PHIL IS a Seattle-based photographer specializing in cultural documentary and abstract “impressionist” photography. He shoots with available light on-site at locations ranging from urban barbershops to remote elk fields. Having been an environmental scientist for close to 30 years (a hydrologist focusing on rivers and streams), he thrives on in-depth investigation and strives to convey the details and nuance of what is going on below the surface.
Using a camera capable of producing images with vast amounts of visual information, he further explores images during the “digital darkroom” phase, bringing out the visual aspects that best depict the feeling and intention behind the project. He produces photographic prints on an archival pigment printer and enjoys framing and mounting his work to present cohesive statements to a range of audiences.
'TO SEE a world in a grain of sand and a heaven in a wild flower, hold infinity in the palm of your hand, and eternity in an hour… ”
– William Blake: “Auguries of Innocence”
“…Ring the bells that still can ring. Forget your perfect offering. There is a crack, a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in. That’s how the light gets in. That’s how the light gets in…” – Leonard Cohen: “Anthem”
How we view life is grounded in our identity – the stories we tell ourselves, which then affects how we live. Identity in turn is a function of history, environment, time and place. I’m interested in how this is expressed in the diversity of thought, expression and interaction of world cultures, particularly those that are present locally. Exploring and manifesting this provides meaning for my work.
I experienced loss at an early age, so I retain an awareness of the transitory nature of life, and that what we perceive as concrete certainty in any one place, person and thing may be different if viewed through a different lens.
MY PHOTOGRAPHY ranges from documentary to “impressionist”, with imagery often starting in one place and ending in the other. I see the camera as a tool, sometimes like a paintbrush, sometimes like a tape recorder. I use techniques such as intentional camera movement and “storyboarding” of multiple images as alternative approaches to express emotion and storyline through photography.
Having spent the majority of my life working as a scientist informs my work in that I continue to follow a process of observation/intuiting, gathering, synthesis, and sharing through presentation and communication. I believe that there is science in art and art in science. I also believe that traveling both paths simultaneously can lead to greater discovery, insight, and the ultimate goal of transcendence.