I've been taking pictures since I was about 7 years old, starting out with a simple box camera and B&W film. I still have the first picture I ever took, of my sister and our dog Rusty. Photography seems to be part of my DNA--I've always had a camera nearby and I love taking pictures, but it's only been recently that I feel like I've been able to make pictures that more accurately capture what I see. The pictures on this site represent a small sample of my recent work. I'm adding new pictures all the time, so please check back often.
I live out in the country in a small town south of Portland, OR, and l love nothing more than finding photo opportunities nearby, even in our own front yard. I believe that it's possible to find beauty in nature everywhere if you just take the time to look. Living in Oregon gives me easy access to some of the most beautiful places on the planet. I never tire of exploring new (and old) natural areas locally. My wife and I have spent many a vacation traveling around the state and down to northern California in our camper. It's a great way to travel and be close to the outdoors but still enjoy a few creature comforts.
Grand landscapes and up-close details capture my attention most often, but I enjoy photographing all subjects. I'm also drawn to lines, textures, and geometric shapes, especially around cities. I love natural subjects and try my best to show them in an interesting and captivating way. This is a skill that is harder than it looks, but I thrive on the challenge of trying. Sometimes I succeed.
Post-shoot Photo Processing
I do most of my post-shoot processing in Adobe LightroomCC and PhotoShopCC and luminosity masking (Lightroom has recently updated their toolset to include this, but I also use Tony Kuyper's TKpanel in Photoshop for more intricate adjustments). I use these tools to adjust the lighting and colors of my photos, but I rarely modify images to add in things that weren't there, such as replacing a dull sky with a more interesting one. I will admit to doing a little 'gardening' of stray twigs and blades of grass in otherwise clean compositions, but I limit my edits to 'fixing' things that compromise an otherwise good picture. Also, I prefer not to have too many man-made objects in my pictures, so, if I can't avoid them when taking the picture, I will occasionally remove or minimize them. Most of the images you see in this collection, however, are pretty much as I shot them, enhanced for exposure, color, and contrast.
Just about every photographer will tell you that a good photo is made in the photographer's eye long before the shutter clicks, and it's not about the equipment. I agree with that, but I also can tell you from personal experience that having good equipment AND knowing how to use it makes all the difference! Since I first started shooting with digital cameras, I progressively upgraded my equipment from a very quirky and slow 3.2Meg Toshiba point & shoot to a Canon 30Meg DSLR. Looking back at the early pictures I took, I'm really sorry I didn't have better equipment, because those pictures were taken in places that we'll likely get to visit only once in a lifetime. I would dearly love to have had a better camera with me at the time. I'm pretty happy with the camera I have at the moment, but I'm sure that there'll be another, more capable one at some point in my future. Here's a list of my main equipment:
Canon 5D Mark III body
Canon 5D Mark IV body
Canon 100-400mm f4.5-5.6 lens (stupendous!!!)
Canon 70-200mm f/4 lens
Canon 24-105mm f/4 lens (my main go-to lens for 90% of my work)
Rokinon 14mm f/2.8lens
Having a good tripod is essential for some landscape photography and for all low-light and nighttime photography. I have two main tripods that I use: a Gitzo carbon fiber tripod with center column that folds up and fits in my carry-on luggage, and a Feisol monster carbon fiber tripod without a center column that extends to about 7 feet. While I'm not actually 7 feet tall, having a tripod with long legs allows me to use the tripod on steep slopes and to straddle streams and rocks to get those shots that would otherwise be difficult.
Every photographer has a closet full of camera bags, and I'm no exception. My two favorites are the Mindshift Gear Backlight 26L pack that fits all of my gear and also a bunch of socks, underwear, and other clothing for those long trips away from home (I traveled this way to Scotland for three weeks, and I had all my gear, clothing, computer, and chargers in this bag plus a Mindshift messenger-type bag, both of which I was able to carry on to the airplane). For day-to-day shooting, I use a Mountainsmith Tour waist pack that I modified with an internal frame to carry my 14mm, 24-105mm, and 70-200mm lenses and one attached camera body. It's incredibly convenient to have all my lenses readily available at my hip. Of course, the other bags in my closet will be useful someday, I'm sure. Someday.