Studio days

Ice Studies, Summer 2018

New experiments in the studio

Ice studies

Feature about my book project, lone hunter

In the In-Between: Journal for New and New Media Photography
Images/Text here

lone hunter is a book and series of photographs. The corresponding images and text teeters between fact and fiction, creating a non-linear narrative. The selection of images when shown independently as a book or series, represents two different narratives that question the chronology of time and how we navigate memory, what we choose to keep and what we let go of, and how memories are manufactured. These images deliberately blur time and place taking the viewer/reader from day to night, over a month and through seasons, the moon as the guide, marking time.

lone hunter is informed by my interest in cinema and its relationship to photography. The body of work consists of a combination of photographs of actual natural landscapes (forest, sea, desert), architecture (interior /exterior of a house) and people (two different figures) as well as hand-made, fabricated environments (architecture and landscape). Some photographs are from my personal archive, others were shot specifically for the series. Text, non-descriptive and poetic, is a thread throughout the book almost as if an internal voice is guiding the reader on this journey, for example “There in the vista, I can find you, hunting by the light”.

The letter below is meant for you.

Dear Reader, are you waning or waxing? You may feel as if you are traveling somewhat
aimlessly in search of something, at times relying on the moon to guide your path. But our path, like that of the moon, is cyclical. You may find yourself in interior spaces peering through winter’s frosted windows that obstruct your view of what’s outside. The woods. A voice tells you “we shall leave this to time and chance”.  Time moves on, as time will do. An unmade bed. “A trace that crosses the fault line”—did we lay here together?  Did I dream of that cratered and pitted, dusty walk in the prickly desert of spring, you moving farther away in the distance? Why haven’t you turned back for me yet? Or is it centripetal force that keeps you there and me here, always in your orbit? The moon shows its same face, over and over, at times more illuminating than others. Slowly moving away from us, ever so slightly, with each rotation.

Light transforms space. In what light will I choose to remember this? There I am, turning away from you. We will cross paths again in the shadow of a gibbous moon in summertime, “as if it was to become a long, dark night.” I, like a pendulum—a glimpse of cheek, lips, and chin—oscillating in the darkness. Walk away. But know this: I will leave you first. Blurry eyed and sleepy, I move in the direction that leads to the sea. “There in the vista, I can find you, hunting by the light.” Prowling, shape shifting, “as if there was some urgency”. Have we mistaken these shadows for the real thing?

In the small hours, the hovering moon discovers you swimming. The tides are turning. “Luminously.” You surface, submerge, surface, submerge, surface…. “We were surveying, searching, measuring of sorts”. The night sky eavesdropping, holds more of this story but allows nothing for us to hear.

Back to the dense forest of pines. Now, we are facing each other. Is it dawn or maybe dusk? “Imagine retracing our steps, to be born here and glide along with patience.”

Tell me, are you a lone hunter?

PDF of my book

lone hunter

For best viewing of the book, please go to:
Acrobat, View_Page Display_Two Page Display


Postcard print giveaways from my project, lone hunter at The Print Center

The Print Center

By the Book Vol. 2: New Photography Publications
 is The Print Center's second exhibition dedicated to a selection of new photography publications and the artworks that inspire them. 

On view until April 21.
Installation view of my photographic series from the book, lone hunter. 


for you, my wolf

lone hunter

we were surveying, searching, measuring of sorts

there in the vista, I can find you
hunting by the light
as if there was some urgency, under the canopy of a night sky

Imagine retracing our steps, to be born here and glide along with patience

you whispered, am i emerging or descending? tell me, are you a lone hunter?

                                                            front of case for book

Letterpress cover image tests for my book, lone hunter

Dear, are you waning or waxing?

Various images and spreads from my book


lone hunter

surface of water

under the moon light

you are, coming in view.


“A black star appears, a point of darkness in the night sky's clarity. Point of darkness and gateway to repose. Reach out, pierce the fine fabric of the sheltering sky, take repose.” 

-Paul Bowles, The Sheltering Sky

Call and Response; an exploration in photography and writing

Long wait for something real

Here is an example of one exchange from the collaborative book I have been working on (more info about book below):

Text by Nancy Brokaw
Image by Julianna Foster

A package arrives in the mail. Open it to find a photograph: a hand gestures toward a distant, shrouded horizon.

The photograph is simplicity itself

The hand reaches from the lower right corner of the image up to the horizon, reaching, or so it seems, for the cascade of little suns that tumble down from the opposite corner.

The hand, which reaches into the image right from where you stand, could be your hand.

But look again. Your hand is separated from you by a scrim beaded with water droplets.

The scene itself is an impossibility.

At once drawn in to, and cut off from, the scene, you are plunged beyond the realm of the possible into mystery.

Is the hand—your hand?—reaching out in fear, as if to ward off an approaching threat? Or does it yearn, stretching toward a boundary you cannot breach, a world you can never enter? Is the gesture a farewell, a valediction to a departing soul? Or a last good-bye to the world itself as if, in taking leave of life, your impossible, off-screen surrogate aches to touch this sweet old world one more time?

An answer, like the scene, is impossible.

The photograph is an illusion of the real

As invented, the photograph was a triumph of empiricism, William Henry Fox Talbot’s pencil of nature: Here was the visible world—the world of solid objects and surface beauty— transcribed by an unholy alliance of physics and chemistry. Holding a photograph in your hands, you held a slice of reality, an objective moment of time forever fixed on a piece of paper.

Or did you?

The photograph is a child, too, of magic. At least one of its inventors—Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre was a man of the stage, a lighting designer and a creator of theatrical illusions. Before inventing the daguerreotype, he made a living, and a pretty good one at that, with another of his inventions: the diorama—a proto-cinematic theater that created illusions of reality through the manipulation of light. Sitting in a darkened theater, his audience viewed a painted scene that seemed to move before their eyes. Using techniques of reflection and refraction of changing light on a semi-transparent canvas, Daguerre created trompe l’oeil effects that could make candles in a painted church scene seem to flicker and mist descend on a mountainside village.

Like the magician, the photographer is a master manipulator of perception. The medium has long been the handmaiden of the uncanny, the surreal, the mysterious: from the early days on—from William Mumler, one of the first of the 19th-century spirit photographers, right up to Adam Fuss and his daguerreotypes of smoke—those of a metaphysical mind have explored the paradox of a photography that pierces the veil of reality.

Playing with your faith in the truth-value of the photographic image, Julianna Foster is heir to that tradition. She presents you with a patently impossible, unphotographable scene, and conjuring up a hand that emerges in a mysterious liminal space, she invites you into the unknown and leads you to the question:

What do you look at when you look at this photograph?

Me? To my eye, this image is infused with a sense of wonder and regret. It is as though our proxy, represented by that reaching hand, glimpses the sublime in an array of suns. But the sublime—this dream of transcendence—is forever beyond your reach.

One day, after writing all of the above, I asked Foster the title of her image. Her answer: “No title. Feel free to give it one.”

That night, I sat down to watch Tarkovsy’s The Sacrifice. Halfway in, the local eccentric (cum mystic) Otto speaks of his “long wait for something real.”

I shouldn’t really presume but, to me, Otto’s turn of phrase might do.

Call and Response; an exploration in photography and writing

Call and Response; an exploration in photography and writing

The impetus for this project is to explore connections between the language of photography and writing, which has been an enduring interest and subject of my work for some time now. In such an abundantly creative and active artist community as Philadelphia, I saw an opportunity to expand my exploration of the subject and participation within the community by inviting other artists—visual artists and writers—to participate in a dialogue with one another’s work. 

Beginning in April 2015, I shared one of my photographs with a writer and asked them to create a text that in some way responded to that image.  That text was then passed on to another visual artist (particularly artists that use photography in their work), who responded, in turn, with an image, and so on. As described by a fellow artist, it was like an anonymous game of ‘telephone.’  The only instructions: the identity of participating artists would not be shared with their fellow contributors during the process, and participants must respond within a timely four to six weeks. There were no other parameters or restrictions. Participating artists were aware that their contributions would ultimately be presented in a book and/or an exhibition. Two years later, the project has amassed contributions from 30 artists, all chosen by me, and resulted in a rich dialogue between artists, images and text.

With the utmost gratitude and thanks to all that offered their creative responses to this project:
Jaime Alvarez, Jordan Baumgarten, Andre Bradley, Nancy Brokaw, Doug Bohr, Stephanie Bursese, John Carlano, Christina Day, Becky Huff Hunter, Kelsey Halliday Johnson, Matt Kalasky, Homay King, Isabel Lederman, June Yong Lee,JenMarie MacDonald, Anne Massoni, Samantha Mitchell, Jena Osman, Catherine Pancake, Jordan Rockford, Ron Tarver, Nato Thompson, Jennah White, Yolanda Wisher, Tamsen Wojtanowski, Linda Yun

A few spreads from my new book, titled Lone Hunter

Check out my studio visit with the folks from Grizzly Grizzly, these are some spreads from a limited edition book I'm creating for the Community Supported Art project (CSA)