Why did I create a geological photography book? Why did I choose geology as a subject for a photography book?
I have been fascinated by rock formations ever since I was a child. I had a rock collection when I was 10 or 11, and I remember actively looking for fossils in the sixth grade—which earned me the nickname “Fossilface” from my classmates. I was interested in other aspects of nature, too: insects, paleontology and astronomy especially. Once I became a photographer at age 13 I fell in love with landscapes. I took color slides for a while (with Kodakchrome, ISO 10), then switched to black and white, which I developed in my home darkroom.
I remained an amateur photographer for 42 years, during which I got my education, taught college, conducted a 22-year-long jazz piano career in New Orleans. But when I turned pro, it was the age of digital photography. I managed to travel a great deal, always looking for exceptional geology. Then in 2017, a publisher approached me to create a geology photo art book. I was thrilled. I gathered my best geological photographs together, including my best landscapes, and presented them. Then I learned that I’d have to finance the book myself. They would provide layout, production, distribution and publicity, but I was paying for it.
They asked for a huge sum of money, so I refused and started doing research on how I could do these things myself for a geology photo book, one that would make a good gift. I found out that I could do everything but the publicity for less than half what the “vanity” company wanted to charge me.
Once I had the book in hand, in February 2019, I started sending it everywhere I could: science museums, geology bloggers, reviewers, book competitions. A certain number of science museums liked the idea of a creative book about geology. Two major reviewers, Kirkus and Midwest Book Review, gave me glowing notices, and my geological photo art book won a gold award from Nautilus in their 2019 Photography and Art category (they give awards to all kinds of books).Over the years I’ve collected many photo art books that emphasized landscapes as well as a number of geology photo books that focused on science without paying much attention to art. I also have several books from 40 years ago that present rocks as artistic subjects. As far as I know, however, there are no other creative geology books that take the rocks as artistic subjects expressly to show the abstract and surreal formations in them. This is what I hope to do with Earthforms and its sequels.