My grandfather died in 1975, and a couple of years later my grandmother gave me his Mamiya rangefinder camera. I seemed to have an eye for photography. I taught myself how lighting works and the relationships between aperture, shutter speed and film sensitivity. I also took an interest in developing my own photos, and my dad built me a darkroom in our basement. I learned not only how to create an image in the camera, but also take it the next step to manipulate the print the way I wanted it. While in the photo shop one day, I picked up a small booklet produced by Sports Illustrated, with the great SI photographers explaining how to shoot various sports. It became my bible and catalyst for my own career in photography. I never made it to the Sports Illustrated level, but put together a decent career in journalism. Photography is still my love, and sports photography tops the list. But after years in the photojournalism business, I’m trying to push myself into new areas, including studio work. It’s an adjustment from the immediacy of being a news photographer to the more meticulous work of making a photo into art. These are some samples of my work over the years, along with commentary about the world of photography and what I’m up to lately.
Sports photography is my love. It's why I picked up a camera in the first place. There was a day when I thought I was pretty good — but every sports shooter has an ego. Football has always been my favorite. There's a great beauty in the game when you stop it mid-action and when you have large bodies moving at speed running into each other.
For the majority of my shooting life, I've been a photojournalist, shooting the event or the action, or the *gulp* group shot. There were occasional portraits, but they were quick and simple. I'm working to branch out into studio work, but for right now I'm experimenting, with my favorite subject, the Dyer family. They've been good sports, and I've followed them from high schoolers to parents.
This is another area that I've only gotten into only recently. It started by shooting a music group at a local summer festival, and expanded into shooting a local band at a couple different venues. Like sports, shooting musicians allows for freezing moments and expressions that occur so quickly they sometimes aren't noticed. I definitely want to do more of this.
We all take photos of sunsets, flowers, storms, etc. I'm always on the lookout for a scenery shot, and want to take it to the next level and create a piece of art with it. That way, I challenge myself, and also have a chance to make it more memorable. I try to think more like an artist, using composition, color, contrast in both shape and light. It's always fun to push myself to make a shot just a bit better.
I've been fortunate enough to travel to some great places in the United States and Europe. This is a sampling of the few of the photos I've taken through the years. Many of these places have been immortalized by the great of photography, such as Ansel Adams in Yellowstone and the Tetons. I don't know that I can improve on the masters, but I at least try to put my own stamp on these sites.