“I’m a photographer, for sure, but I consider myself primarily a printmaker. This more accurately describes the end product of my work with a camera - and has come to be my main reason for taking pictures. Virtually all my prints start out as digital files generated by my camera. Some have been radically altered to create something new, while others represent a more literal likeness of the subject. I make use of any and all resources and equipment available to me to make a print. After all, I’m not a police crime scene photographer; I’m a printmaker.
There is often great artistic merit in more traditional, literal photography - of course: Adams, Weston, Smith, Bresson, Eisenstadt... the list is long and illustrious. However, keep in mind that all these photographers made their prints in darkrooms, choosing to highlight, crop, darken selected areas, etc... Their prints, while almost always of recognizable subjects, often looked VERY different from the “live” subject. Ansel Adams said, “Photography is more than a medium for factual communication of ideas. It is a creative art.” A profoundly spiritual man, Adams also said, referring to common darkroom techniques, “Dodging and burning are steps to take care of mistakes God made in establishing tonal relationships.” It’s very telling that the Ansel Adams Gallery in New York exhibits both traditional and digitally made prints - in color as well as black-and-white. Today, digital technology is almost universally used by photographers and printmakers, amateur and master, as the medium of choice.
Ultimately, I hope to connect with the viewer through my prints in a way that moves them. When someone tells me they’ve felt this kind of connection, I know I’ve succeeded” - Dickie Tilton, Maui, June 10, 2010.