For about two years I lived with my father in Delaware. We often drove two hours back New York City. Leaving in the early morning in order to beat traffic, after about an hour driving the sun would rise in the east over the New Jersey landscape. As we drove, I often slept in his pick-up truck throughout most of the trip, but this time I awoke from my nap beside him. It was a rich sunrise, and as I looked out from the window I spotted the most intriguing sight. Against the bright sky, a red hot-air balloon rose up above the landscape, its translucent color illuminated with the rising sun. The simplicity of this moment has never escaped me, nor has the emotion and excitement it stirred left my memory. Each time I grab the camera to take a picture, it is a return to that moment.
I was born and raised in Hell’s Kitchen, New York City. My childhood was divided between two realms. One was at home in the safety of my toy room, filled to the walls with trucks, model buildings and toy trains. Then it was leaving home to go on road trips to nearby Pennsylvania. I can still feel the excitement of knowing we were leaving soon. Anxious to see new places and experience old ones, we were often happiest when we traveled together. At fifteen I was given a thirty-five millimeter camera and a roll of black and white Tri-X film. After discovering photography I would be the one initiating the trips, first with my mother, then alone.
Memories of those early travels returned me to photograph Pennsylvania and the Hudson Valley. I soon learned the stronger I felt about a subject, the better the pictures became. I followed my intuition. This drive became more palpable as I began working with the large format film camera. There’s less in the way and more work done in the mind’s eye, before taking the picture. Photography did not begin at fifteen with the thirty-five millimeter, but with large format at twenty-two. I am at home dwelling in the rugged landscape of Wyoming as photographing on the streets of New York City.