I have always seen the world through a lens. Ever since I can remember I have loved photographs and how, when done properly, they can take the viewer to an exact moment in time and space.
When I purchased my first camera in 1986, I loved how looking through the viewfinder gave me a freedom of expression I had never known. I found isolating objects with no context of their surroundings and capturing fleeting moments on film exhilarating. My vision has always been to show the world what I see, and hope my images will take the viewer to where I stood and let them see through my eyes.
Over the years I have changed and so has photography. When digital photography started, I wanted no part of it. I couldn’t see the point and didn’t realize how much it could engage my creativity. I finally purchased a pro digital camera and still wasn’t happy with the results until a friend introduced me to High Dynamic Range (HDR) photography. My world changed almost overnight! At last I was able to capture on a digital camera what I was seeing and what could only be captured on film with special filters and darkroom techniques. Only then did I realize the potential of digital photography, but I also realized the learning curve needed for me to rediscover my art. I started learning Photoshop, Lightroom, and Fotomatix Pro (an HDR program). I struggled with concepts and terminology, and refereed to Google and friends for tips. I’m a quick study, but as the years have gone by I realize how little I really know.
Photography has never been just about pointing a camera and pushing a button. Years ago I had literally learned cameras inside out as a camera repairman and even had my own shop. Photography is the art of knowing how to use the camera and capturing exactly what you want to be seen. It also has the added element of post production, taking that film image and printing it on paper and being able to manipulate the image at the time of printing to achieve the exact vision you want to portray. Digital cameras and Photoshop took the darkroom out of the dark and brought the creative ability to manipulate the image into the light. For years Photoshop has seemed to be a bad word, but the reality is every photographer worth the weight of their camera learns and uses it well. Some people build images from the ground up, others compile various images to achieve the artistic vision they have. I try to use the tools to only enhance the image I shot and rarely remove objects or change the image. At most, I will remove power lines, buildings, and objects that detract from the overall image. I primarily use Photoshop to color correct, and lighten or darken specific areas, known as dodging and burning, of the image.
Many photographers concentrate on one subject such as desert images. My interests are too broad to limit my creativity. One day I might be photographing a mountains scene, and the next wildlife. I find myself drawn to specific geographical areas or subjects based on ideas I get. For instance, the end of January 2018 I went to Arizona to photograph wild horses on the Salt River. My vision wasn’t to just capture good clear images of the horses it was to capture the horses in blurred, abstract motion. My portfolio ranges from scenic landscape, to wildlife, to astrophotography, and architecture, whatever catches my eye and interest.
My sources of inspiration originally started with men such as Weston and Adams. Later in life Mangelsen, Wolfe, and Lough have had great impact on how I see photography. I first learned of Rodney Lough Jr. by stumbling into his gallery in The Mall of the Americas. I was shocked and in awe at how beautiful his work was and size of the prints displayed. Since then I have had the pleasure of a personal tour of his studio and production area. He is an inspiration to me and what I consider the epitome of a photographic artist.
My photography is an extension of who I am and how I see the world. Modern digital photography and HDR techniques have broadened my vision and rejuvenated my interest in the art. I try to keep my images as realistic as I saw the actual scene or subject. My goal is to grab the viewers attention and take them into the image whether it be a starry night or an owl sitting on a branch. I want to produce images that capture people’s love and imagination.