Since the beginning of my career, I have occasionally made photographs that appear less like a photograph and more like a painting. Although my work would mainly be categorized as “documentary,” there were other images that I captured while in the field that clearly did not fit into the “documentary” paradigm.
The other photographs all seemed to have something in common — an unusual quality of light. Eventually, in 2012 I asked: How could this machine, the camera, produce something from reality that transcended the moment depicted and resemble an artist’s painted rendition of it instead?
The Painting Light series is a demonstration of the thoughts that have evolved. As I began to seek out this special kind of light and play with it through numerous experiments, I learned that the quality of light I captured in the camera which rendered the best painterly effects depended on the convergence of a few different aspects: the color of the ambient light; its direction in relation to the subject; its intensity; and the camera/light source axis. As a result, I have discovered several ambient light situations where the likelihood of producing a painting-like photograph is quite high.