“I am on a quest to locate and memorialize the simple beauty and despair we all see in life. I prefer to use minimal processing to bring the image to life and in doing so, I can put myself in the image admiring the subject. It is my hope and aspiration that you are able to place yourself in my images also and that you may enjoy a moment of joy, calm, peace, humor or even anger at the truth in the photo. My greatest sense of accomplishment comes when someone is able to experience a moment of of remembrance when looking at one of my images. It is my goal that my images convey to you not only what I was seeing, but also feeling, when I captured the shot.
While I have moved forward into the digital era, it has not been an easy path for me. I still tend to process my photographs with the same old school methods – distilling an image to its smaller components using only cropping and adjustments to exposure, contrast or hue, to bring the lost parts of the whole into view.
I am inspired by the masters – Ansel Adams, Sally Mann, Dorthea Lange, Richard Avedon and Cindy Sherman, not only by their ability to compose, but their mastery of processing. These masters created their art, at a time when the shot was mostly created before the shutter was implemented, using filters to adjust colors, and then making the limited adjustments available to them in the darkroom.
My intent is to learn from the masters by using old style filters pre lens and getting my composition correct, and then limiting my processing to cropping and small adjustments to exposure, contrast or hue.
My images are processed as closely as possible to the contest submission rules of National Geographic and The Smithsonian Institute. Nothing removed and nothing added. I do not use altering techniques in Photoshop like layer masking nor do I create composite images.
Any images that I may have pushed or altered in any way beyond what is natural, through any means, are always described as Digital Art and not presented as photographs.”
Michael A. Ward: website