The first time someone handed me a camera, I was eight years old. By the time I entered high school, I was hooked on the idea of understanding the world through the lens of a camera. Through a beginning photography class in my Milwaukee high school and the use of the school’s darkroom, I began to explore the possibilities of photography using a medium format Mamiya Sekor. Time after classes ended was spent developing film, making prints, and learning the fundamentals of shooting and printing black and white images. When I became a father not long after graduation, I was never without my camera gear, and continued advancing my skills with a Nikon FM SLR.
My introduction to Leica was in the nineties, and my response was immediate, to their rangefinders in particular. After purchasing my first M camera and lenses, the amount of time I spent taking photographs and the way I thought about my images changed significantly. Shooting film with my Leica M6, I began to simplify my compositions—most especially in black and white—an approach more befitting to the way I see the world both literally and artistically, as I have been color blind since birth.
With the evolution of digital photography, I’ve allowed myself to reexamine how I capture and process images yet again. Digital photography has encouraged me to take more risks with subject matter, composition, lighting, and the simple quantity of images shot. Although I still shoot with film on occasion, most days you’ll find me using my Leica M Monochrom.