Images in the portfolio, Earth Forms attempt to capture what is nearly beyond the camera’s grasp: a desert land
shaped by millennial forces and yesterday’s cloudburst into undulations of color and form – its history reimagined in light that at once penetrates and sculpts.
For the poet Joy Harjo, “the(se) photographs are not separate from the land or larger than it. Rather, they
gracefully and respectfully exist inside it. Breathe with it. The camera is used to see with a circular viewpoint which becomes apparent even though the borders of the images remain rectangular. The land in these photographs is a beautiful force, in the way the Navajo mean the word beautiful, an all-encompassing word, like those for land and sky, that has to do with living well, dreaming well, in a way that is complementary to all life.”
I bring to this landscape the sensibilities of an astronomer who has lived in the desert for almost 20 years, and in whom the desert has lived for more than 30. My tools are simple: a 35mm SLR or 4×5 view camera, and long focal length lenses whose power to compress vast desert spaces can create an illusion of intimacy, of comprehension: inviting viewers to look deeply into what light and earth together form.