Since my packing post, I’ve fallen off the map again—but for a good reason. Photography has been given obsessive attention.
It feels wonderful to be this excited by photographs and photographic printing after a long, long hiatus. What was the hold up? It was a confluence of things, but I know allergies played a pivotal role. Suddenly the equipment and the processes I honed for over a decade were unavailable to me. Sure, the rest of the world has been going digital for over a decade (I started there, with digital, way back in 2002), but for me, that wasn’t an option. How do you go from a Hasselblad medium format to even full-frame Canon/Nikon? I couldn’t (and I tried). How do you go from final prints hand-printed using heavy metals like gold and palladium to giclée prints using pigment inks? Again, I couldn’t (and don’t regret the resultant toxicity when I look at the prints made).
But now, photography is fully available to me again. It began with the discovery of digital cameras and lenses whose images could hold up against Hasselblad and Mamiya, and were even and amazingly replete with their own aesthetic signature. Then came the two weeks in Paris, where I fell gleefully down the rabbit hole of understanding that lens signature and, even more important, returning to and beginning to discover what my own aesthetic is and could be. The last piece of the puzzle fell into place over the past two weeks: the creation of beautiful prints. Not simply good prints, but photographic prints with the gravitas, or weight, of mid-20th-century silver gelatin—yet without putting my skin in contact with chemicals.
As I write, I have at my fingertips these luscious prints. A couple feet away sit my cameras. For the first time in the years since setting aside old-old-school photographic practices, I have the means by which to create photographs worthy of being called photographs. It’s time to thank publicly the muses—I seemed to have let go of the past at just the right moment, when all the mechanical advancements and innovations come together.
So I’ve been spending all my time working images and refining and refining them further. I have a small set of large prints, and I re-designed my photographic website. I wanted to make sure this new beginning was secure before heading off to the next trip at the end of this week. In the midst of this photographic journey, I feel so alive.
If you enjoy this new photography, I encourage you to join me on Instagram. My handle is @aestheticalt. I post a photograph from Paris or Versailles (and soon, another place!) every few days. At the moment I am working on a small photographic book, as well as continuing to flesh out the new website. If you would like to see the larger collection all in one go, drop me a note and I’ll send the link. Because of changes in photography, travel and life, I’m edging toward dropping the quasi-anonymity I have on Aesthetic Alterations, but I’m not quite there yet.
I think this will be my last post before I return from the next trip (where Internet is not really an option), but before I go, I aim to reply to the beautiful comments you’ve been leaving. Thank you so much for continuing to be part of this journey through life and art and style. Your kindness means a lot to me.