Once my transition to digital was well under way, I found a series of open source tools that might fulfill my needs. I started testing the tools on my favorite subject, steamlocomotives. Here was the most difficult subject I could find. I have shot hundreds of sheets of large format film in an attempt to capture the spirit and light of the roundhouse that the engines live in. Here in this building were incredibly deep shadows and very very bright sun bathed highlights. It's difficult to convey just how many hours I spent trying to figure out the best film/processing/printing combinations.
Shockingly, it took me all of fifteen minutes working with my newfound open source digital tools to stumble upon the exact image style that I had spent the previous decade searching for. Here, finally, was a set of tools that I could use to creatively express what my eyes saw and my heart felt.
I have since spent time working out alternative approaches to achieving similar results. I have found that I'm in love with the way these tools allow me to "draw" the kinds of images you see here. To me, these are wonderful expressions of light and space.