I have my parents to thank, really. My dad grew up in New York (Manhattan, Bronx and Queens), and they never really went camping as a family. So he promised himself that when he had a family, he'd take them camping. And so he did, and did it well. Each summer he'd take the bulk of his vacation time and he'd take us all over the west. The Tetons, the Cascades, the Rockies, the Grand Canyon, the high deserts of the four corners, the Sierra Nevada, Montana's endless sky — it was awesome (thank you dad, thank you mom!). And so a deep, abiding love for beautiful landscape and high, lonely places was born within me, and I'm hooked for life. It is my sanctuary, where I feel closest to God, where His presence feels the most vivid to me. His creation humbles me and literally takes my breath away. I could sit and stare at it all for days on end—camera or no camera.
So really you could say my true passion is for amazing places, which led me to photography...
The more I visited amazing places, the more I wanted to be able to capture the mood, the feeling, the incredible beauty and share it with friends, family and whoever wanted to enjoy it. And so I started in with photography. At first it was those odd-shaped, plastic Kodak cameras that had 24 shots (sometimes 25 or 26 if you were lucky). Back then you really had to take a good shot — one only had so much film, and development cost $. The outcome wasn't too pretty, so I gave up for a while. Then when I was in my 20's, I bought a Canon Rebel (film version, before digital). Then onto a Canon 20D for several years, then a Canon 60D for a while (LOVED the articulated screen), then recently a brief stint with a Canon 5Dm2, and finally my current camera, a Canon 6D.
For a full list of camera gear and backpacking gear, visit My Gear page.
But the truth is, I'm not a technical wizard with all of the "stuff." For me, location is everything. It's all about being in the right place at the right time and feeling the location, the mood, the emotion of the moment—and then trying to capture it all on
film an SD card...
My family is in a lot of ways just as invested in my photography as I am. My beautiful wife listens patiently as I plan and re-plan each photography adventure. Then when it comes time to go, she sends me out the door with a kiss and a prayer with her full blessing. That's an amazing woman. My two little girls send me with a kiss and a few tears, but they understand (as much as they can) and look forward to my return. They are my support, and a part of the experience. I love them dearly, and would not hesitate to trade my gear, my cameras, and any future photography trip to the outdoors for them.
In other words: between my three wonderful ladies and the outdoors/photography? No contest. Not even close.
Some would say that this amazing earth spontaneously "created" itself without any intelligence involved. I simply disagree. I think it was all created by the very intelligent, wise, kind, loving, just and merciful God of the universe, Jesus Christ.
His creation inspires the way I process my photos. I bracket my photos and combine them in HDR software. Some would say I "cheat" but I see it another way. The eyes God gave most of us are the most amazing image processors. When I see God's creation, I want to share what I've seen with you. The only way my photos can come anywhere close to showing you what God has created is through the post processing. Hopefully you won't mind so much. :)
And when I'm out there in the lonely, astounding places, I'm in the most beautifully designed sanctuaries on earth.
I've lived in California, Arizona, Washington, Utah and currently Colorado. I haven't found anything close to In-N-Out Burger. Some in Utah think Five Guys is better (once In-N-Out arrived in Utah), but I think they're nuts and lost in some insane burger wasteland.
Why In-N-Out won't come to Colorado is beyond me.