“My vision of the southwestern landscape was formed in the early 1970′s as I explored — and attempted to photograph — the Big Bend area of Texas. What I experienced in person was a subtle, transcendental space, almost a boundary, between one reality and another waiting to appear at the end of the day. What I experienced on film, however, was the harsh bluntness of shapes, contrasts and colors that speak to the directness and toughness of life in a desert environment — but are not that interesting, aesthetically, at least on film. Beginning in 1980 my experiments with black and white infrared film began to peel away a few of the outer layers, revealing some of the subtlety beneath. In the 1990′s I started to experiment with color film, attempting to create a similar effect with color prints. The dye transfer process came closest but still didn’t have the feeling I wanted. After ten years of trial and error, in 2003 something clicked and the combination of “seeing” the hidden layers behind the sharp contrasts in southwestern light, managing the light properly in the scenes and revealing all of this is in the printing process started to work. The result, whether I’m photographing a landscape or any other natural object, is a scene with an inner life that can be shared.”
Today, Richard concentrates on his growing large landscape series from Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah and most recently, China and the Smoky Mountains.