My Photographic Journey
How I became a photographer
A year after I graduated high school I joined the US Air Force. I viewed serving our nation in the Air Force not only as a path that would allow me to serve my country but also to see the world. And, eventually, that's exactly what it did for me. After a tour in New Mexico and then a "hardship" tour in Honduras, I received my follow-on assignment: Germany!
Being given an assignment to Germany was a dream come true. It's geographically more or less the center of Europe so I viewed it like the hub of a wagon wheel with the ability to 'spoke-out' to see all of Europe during my tour there. and I did exactly that - I saw as much of it as I could. I was having these amazing adventures that I wanted to share so badly with friends and family back in the States - mountains and castles and and festivals and trains and more castles! I envisioned myself giving slide shows of my adventures and explorations to my friends and family back home
I didn't want those slideshows to suck
I could tell from looking at the photos I was taking with my small, compact camera that my images would never end up in magazines like NatGeo, OUTSIDE, or Outdoor Photographer if I continued shooting the way I was. In an attempt to prevent my friends and family back home from suffering through my exciting tale of adventure and travel - but with boring photos in accompaniment - I set about learning how to become a better photographer in order to help better tell my story.
So... I bought a book! One of those 'how to' books that seem to be everywhere and on about every subject. And I read that book - multiple times. And slowly things that, at first, didn't make any sense at all (Depth of Field Preview? Aperture? WTH??) I began to understand. The more I experimented with my camera and thought about the concepts in the book, the more those concepts became cemented in my brain. The more I practiced and familiarized myself with my equipment - the more creative I got in my experimentation... and I made a TON of really bad photos! ...Which led me back to more self-education to learn new techniques, processes, visual and creative exercises designed to help me "see" better the final image before I ever tripped the shutter.
This journey of mine is now approaching the 20 year mark and it has been a huge motivator in urging me to travel to over 40 countries and all seven continents - always with a camera in hand. I experienced moments where I was literally dangling over a cliff to capture photos of friends climbing in Australia, made friends with film developers in India and Honduras when I went to get film processed and prints produced, and I've had emotional breakdowns when my camera broke early into a trip through Central America. It hasn't always been easy, but at least it's been interesting.
I've made a lot of mistakes along this path of photographic discovery but the results of this passion are what led me to my current skill set and artistic frame of mind.
I am now confident that my slide shows do not suck
Only recently have I actually accepted that I am an artist! I've begun to realize that each and every time I press the shutter button on my camera it is a visceral response to some external stimulation. I'm in continual awe of our natural world around us, and I am on a constant quest for personal and artistic growth and mastery of new techniques, processes and procedures which will enable me to better express my vision.
Presenting my vision of the world as finished fine art pieces completes my creative process.
I hope you follow along with me via social media and by signing up to my email list.
This process of development is never-ending and I am eager and excited to share it with you.