WHERE TO VIEW MY WORK
I currently have permanent displays in four different galleries. My main , home gallery is Arizona Handmade, in my hometown of Flagstaff, AZ. You can also see my work at The Sedona Arts Center (Sedona, AZ), Method Art (Scottsdale, AZ), and Heartland Gallery (Urbana, IL). In addition to these gallery displays, I also have images appearing in calendars (Arizona Highways and Smith Southwestern), magazines (Arizona Highways and a cover photo for Northern Arizona & Beyond) and I have numerous images throughout the Northern Arizona University campus here in Flagstaff.
For me, photography grew out of my love for spending time in the incredible National Parks, Forests, Monuments and Wilderness Areas of the American West. I have been taking pictures since about 2003 but it wasn't until about 2007 that I started to think of it as more than just a hobby. Experiencing the jaw-dropping beauty of nature, especially its more remote wilderness areas, is my passion...my church. Photography interests me because I know that most people don't take the time or trouble to see these locations and I want them to know that these places exist – that there is a whole other world beyond the tree-lined streets of suburbia and the massive skyscrapers of the urban landscape. A place that is so different and so beautiful that it may look like another planet...but it's our planet, and I hope that as more people are exposed to its beauty they will get out and experience it; or at least give a little more thought to preserving it for others.
Landscape photography, like any art form, is about emotion. The reason I love to visit these beautiful locations is because they elicit a passion within me, a feeling that I can't get doing anything else. The challenge of landscape photography is to create that same emotion within a very small two-dimensional space that I felt when I stood in this vast three dimensional world taking the picture. The process that goes into each of these images starts with large amounts of time studying to determine where I want to go to shoot. Once there, I spend hours scouting out the best locations and determining what time of day will produce the best light for the shot and deciding what season or weather conditions will add the most to the scene – it usually takes more than one visit to get those ideal conditions. Then if I'm lucky, and all those conditions fall into place, I will have my image. Some people wonder “is it worth all the trouble?” - what trouble? To me, a bad day out shooting landscapes is better than a good day doing just about anything else.
The next step in the process is the one that I am asked about the most – processing. Yes, these images are edited after they come out of the camera – nothing is added or taken away, just slight adjustments in the light and color to help create that emotion that I felt. These adjustments are no different than the type of work that the old film photographers were doing in the darkroom – experimenting with different films, chemicals and development times to re-create the natural beauty that they had experienced; it's just that now the darkroom is a computer instead of a dark and smelly room. It is only after each of these steps has been completed that an image is ready to be printed and displayed. It is my hope that this finished product will make the viewer feel at least some of that same emotional attachment to nature that I felt when I was taking the picture...that the viewer will not only want to buy a copy of the image but will say “oh my...I've GOT to see this place in person”.
I have received no formal training in photography, learning mainly from trial and error and from studying the work of other photographers. My career as a photographer grew from my love of the outdoors; what started as just a way to document my hiking and climbing adventures evolved over time into my present images, which are carefully planned to present each location that I visit as a work of art. I have always put more effort into getting out and taking the pictures than I have on the business side of photography and it is only in the last few years that I have actively attempted to display my images publicly.
I have taught tennis for most of my adult life. I taught from 1984-2006 at a club in the Chicago suburbs, becoming a part owner of the facility in 1999. During this period I started to realize more and more how much I looked forward to spending time in the outdoors. Then, in the spring of 2006 I made a decision that drastically altered the course of my life: I sold my house and my shares of the tennis club and traveled around the western United States for four months; hiking, taking pictures and looking for my next home. I ended up moving to Flagstaff, Arizona, where I now live and split my time between running the city's tennis program (you can learn more about that venture at flagtennis.com) and exploring and photographing the Southwest.