I wish I had spent more time practicing my writing skills! No doubt I should hire an excellent storyteller writer to help me write a snappy introduction :-). But here we go! 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 skip right to the bottom half of the page. Just kidding of course!
At 16, my parents were very worried about the destructive path I was on and quickly took action. BOOM! I'm on on my way to Outward Bound. And here I thought I was this hip, cool kid everyone liked. In reality, my self-esteem was nonexistent and the only thing I really cared about myself. It's 11:30 PM at Outward Bound and the next thing I know I’m jumping out of the bus at 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 just the first night, I had no idea what I was in for! Of course, the next twenty-seven days were pure bliss. Kidding of course! The reality was extremely that OB was challenging and I had some very tough thought provoking inner looking moments, that broke me down. 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 slowly started back on a similar path as before, remaining 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 part 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 the outdoors and 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. At 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 fortunate for many years and remain grateful to all that have encouraged me on this journey!
Let's travel on this journey together!