|A winner in the Wilderness50 competition, this work is on display at the Smithsonian's Museum of Natural History until summer 2015.|
My name is Augen (pronounced ow-ghen; in German it means "eyes.")
With your eyes you perceive the world and can see the beauty around you. And there is a lot of beauty in this world. It is sometimes easy to forget how much beauty there is around us. I choose to bring it into focus; highlight it - accentuate its exquisite detail.
How we perceive our environment reveals the condition of our spirit. And seeing a landscape through a photograph - through another's eyes - shares the condition of their spirit. If it is inspiring to you it imparts strength and conditions the spirit in you too.
In art, the process ultimately determines the quality of the result. And it seems that the more difficult the process, the greater the quality. In good art, there are no short-cuts, nothing easy ever achieved greatness.
So I shoot with film as my primary medium, not because it is more work, but because the digital world, for all it's convenience and ease, quantizes our delectably analog world, slicing it into byte-sized chunks, and sucking it's soul into a machine akin to a meat grinder, turning it into eye candy, visual fast food, as malnourishing to a soul as McBurgers are to the American populace.
Since going to film, my digital camera's primary role is now "expensive light meter."
But I must admit, it really does make an excellent light meter.
In visual mediums, symbolism is the language the artist uses to communicate his message. In spiritual realms, the symbolism of the process - how you perform a task - the materials you choose, how you apply them, and the intent you infuse, matters more than the outcome itself. Because by choosing the proper path, you have already chosen the outcome. You must only stay the course to achieve it. So is it significant then that in choosing to process with film, one takes a negative and turns it into a positive? I think that it is. For is this not like what life is really all about?
"You don't take a photograph, you make it." ~Ansel Adams