Hanging in my darkroom is a  Japanese scroll on which the following three characters are scripted in elegant calligraphy:  Shin Jo Sui.  Given to me by calligrapher Chiaki Ishiwata after my first visit to Japan,  the characters roughly translate to “May your heart be pure like water.”  This philosophical statement may have various interpretations, but to me it represents the harmony in the natural world that I try to capture in my photography and that I express in the images that emerge from my darkroom.  

Shin Jo Sui is a collection of photographs that are a culmination of my three visits to Japan in 2001, 2004, and 2008.  Each trip lasted approximately three weeks, and they were filled with unforgettable experiences.   Prior to my first trip to Japan, I studied the woodblock masters Hiroshige and Hokusai, the contemporary photographers Masao Yamamoto and Yoshimitsu Nagasaka, and the various sumi ink painters in the books I had accumulated about Japanese history, culture and art.  My western mind sought similar aesthetics in the landscape:  simplicity, beauty, elegance, and design. These elements had always been present in my photography, but they profoundly became noticeable when I began to make photographs in Japan.

This elegant 80 page book contains 73 photographs spanning my travels throughout Japan from 2001 through 2008, presented in a 12x12 inch hardcover format.

Published through Blurb 2010. Click here to the preview book.

Shin Jo Sui