I got interested in photography (hooked may be more accurate I guess) as a graduate student, notwithstanding my plans to focus on getting that PhD first. As is so often the case, something as small as asking whether I could take some artefacts from the archaeology department home for the weekend, and see whether I could get a decent shot out of them, set a series of events in motion, that resulted in me getting paid to shoot.
While I since left academia, I did return to the alma mater as a visiting professor in 2014 and 2018/2019, and teach if and when the opportunity presents itself. While archaeology is never far away when I shoot artefacts, I since broadened my horizon by trying my hand at architecture, landscape, reportage, and concert photography.
I'm also a sucker for the technical side of both the gear and the process. Talk to me about the rendering of a lens (vintage or new), the inner workings of a camera, or stuff like circle of confusion, and I'm all in. I keep telling myself it's an essential part of my pursuit of maximum image quality, but admittedly, it's at least equally likely that I'm simply a slave to that same drive that once led me down the path of science: I want to know, to get an understanding of reality in all the different ways it manifests itself.
That fascination with reality runs deep enough to guide the way I shoot and post-process: the visual esthetic I aim for, that I identify with on a basic level, is one of natural, simple and true representation of a scene. As such, you won't find bleached or oversaturated images in my portfolio, nor the typical wideangle landscape shots that seem to have made the internet their home.
My preference for shooting on instinct, capturing what grabs my attention in some way, does not contradict that, quite the contrary: it adds a sort of subtle subjectivity that I believe enhances the imaged reality, rather than being detrimental to it. Without "feel", an image is merely "see", a twodimensional projection of what was in front of the camera when the sensor was exposed, a soulless version of the real. Without emotion, the viewer remains detached, and unable/unwanting to complete the illusion of reality. Or at least, a fully realised and believable version of it.
Photography should therefore not merely aim for the eyes - it should aspire to reach out to the mind and the heart as well, and move them (only) in the gentlest of ways.