All my photos are taken in existing light and none are posed. The subjects are photographed as I see them. For example, the portrait of Heeseop Youn was taken in her apartment just as she walked towards the window on a cloudy day and the soft light washed across her face; while the portrait of Michael Dougherty was taken as he was talking to me in my living room. Suddenly I saw the sun light come shining through his beard. The secret here is to have your camera with you always.
Pictures like the Frog in Small Things takes patience. I had just had a small garden pond built when two frogs appeared who seemed to like to look at me as I did at them. Then one emerged partially out of the water and click, I captured him in my camera.
When living in New York City, when I read about a political rally, I would rush down with my camera. Somewhat scarily during the demonstration at the time of the Republican convention as I was in the midst of a group, it began to move and I was thrust to the front of the line. Suddenly there was the New York Police Department with a line of motorcycle police and a policeman taking videos of the demonstrators.
In Budapest at The House of Terror, I was only able to take a photo of the Russian tank in a photo book as I was forbidden to take my camera inside. This was the headquarters first of the dreaded Arrow Cross of the Nazis then of the Communists. Inside where there were jail cells and torture rooms.
Macro photographs were the most challenging. These are taken with a special lens from a distance of only inches from the subject. Try focusing. Insects don’t pose, but move continually and, with photos like the Fiddleback Fern, I found myself prone on the wet ground hoping the wind would not come up and move the plant.
The opera photos were also challenging as often I was the conductor of the productions. But, when another conductor was engaged, I could try to get photos using only the theater lights. The opera photos were of productions of the Center for Contemporary Opera which I founded in 1982 and ran for 25 years, except for Abelard and Heloise which was a production of the Charlotte Opera.
I try to have my camera always with me never knowing what might come up. As with many photographers, you’re always looking and hoping. Photography has been a great joy to me and I have recently inaugurated occasional tours in my Vermont home for changing exhibits.