. But I like all of them, but for different reasons.
Minor White said that some photographs are important only to the photographer, because they just document the artist’s personal process and evolution, and that these photographs should never be shown. Only the ones that speak universally should be. Times have changed, and in this age of diversity it is acceptable to share all sides of ourselves with all types of viewers. One never knows where a connection will be made. One of my most satisfying experiences as an artist was when one viewer broke into tears looking at one of my prints. Even if no one else ever paid any attention to this print, it was worth making it just for this one person.
My favorites usually have a story behind them, which will be on the captions box in the gallery. I find that artists statements interpreting their own work sometimes don’t resonate with what I see in it, and may even ruin my appreciation of it. So I will avoid interpretation. What I really love is when a particular piece evokes a different response in each viewer. I feel like I have reached some special level of communion when this happens. If you like a piece then perhaps it’s better not to read the caption. If you don’t like it, then maybe you should! Consider my captions as just stories that go along with a picture.
So it is with great trepidation that I present my favorites here, along with all these disclaimers. I post them at my peril; you read them at yours. Enjoy!