I believe that the depth and power of the creative process--whether it is writing, painting, music or  photography--has never been better expressed than in the opening verse from William Blake’s  “Auguries of Innocence.” As photographers we strive to capture a vision of the world that is both  familiar and new and to imbue each with the other, to make the familiar new and the new familiar.  The power of art is it’s ability to transcend the mundane and give us a glimpse into the newly  emerging world into which we are all moving. Art is a beacon lighting the way, helping us to find a  path where none seems to be. In its purest form, art is not political or moral but visionary. It provides  us with the concepts and emotions to make sense of the political and moral but it should never be  directed by them. That would be propaganda. In very simple terms, art helps us to live and the artist brings  his entire life to his art. Ansel Adams put it very succinctly  when he said:  “You don't make a photograph just with a camera. You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved." A photographer doesn’t just take a photograph, he makes a photograph. The negative is only the  composer’s score and the print is the performance. My intention as a photographer is to make that  performance as compelling as possible by revealing the world underneath the everyday, the  pedestrian, the familiar. In the photograph of Monument Valley above I wanted to infuse a sense of  otherworldliness and alienation into the familiar landscape by emphasizing the colors and depth. This  was done through the use of the Sabatier effect which turns part of the image into its negative. The  otherwise serene desert now acquires an underlying tension and conflict that adds movement to the  image.  The image to the right is of peeling paint on an old abandoned  road grater. The rust patterns have a van Gogh like dynamic and  the remnants of the original yellow paint provide a sharp  counterpoint to the rust. It’s a glimpse into the frenetic energy  underlying all order like the seething quantum flux beneath all  that we think is permanent. As Marx so aptly observed of the  modern world, all that is solid melts into  air. The photo on the left is a black and  white image of a twisted tree caught in a  rocky vice. Ironically, the tree, when still alive, had split that same rock in a  bold demonstration of the power of life over the death. But now the tables are  turned and the fissure has become a vice closing in on its creator. The tree  seems to be writhing in pain under the pressure, reluctant to give up it’s hold  on life. Like Dylan Thomas’ aging man, it is raging against the dying of the  light, refusing to go out easily and clinging to life until the very last. For me,  photography is reminder of our fragility and  impermanence but at the same  time an affirmation of life.  To see a world in a grain of sand, And a heaven in a wild flower, Hold infinity in the palm of your hand, And eternity in an hour. -William Blake