The following gives insight into the creative process I employ to arrive at the images presented on this site and that are available for purchase as artworks. While every image has its own unique story, the creative process outlined below forms the basis for all the images which collectively form the vision that is Driven West.
Scenes and Subjects
Loaded with strong coffee, choice music for the open road, and a very simple camera set up, I journey in my trusty Land Cruiser in pursuit of scenes and subjects which strike a rusty chord and embody the collective vision that is the photographic art of Driven West. The travel is a mixture of planned experiences and spontaneous excursions. Often I crisscross the prairie or dusty mountain logging roads without knowing where I'm at or where exactly I'm headed. The curiosity and spontaneity of exploration drive me along toward seeing, and capturing in image, what's around the next bend and across the next field. Often the scenes I'm drawn to are as much about what is not present as about what is present. Empty and open spaces, and the wildlife which inhabit them, are becoming more and more scarce in our country these days. But in the Northern Rockies and adjoining prairie, they are still plentiful and ready to experience for those willing to burn some gasoline and stir up some dust.
Like my traveling approach, my capturing of images is a mixture of technical application and impulsive on the fly shooting. Often conditions can be unpredictable. Weather, wildlife, and lighting can be fleeting. With a simple camera setup I'm able to focus on mobility and the pursuit of subject matter, often choosing to quickly move on to the next scene rather than staying to exploit a good scene to exhaustion. While sound technique and understanding of photographic principles serve as a foundation, the emotional presentation of a subject and the vigorous pursuit of an idyllic vision serve as true catalysts. Ultimately, "perfect" exposure and technique are secondary to emotional content and the making of a compelling impression.
Once captured, images are brought into the digital work environment to undergo a unique blend of processing. The mark of fine art photography, as opposed to commercial photography or a mere snap shot, is the artist seeing and presenting something which others viewing the same scene did not see. To this end, this is where I take my images to a different level and present images which are consistent with the mood and feeling of a scene or subject, but which often look quite different from what was apparent at the moment of capture. Sometimes these differences are more subtle while others are drastic and dramatic. It is my aim to go beyond showing the obvious or fixating on sharpness, megapixels, saturation, and technical appropriateness. I wrestle with and manipulate images until I feel they have reached a certain level of artistic expression and have gone far enough beyond the conventions of common nature photography. These days, through various media, we are constantly presented with extremely high quality imagery. From printed car ads to animated movies to the pictures we can edit and post from our smart phones, our lives are visually saturated with very advanced and high quality imagery. Consequently, we can become desensitized to imagery and what once impressed can become commonplace. As an artist it is my challenge to swim against and cut through those waves of images with art that is compelling, relevant, and emotionally stirring.
All images are finally produced to create lasting pieces of art which benefit the owner and bring pleasure and intrigue to viewers. A single professional lab produces all canvas giclee prints while I produce all matted fine art prints and note cards in house on a professional-grade Epson printer. This ensures excellent quality control and superior color renditions in all artworks. The materials chosen are archival-standard and provide elegant and striking renditions of Driven West artwork.