steve Coleman.jpg


Website Glossary: 
Digipaintings--in-camera, one exposure
Compositions--composed from two or more images using Adobe Photoshop

I’ve been developing a vocabulary of montage since the late 70s, beginning with a body of work that integrated found glass plate negatives with my own contemporary work.  I began photographing jazz around the same time, a path that began with a documentary lean and has evolved to capture the music itself in visual form. 

Not unlike jazz, photography is an improvisational art form. It requires the practitioner to respond in the moment, and in that fleeting moment to draw upon all of one’s mastery of composition, technique and creativity. 

The improvisatory nature of my work has shifted from knowing when the right moment is present to capturing palettes of shapes and colors to create a visual vocabulary of sound.   Sometimes I am responding to the immediate resonance of a sound vibrating in my ears, sometimes I am drawing from the memory it has imprinted.

When I finally crossed the digital divide in 2001, I began to experiment with composition and improvisation in a different realm, one that allowed a greater freedom of expression with fewer boundaries and vast horizons and layers of choice.  Throughout more than three decades of exploring this music through the lens of my camera I have always viewed my work as a dialogic response to what I was experiencing, hearing the music and feeling it viscerally resonate in my bones.