WHEN I WAS YOUNGER, immortal, and limitless in my ambitions, I dreamt that nothing was impossible. In our own world of boundless ideas, we wanted to be all things to all people and all things to ourselves: lovers, explorers, idle romancers, linguists, and, perhaps, compatriots of the best minds in Western Civilization whose singular voice, echoing out of the poets and historians of our twelfth grade curriculum, reminded us that the world is strange, beautiful, and unexplored.
And didn't we want to be earth movers and discovers of new principles, and expositors of here-to-fore unrecognized truths, so like Archimedes we might say, "Give me a place to stand and I will move the world"?
Dans les champs de l'observation le hasard ne favorise que les esprits préparés (Pasteur)
In this world of concrete objects and reliable causality, I am a seventy year old classical philologist with a keen interest in the evolution of early urban metaphors in Homeric Greek; since 1972, the founder and president of three software companies specializing in the application of machine intelligence (such as fuzzy logic and genetic algorithms) to a wide spectrum of optimization problems and behavior models; a columnist for technology magazines, and the author of several books (including the multiple award-winning Beyond Humanity – Cyberevolution and Future Minds which I co-authored with Greg Paul, who was the dinosaur advisor on the original Jurassic Park movie). In my younger days I was a caver, a rock climber, an explorer of the great Smoky Mountains and the vast Shenandoah Valley, a Captain in the Army Corps of Engineers, a collector of ancient Roman coins, medieval manuscripts, nineteenth century microscopes, and several ex-wives.
WHO I AM
I question the atomic theory of matter. I suspect the second law of thermodynamics. I deny the physics of lift and the ability of grasshoppers to fly. I reject the fundamental concepts of Euclidean space. I believe Archimedes was a dope. I have ignored the barking of dogs, the metamorphosis of butterflies, the bite of mosquitoes, the roar of freight trains, and the separation of cream from milk. I spoke volumes to avian dinosaurs. I wrote threatening letters to the dead. I once, in a dream of uncertain meaning, ran naked through the streets of Pompeii. I am a ditherer. I am a farsighted philosopher blinded by love. I am a captive. I am a free man on the seventh day of the Month of Tulon when my number is called. I am a collector of prize winning snowflakes. I am gifted with a balance of power, with a sense of the approximate, and the intuitive knowledge of how water flows downhill. I am able to unlock the secrets of quadratic equations, the meaning of storm clouds, the hidden patterns of sea gulls but, alas, not the secret language of women.
I am not a professional photographer but (I hope) a writer, a mythographer, and a visual artist. I want to use narrative and photography as a way of capturing a moment in time and a moment in my emotional response to a subject. While I like the open stretches of the desert, the mountains, and the oceans, I am not a landscape photographer nor an urban or street photographer nor a wildlife photographer nor am I a fine art photographer (in the traditional meaning of that term). As a general rule I don’t photograph the photogenic. That is, the scenes that everyone else photographs. Why would I want another shot of the Grand Canyon or Half Dome at sunset or one more steamboat on the Mississippi River or another moonrise over New York City?
My interests lie in shadows, unusual or striking patterns, the near-unnoticed world of the up-close, the remains and artifacts of the industrial world, and the hidden elements of sky and earth as well as the random behaviors of everyday life. I seek out these fleeting patterns of shadows and colors and textures that are all around us but which we seldom notice. If we want to use photography as a weapon against the mundane and commonplace, then we must, in my opinion, seek out the unique, that which illuminates our viewers, and that which ultimately enhances their sense of wonder.
Hence, I am an eclectic photographer of things that interest me. With any luck some (but probably not all) of my photographs and observations will interest you as well.
I shoot combined RAW plus large/fine jpeg (so I don't have to spend hours in Lightroom figuring out which pictures I screwed up). I subscribe to the Adobe Creative Cloud and use Photoshop CC for post-processing. I also use Photomatix Version 5 for High Dynamic Range (HDR) processing. I am, however, a photographic realist. With the exception of Black and White or HDR images, I normally do very little post-processing of my pictures. I let the composition speak for itself.
MY JOURNAL (BLOG)
My photographic style and philosophy can be found in my photographs and are expressed directly in my journal (blog). By and large my journal is not about technical details or equipment -- you won't find equipment reviews, as an example. Rather, as a writer, and using my photographs, past and present, I focus on the story behind the picture including my recollections of the moment. And sometimes I emphasize my way of thinking about the art of photography coupled with my emotional and conceptual approach to discovering and capturing subjects. In this I am a simple story-teller.
I carry two Nikon full-frame D700 digital SLR cameras all equipped with Nikkor lenses: one with an FX 28-300mm (f3.5-5.6) VR zoom (as my primary lens) and the other with an FX 16-35mm (f4) VR zoom although I sometimes switch out my old but crisp AF 60mm (f2.8) D Micro lens (which I occasionally switch with either my AF 105mm (f2.8) D micro or my terrific AF 85mm (f1.8) D portrait lens).
I am not an equipment junkie. I had previously bought a Nikon D800, used it for less than a year, then recently replaced it with an additional Nikon D700. Next to my Nikon D200 (which, along with all my DX lenses, I gave to my daughter), my favorite camera remains the (somewhat quirky) Nikon D700. As long as my D700s work, they will be my primary cameras.
I have also recently begun to carry my wonderful little Leica D-Lux 6 compact with its 24-90mm (f1.4) zoom which I use primarily for variations on "street" photography. I have also started carrying the Leica when I am out and about without my large Nikon SLRs as a welcome replacement for photography using my iPhone.
I carry a Nikon SB-800 flash as well as a Travor LED ring flash (mostly for use with one of my micro lenses).
I often lug along my old reliable (but heavy) Gitzo G1224 Mk II tripod but lately I've started relying on my aluminum-magnesium Benro A2691T field tripod.
And I attach a Nikon GP-1A Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) device to my active camera.
USE OF MY PHOTOGRAPHS
Every photograph in this site is copyrighted (c) Earl Cox. You are free to use any image in this site for non-commercial purposes provided the display image is no larger than 8"x5" and that you reference my copyright for the image (or group of images) by including the following text and link in your work.
Photo © Earl Cox / Earl Cox Photography; <a href="http://earlcoxphotography.com">www.earlcoxphotography.com</a>