I wish I had the skill to be a beautiful writer! No doubt I should find some great writer to do this for me and write a snappy introduction. But the truth is, I need to do this, I need to personally tell you about my passion for black and white landscape photography. If you want to go right to my thoughts on photography, just go straight to the bottom half and skip my personal story. Hey, you better not!
At 16, my parents, worried about the destructive path I was on, sent me to Outward Bound. Boom! And I thought I was this hip cool kid. In reality my self-esteem was low and I was afraid. Ok, off we go to Outward Bound and the next thing I know I’m jumping out of the bus at midnight with eight other guys from all over the country into a canoe during a thunderstorm not knowing what the hell I was in for. Holy crap that was the first night! Of course the next twenty-eight days were pure bliss! The reality of course was that it was extremely challenging and I had some very tough though provoking moments. Of course I was supposed to come back with a new outlook on life. I did, but I still had several important issues to overcome. I remained self-centered, selfish and headed on a collision course that would have potentially severe circumstances unless I made some crucial changes. At 18, after a couple of years of trials and tribulations, I hit bottom and decided to change my life and start a new journey.
I know can you get to the photography already? I’m getting there, I promise.
Outward Bound did accomplish several essential things I will always be grateful for; it was the catalyst for my deep-seated, passionate love and respect for the healing abilities of our planet. I began to understand the concept of gratitude, respecting others, what it means to work together with people as a team, and most importantly that our planet is one of the most important forces that connect us all. Regardless of where in the world we come from we all share the equivalent planet.
Just one month after my 19th Birthday, in 1977, I enrolled in a college course, “Introduction to Black and White Photography 101”. Cool, I can get a comfortable A! I was mildly interested in photography until the moment that first print magically appeared in the developing tray. In that moment everything changed. Exploring through the lens, developing my film and watching the magic of a black and white print come to life in the developer was transformative. I knew immediately I could do this the rest of my life. My instructor recognized this spark and pushed me hard! Soon I was reading about and looking at images from all the great black and white master photographers, Ansel Adams, Edward and Brett Weston, Alfred Stieglitz and many more. I quickly saw the connection and opportunity to combine my love of the outdoors with this new passion for photography. I tried color photography, but it just didn’t feel right for me. I didn’t love it. I can’t explain it, but I just think in black and white. I see it everywhere.
I can’t even begin to tell you how many just terrible photographs I’ve taken. Thousands for sure! I look back and realize that learning to SEE was not something that came naturally. I had to think about the flow of light, the impact of composition, and creating images that were personally and emotionally rewarding. While I see in black and white, it took me quite a while to honestly feel connected and create expressive photographs.
Today, I hope that the photographs I create will evoke the sense of gratitude and respect I have for our planet. I hope that my pictures will evoke your passion points and appreciation for our world. I look forward to sharing my photographs and what I’ve learned. I look forward to having enduring, informative and collaborative conversations with you. I’m looking forward to donating more of my images to important causes that help our planet, the less fortunate and those in need. I have been extremely fortunate for many years and remain grateful to all that have encouraged me on this journey!
Let's go on this journey together!