I’ve always loved taking photographs. From the time I took my first pictures as a high school kid with my Instamatic 126 camera, I knew that photography would be with me for a lifetime. I’m also in love with architecture. Sometimes I find myself fascinated by the way a building’s rooflines and walls intersect, the compositions of structure and sky and wall and shadow. It was only natural that I should combine my two loves. All of my photographs are architecturally inspired; even when I’m not photographing buildings, I tend to see the basic structure of things, their underlying geometries.
My early influences included the works of Helmut Newton, Eugene Atget and Ansel Adams, three photographers whose names are rarely mentioned in one breath: a German über-high-fashion provocateur; a French chronicler of the decay and decadence of the city of Paris and its gardens; and the quintessential champion of the American landscape. The thing they have in common, and the thing that influenced me most, is a formality and elegance of composition. Their photographs are highly structured and arranged, like a perfectly ordered sitting room or the place settings on a banquet table. That strength and clarity of vision is what I seek in my work.
I approach photography with a very back-to-the-basics philosophy: I believe that what I see in my camera’s viewfinder should be the photo I want to take. I shoot on film, and don’t digitally manipulate my images or tinker with them at the lab. I don’t use any special lenses or effects filters, a polarizing filter being the only exception. My camera is a 35mm completely manual Ricoh. It’s an old friend.
My partner and I travel as much as we can, and several years ago we discovered South Miami Beach. It was a revelation. The glamorous Art Deco and Streamline Moderne buildings of the city’s Art Deco District were created to be photographed. Even when these gorgeous wedding-cake concoctions are shabby and neglected, they’re sleek, modern and undeniably sexy. If it were possible for buildings to pose for the camera, these would be the fashion models. Or the centerfolds. They’ve become my muse, and have profoundly affected the way I take photographs. As you look at my photos, I think you’ll see what I mean.