About the Artist

I grew up in Sandpoint, Idaho, and have lived in Santa Barbara, California for more then a decade. Photography is my way to explore questions about ultimate meaning.

Artist Statement

The Space for Solitude images explore Jean-Paul Sartre's concept of freedom. "Hell is other people," he wrote in No Exit, meaning not that other people are evil or tedious, but that in the presence of others we are their object, and therefore cannot be free.

The Carrizo Plain is a nearly 400-square-mile national monument about three hours' drive from Santa Barbara. During the year and a half I spent photographing the plain and the mountains that bound its eastern and western sides I saw few other people. During some visits I saw not a single other soul. When I made these images, I was unobserved: free.

People sometimes reference "another planet" when describing these photographs. They say this because of the textures and shades or colors, but the absence of people contributes to the other-worldliness. The absence of people observed by me plus the absence of people observing me is what make these photographs of a kind of freedom.

The "(Outer) Space for Solitude" images take the otherworldly aspect further through the use of a high-contrast red filter. This makes the sky appear black, which emphasizes the texture of the remainder of the photo. But isn't the sky really blue rather than black? The answer to that question could justify an advanced college course.