Ansel Adams once advised photographers to use the biggest camera they could carry. I’m going in the opposite direction, now exploring the creative potential of the iPhone and related processing apps as a 21st century Claude mirror/glass.
The Claude mirror, a landscape-viewing device, is a pre-photographic optical instrument that was widely used in the 18th and 19th centuries. Its popularity is closely linked to the rise of the Picturesque Movement. It was named after its ability to transform a landscape view into something reminiscent of a painting by 17th-century French artist Claude Lorraine. It was the fashion in the 18th century for not only landscape artists but all those who enjoyed a walk into the countryside to have one at the ready, much like the iPhone in the 21st century.
The aesthetic vision of this body of work was influenced by the Romantic landscape painters of the 19th century, particularly the Hudson River School. Thomas Cole, generally acknowledged as the founder of the Hudson River School, believed it was “incumbent upon Americans to embrace nature’s grandeur and majesty, to live in harmony with the bounty and spectacle of the environment.”
I love the natural world. I make these images to celebrate the beauty of nature that can be found in preserved areas or the nearby landscape. In that moment I affirm my deep respect and empathy for nature.