Daniel Jones has mastered large-format photography of nature scenes around his Long Island home, with a vividness and textural depth that is startling. His images are spare but striking, and usually devoid of people.
Pictured: "Pilings in Fog."
"When I was growing up, I thought I would be an illustrator. I began drawing when I was 5 or 6 years old. Everyone kept telling me: the fine arts, it's really tough to earn a living. So I majored in illustration and graphic design. And then after college, I needed to start working, so I got a job in a photo studio.
"Everybody takes pictures, but I thought I could do something better. I had really no photographic background to speak of. I remember one day just deciding, 'Well, I'm going to do this, I'm gonna go full tilt.' I learned by doing."
Influenced by Edward Weston and Ansel Adams, Daniel Jones started working with a large-format, 8x10 view camera in 1986, and began exhibiting soon after. He has traveled extensively from his home on Long Island's North Fork, and has also taught at Southampton College and the Cape Cod Photographic Workshops.
Of "Beach Fences," Jones said, "The image was taken early in the morning in eastern Long Island. And what caught my eye was the repeating patterns in the sand, and you have the zig-zag shape of the fences. And the lighting was just perfect. I've been to this beach dozens of times and every time I go, it's different."
"I've been to this boat many times and sometimes, I don't even take a picture; I just look at it. But this one morning, it was just perfect. The boat is pointing out to the unknown. You don't know what's out there. You could go through the veil of fog and it could be a sunny day."
Jones began by using an 8 x 10-negative view camera, "so you get an incredible amount of detail. [But] I was lucky if I took two or three different shots in a day. And now [with digital] I can make hundreds. So it's changed the way I work. My workflow is completely different."
Of the photo "Ice Formation," Jones said, "This is just fascinating here, the way the ice just built up over days and weeks on top of this rock," Jones said. "As the waves crash over the rock during high tide, the ice slowly builds up. And then it starts to melt and you get these icicles hanging off."
"When I see Daniel's images, I feel serene peacefulness," said Sue Brown Gordon, director of the Norwalk Art Festival in Connecticut. "He has a way of photographing that's almost painterly, and it creates a magical, emotional moment this brings the viewer in."
Jones says he finds people in his photographs "distracting." "I want the viewer of my images to feel like they're there by themselves."
"Family Tree 1992"
"It has a real connection to me because it was an image I shot the day my father passed away. He was in the hospital, but I needed a break. So I made this image and it was the only image I really felt like making. I got home and I got a phone call that my father had passed away."
"Family Tree in Winter 1996"
"I've since gone back to visit this tree," said Jones. "In an odd way, I feel like I'm visiting with him."
"Family Tree in Fall 2014"
The same tree photographed in Fall 2014.
"Flying Point Impression"
A more Impressionistic image by Daniel Jones.
"Flying Point Bokeh"
Daniel Jones' Bokeh (purposely out-of-focus) image of Flying Point.
"Child in the Woods"
"I have a picture of my adopted daughter, Kate, and it's in the forest. She's a little, tiny figure in the picture, and she's on a path that kind of winds back in the distance. Really, that image was a metaphor for her long journey, 'cause she comes from China."
For more info:
Tulla Booth Gallery, Sag Harbor, N.Y.
Norwalk Art Festival, Norwalk, Conn.
South Street Gallery, Greenport, N.Y.
By CBSNews.com senior producer David Morgan