Moving to the west coast in my late twenties changed my understanding of what "the great outdoors" really meant. Not long after settling in, I began to travel and explore the coastal mountains of Central and Northern California, mostly hiking on the weekends. As my journeys took me further, I ventured east, away from the coastal areas, across the basin of the San Joaquin Valley and into the foothills. When I discovered the Sierra Nevada, I knew I had found a new home.
You may say that wandering became my favorite pastime. As a matter of fact, the only bumper sticker on my Jeep reads: "Not all who wander are lost". Being lost is underrated in my opinion; it changes your perspective. My favorite road is that one, over there...the one I've never been down before. I've been travelling around the western US for 20 years now, and I'm happy to say there are still roads I haven't made it down yet. I'm just getting warmed up.
For those of us working in Black & White Landscape Photography, it would be the rare photographer that would say they were "not influenced by the work of Ansel Adams". His images were ubiquitous when I was growing up, and I never went a day or more without running across one of his posters. They stuck with me. They affected how I saw the landscape when I walked into it. I didn't memorize the individual images, but I remembered the emotional value they carried. When I first roamed into the Sierra those images came back to me. Pick your “Holy Place”—Jerusalem, Mecca, Graceland—mine is Yosemite.
As I began working at developing my photographic skills, I discovered the images of the Weston’s, Elliot Porter, Wynn Bullock, Minor White…the list goes on. Each photographer had their own artistic voice, and it was time for me to find mine. I studied in workshops with Bruce Barnbaum and several other master photographers, and began finding my footing. You may say that the artistic voice is something that develops over a lifetime of pursuing one’s art. The choices we make can change over time, as we explore new avenues of expression. Mine is a relatively young voice, but should be apparent in direction at this point. I love the beauty of the world we inhabit, and have set out to share that passion through my images.