Artist Statement

George with his working 1924 Kodak #2C Autographic Special
Camera with an Anastigmatic 100mm f6.3 lens

To foster environmental conservation through the medium of photography. Photography, a visual art, is capable of being a powerful force for our environment. Only through inspiring the viewer, politicians, religious leaders and policy makers can we replace environmental indifference with stewardship and passion for our beautiful surroundings.

In terms of photography, my work is an introduction to the scenic beauty and unseen vistas of spectacular places in need of protection. The grandeur and intimacy of the world presented here will, I hope, encourage the viewers to seek out the inexhaustible sources of beauty of the world about them. It is my task, the photographer, the artist, the individual, to record and interpret these qualities for others, to brighten the dull and drab mood of cities springing up almost overnight and to express an urgent need of protection of our wild spaces, for the world around us – these are the obligations of my art.

Near my home in Florida each day, hundreds of aircraft touchdown and takeoff at the airport. Rented vehicles jammed with tourists and luggage travel the roads with a central destination in mind. Many of us scramble over these same roads at 55 mph to work, to soccer practices or to school without seeing beyond the rough and un-kept exteriors to the striking wilderness of beauty. Often in National Parks and along scenic drives we do not venture more than twenty yards from our vehicles to explore and discover the inner beauty of our world. If only for a fleeting moment, a stop would provide views of sprawling hammocks, cypress swamps and vacillating prairies. Mountain vistas would be noticed and the echoes of our history might be heard. Often, deep within what is thought of to be inhospitable and dangerous, lie sites long forgotten except to a few souls with an adventurous spirit.

Our natural spaces no longer have the benefit of a great champions, John Muir, Ansel Adams and Galen Rowell have left us alone without someone to step forward to tell the world that here are places like none other, that here are stunning vistas and isolated gems, that once seen, that once experienced can never be forgotten. It is the artist, who must once again step forward and prevent the visitor, no sooner to have arrived than to grope nervously for the return ticket.

It is here in our Wilderness Lands, where wildlife has the home-field advantage, hidden away beyond the main thoroughfares are the areas that we must protect, the tiny simple treasures hidden in plain sight. Did you know that Central Florida is home to Shingle Creek, the Headwaters of the Florida Everglades – what affect does development have on pollution, on water-flow into this valuable ecological resource? What is the real downstream affect – does this lead to destroying thousands of acres of wetlands in the Everglades, the largest subtropical wilderness in the contiguous United States?

Our wilderness areas offer acceptance on its terms, not ours. We must experience and appreciate its subtle beauty by getting out into it. In my home state, I have felt the Spirit of the Swamp and the Echo of Osceola, nature herself beckons to me, to us; witness me, be part of me, protect me.