Growing up in Southern California, I have always been drawn to the wild areas of the Golden State: the mountains, deserts and coastal areas. As a child, many of my weekends were spent driving California’s backroads and visiting out of the way places with my parents. As I got older I spent my time backpacking and climbing in the Sierra Nevada and the mountain ranges of Southern California, as well as the deserts of California and Arizona. As the years passed, I began to revisit these areas with the purpose of photographing them to capture the emotional impact these places have had on me.
The pursuit of art has always been a constant presence in my life. I enjoyed taking art lessons as a child, but it was music that really had a hold on me. I got my first guitar at the age of four, and have been playing ever since. As I am a self taught musician, so I am self taught as a photographer. I learned the craft and art of photography through intensive, focused effort. At some point I realized that what I was now doing with my camera had moved into the realm of art. I began to see that creating an image was much like creating a piece of music. This was a revelation, opening a whole new world of creativity to me. I am constantly amazed at the parallels I find between photography and music. When I view a well crafted, artistically inspired photograph, it is as if I can hear music emanating from the image, with each element of the image working together in a harmonious, beautiful creation.
My formal education consists of two years as an architecture major, then changing my major to construction engineering management, in which I received my B.S. degree. I have found my formal education actually informs my photography, both artistically and technically. From the elements of composition(architecture) to understanding such things as optics, light, color and geology(engineering), I am able to apply many of the things I learned in college to my photography.
Even as I followed my musical muse, I continued to have an interest in photography, especially Ansel Adams and others working in black and white. I think my love for black and white started with the first cameras that I was given when I was four or five years old. First, my grandfather gave me his old wooden Brownie box camera. I believe he took the pictures I later found in his World War I album with this camera. I don’t recall if I ever had any film in it, but I definitely remember spending a lot of time looking at the world through the viewfinder of that old camera. A little later my parents gave me a brown plastic Brownie camera. I used black and white film in this camera, taking family snapshots.
I remember wanting a 35 mm SLR during high school, but music was getting all my attention at that time. It wasn’t until after college that I finally got my first SLR, a Nikon FE. I enjoyed using it, learning the fundamentals of photography, but I still had no time to pursue it like I wanted to. Eventually I purchased my first digital camera. With the ability to now make lots of images without the film and processing costs, I was finally able progress in the craft and art of photography, as I had been desiring to do for so long. It is this progress, especially in the art of photography, that now allows me to share my vision of the world around me as I see it through the viewfinder.