I work very simply, using two cameras with fixed (prime) lenses. I prefer available light, or a simple light arrangement and never use flash.
Rather than using large amounts of equipment, I rely instead upon my own inspiration and the creative collaboration I share with the model. This collaboration is often built upon years of regular work together (see: Galleries / Julia). Knowing the person in front of the lens at a deeper level, I believe, is reflected in all sorts of subtle ways in the finished image (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FoirzoKMSHA).
Many well-known artist and photographers have used a similar approach. Sally Mann, Jock Sturges and Andrew Wyeth are examples that have inspired me. I am also moved by the paintings of Giorgio de Chirico and the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood.
Having come from a tradition of drawing with pencil on paper, my previous use of the chiaroscuro technique has influenced my photographic imagery. This technique is used by me in Photoshop when editing (see below: Photoshop).
I have always worked with manual cameras, or driven in manual mode.
I arrange my subject in real life and compose in-camera. This limits having to manipulate and edit the image later on. I like to keep things real and place an emphasis upon my photo taking skills, rather than rely upon an editing program to correct or alter the final image.
Having shot Nikon cameras for twenty years, I have now moved to a medium format digital camera.
The Leica S (type 006) offers a range of advantages over other SLR style cameras. It has an image sensor that is almost 60% larger than the full (35mm) sized sensors in other brands.
It also captures in 16 bit depth DNG files. Most other SLRs shoot only in 14 bit depth and use a brand-specific RAW file that must be converted for use in other applications. DNG is the standard file type used for archiving in libraries, galleries and museums, requiring less interpolation of the original image.
Finally, the Leica lens has a well deserved reputation for quality that is the equal of other professional brands like Schneider and Carl Zeiss. In a nutshell, the Leica S shoots a larger, sharper image that has four times the dynamic range of other SLR style cameras.
As an artist wanting to produce high quality images from around the world, the Leica S offers me a camera that produces the quality I want.
Adobe Photoshop is the only photo editing program I use to process my images.
I have used Photoshop continuously since version 5.0 and have taught others in its use since 2003. Like my photography, I prefer to keep things simple. Rather than trying to be a jack of all trades, I have chosen to master only one.
Photoshop is one of the most powerful and complex creative tools ever invented. No two people use this program in exactly the same way, so the results are always unique to each individual. Over time, I have evolved a range of techniques that are peculiar to my work.
Mastering the use of a brush tool and the curve box allows me to achieve most of my editing work. As much as possible, I remain faithful to the original image capture. To this end, I make as fewer adjustments as possible.
Capturing true 16 bit images and importing them into Photoshop at the same bit depth has altered the way I use the program. Digital images are weakest in the dark (left-hand side) of the histogram. Working in 16 bit however, has allowed me far greater latitude in creating solid dark tones and recreating the chiaroscuro effects I once used in drawing with pencil.
Rather than relying upon my technical artifice, I try to focus my energy on the subject in front of the camera and the ideas or emotion that motivated me to take the image. High production values are no substitute for narrative or real substance.