Favorite subject: My favorite subjects tend to be old wooden docks surrounded by a spectacular sky, and Florida’s east coast beaches. I have a fondness for European cities, and like cityscapes during the blue hour (I love Prague.) I love to shoot bridges at twilight, as well as anyplace for star photography.
Recent Projects: Teaching on location in the Eastern European Capitals from Berlin to Moscow in 21 days, travel writer for Shutterbug Magazine “Creativity/On the Road,” finished recent article on infrared for Digital Photographer Magazine, Nikon Learn & Explore article “Catch the Wind,” authored Digital Infrared Photography (book published by Wiley), teaching upcoming photo tours to Japan and Cuba and in 2017 to Namibia, Provence, Palouse, and back to Europe.
What was your first camera? And what is your current.
I still have an old SX-70, which I used until recently for Polaroid emulsion transfers. One of my first cameras was the Nikon F100. My primary camera is the Nikon D5, and Nikon D810, and I also shoot with an infrared converted Nikon D7000.
What has photography done to your life?
Photography has opened doors to the world, offering countless opportunities in experiencing people and places in ways that I never would have imagined. Seeing the world through the lens of my camera offers an incredibly different perspective of its history and many cultures. It’s made me more confident, outgoing, and appreciative of how diverse and wonderful the world is. It inspires me to capture what I experience in a way that is creative and artistic.
As a career, photography has let you see much of the world. Where are the places you wish to return or are most memorable? I’m drawn to Cuba, which is like taking a step back in time. Cuba has a vibrancy that stems from the most wonderful and high spirited people on the planet, fascinating architecture, and of course, classic cars. The Greek Islands are on my re-visit list. I feel like I’ve just touched the surface with so many beautiful and cultural opportunities. There is so much more to explore, and I can’t wait to return.
Being a photographer, one would generally assume you also participate in the activities you shoot. What are favorite activities to do without a camera bag on your back? I enjoy traveling and experiencing new and different cultures. I especially love European architecture, and I also love contemporary sculptures such as Cloud Gate in Chicago. I enjoy hiking, and the pursuit of creativity at many national parks. My everyday life includes running, getting in those 10,000 steps.
Who or what do you look to find inspiration in?
I find inspiration in the world around me, the beauty of light, the smile of a child, the power of the ocean. I love how the night sky takes on a rich blue color, and how balanced the light is during twilight – everything looks magical. I feel that inspiration is somewhat synonymous with passion. I love what I do!
Life behind a lens means being witness to the best of times and the worst. Please let us know an experience from each.
Machu Picchu in Peru left me awestruck the moment I saw it! It is a 15th century Unesco World Heritage Site nestled high in a tropical mountain forest. The sophisticated ancient architecture is phenomenal, and makes one marvel…..How was this even possible 500 years ago. Clouds seem to embrace the mountains, while curious llamas graze the sacred grounds. The history, culture, and beauty of this location make it one of the most amazing places on the planet.
Worst: Not knowing the language, but understanding the plea from those living in third-world, poverty conditions asking for help because they need something as simple as food, clothing, or soap.
What would you say to a young shooter with who dreams of traveling the world taking photos? I would suggest to a young shooter to follow their passion, and find something that makes them unique. Diversify, and learn to be good at a variety of things, such as writing, marketing, and keeping up with the technological curve. I would also emphasize that to be truly successful they need to master both the artistic and the technical elements of photography. Doing this gives them the best opportunity to showcase their talents.
Tell us one over looked lesson you have learned in the photo business:
Never underestimate yourself. Success doesn’t come to you, you go to it. – Marva Collins.
Recommended reading: books
Photographing Creative Landscapes – Michael Orton
Dreamscapes – Andre Gallant
“Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.” – Edgar Degas
"Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life's coming attractions."
- Albert Einstein