Since most people feel that it is imperative that photographic work be characterized as one genre or the other, I feel that I am at a slight disadvantage. When I make a photograph, very little thought goes in to what type of photograph this is going to be, but rather, I am simply responding to something that has moved me. To that end, I guess that if my work has to be labeled, the only label that fits is self-expression.
Granted, my earliest influences, Gordon Parks and W. Eugene Smith, moved me towards storytelling, but later visual mentors such as Ansel Adams and Roy DeCarava infused me with a technical and aesthetic sensibility. The end result hopefully is an image that is technically beautiful, aesthetically inspiring and speaks to the viewer.
I am not as interested in making photographs of beautiful sunsets or natural landscapes or pretty flowers as I am in making beautiful photographs of subject matter that at first glance one would not normally recognize as beautiful. The greatest gift that I have inherited as a photographer is the ability to see beyond the obvious. I choose to look at what is there and discover how to “see” it better. That is one of the reasons I choose to photograph in black and white. A black and white image is naturally abstract and thereby strips away the façade of color that can work to influence the viewers impression of the subject matter, or worse yet, cause the viewer to overlook the subject altogether. One is almost forced to contemplate a black and white image.
For the same reason I have very little use for digital post-processing of my images. I Try do as much as I can in-camera (exposure, cropping) so I have to do no more in post processing than what is necessary to produce a high quality print.