. . . was schooled severely in early life, obtaining a Ph.D. in biology in 1978. But Michael balances his scientific endeavors with artistry in photography. Originally self-taught, he has refined his craft and photographic artistry through study with master photographers, including Howard Bond, Jay Dusard, Don Kirby, Ray McSavaney, and Bruce Barnbaum.
Michael works solely in black and white as a fine art photographer. He is drawn to works of nature as well as the artifacts of civilization, and seeks to portray a sense of design and contrast. Although the medium of photography is static, his works convey movement and force, a flow of shapes through the use of light. Michael invites the viewer to participate in his enjoyment of landscapes of the Southeast, Southwest, and Iceland, and to find their own meaning and solitude therein. He isolates the abstract quality of natural and produced artifacts, allowing the viewer to see them for something other than what they were.
For over six years Michael has photographed the abandoned and decaying American Tobacco Factory. The very first tobacco factory, it represents the rise of an industry that became the lifeblood of North Carolina, and the industrialization of the post-civil war south. His photographs evince the unique architecture, the power and wealth of an industry; but rather than being a cold portrayal of buildings, his photographs show an uncommon warmth and empathy of the site and the people who worked there. This factory site is now renovated into offices, meeting rooms, galleries, and apartments.
Michael primarily works with a large format, 4x5-inch camera. This format enforces a slower approach to the subject matter and studied composition. Exposure and development of the negative is carefully calculated to bring about the visual interpretation of the subject. However, his negatives are but the beginning and meticulous darkroom work using a variety of techniques is employed to craft the final print. His images are noted for the feeling of light and their tonal palette.
Transition: The American Tobacco Factory. 46 Black and White Plates, 64 pages. Hard Cover, 14x11 inches; Soft Cover, 10x8 inches. 2008. Stony Hill Press, Chapel Hill, NC.
Through This Lens Gallery
303 E. Chapel Hill Street
Durham, NC 27701
Membership: Durham Arts Guild, Durham, NC.
One Person Exhibitions: