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My Story

Art critics would repeatedly ask painter Edward Hopper about the essence of his work until he would eventually run out of patience, then tersely reply “It’s about me.” And so it is with all artists. This is my story- how I ended up an infrared artist... by way of counter-terror operations…

As a high school freshman I received a 35mm Minolta film camera which I used to photograph sports and other activities. I was the only person in the school who knew how to develop and print film and I found my time in the darkroom highly meditative, requiring complete attention to detail- no sound, often no light, developing negatives and making black and white prints. I felt as though I’d found my calling.
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After a few semesters of advanced photography in community college I looked forward to a career in the arts following completion of my baccalaureate degree. My father, who was my billpayer throughout college made it clear that despite my wishes, he would not fund an art degree. Pivot. I instead received a BA in Economics and enlisted in the Army. I served as an intelligence analyst, first in tactical units, later the Pentagon. After commissioning I spent the latter part of my career as a senior liaison representing special operations units in Washington, DC, as an envoy to Stan McChrystal and Bill McRaven in support of our global counter-terror mission, serving in Iraq and Afghanistan twenty times over a ten-year period. Eventually I found myself unable to function and was reassigned to Walter Reed military hospital where I received extensive medical care for physical and psychological wounds.
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Following my military career I picked where I’d left off at the age of 19 and enrolled in Corcoran College, a DC-based art school, where I studied New Media storytelling- the integration of still photography, videography, audio and website development. After finishing my thesis short film Grounded, I completed my Master of Arts in New Media and enrolled in American University’s film school. I processed film, created gelatin prints, produced fine art infrared large-format prints, elevated my digital media literacy by creating my own color grading website, studied film theory and history, social and environmental narrative writing and filmmaking, completed a four-semester intensive study on cinema Color Correction and Color Grading, produced my own short documentary, and another doc for Larry Engel, an Emmy award-winning filmmaker, and a short film for artist John Paul Caponigro in addition to producing, directing, editing and color grading Second Sun. Since completion of my Master of Fine Arts, I have since begun distribution of Second Sun and have also started my next film project in Acadia National Park.
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© 2021 Infrared Cinema, LLC

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