Even though I am a 4th generation San Diegan, I have lived stretches in Oregon and Montana. I love to travel and have toured extensively throughout the western United States and through sections of northeastern and southeastern USA. My travels outside the “lower 48” include Alaska, Hawaii, western Canada, including the Dempster Highway to northern Yukon and NWT. I’ve also had trips through much of Mexico and Southern Africa.
My interest in nature photography began in the early 1990’s and accelerated in 1995 when I first traveled to Africa. November 2001 was a milestone for my photographic evolution … I attended a photographer’s seminar in Jackson Wyoming (Photography at the Summit). There I met and spent a week with some great photographers and editors – Bill Eppridge, Dave Black, Jody Cobb, Tom Mangelsen, Rich Clarkson, David Alan Harvey, George Olson, Amy Sancetta and Charles Lindsay. Each of these individuals contributed to the elevation of my photographic consciousness. The galvanizing advice that resulted from this seminar was that a pursuit of general nature photography might not be the best strategy for me. It was pointed out that a wiser course would be to specialize in birds. As I had already had an interest in capturing their images on film, the advice was well received. I now have a sense of purpose, and know what to focus on in the field. At the same time, it does not hinder me from shifting my attention to other subjects if an opportunity should present itself.
To learn about these workshops, visit: http://www.photographyatthesummit.com/workshops/nature/
One of my most rewarding experiences of recent years has been my involvement with projects for the San Diego Natural History Museum, in particular, the Bird Atlas, Bio-Blitzes, and the San Jacinto Centennial Resurvey. I have also been privileged to participate in the studies of bird nesting in the San Diego National Wildlife Refuge Complex at the Saltworks and the Tijuana Slough.
In 2016, I was recruited by Scott Tremor from the San Diego Natural History Museum, to help with the San Diego County Mammal Atlas project, and help him push the book over its final hurdles to publication. I became the photo editor of the book, and the experience was rewarding in so many ways. No one had done such a work in North America, and the resulting book was a milestone for documenting the mammals of San Diego and Southern California.
My migration from pure film to digital imaging began in the mid 1990’s, when affordable film scanners became available. In August 2003, when I acquired my first dSLR (Nikon D1x), I abandoned film entirely. I upgraded to the D2x in the Spring of 2005, which served me well until June 2010. Then the D3x superseded it as my favorite weapon. This is an exciting time for the digital photographer. Many new cameras are being released that push the old performance boundaries where we never thought possible. Today I use the Nikon D5 and D500, but I think there is a mirrorless camera in my future. The Nikon Z7 looms large on my wish list. Cameras are getting better and the costs are coming down. For a more techno-geek discussion, check the News Page for future posts about “Gear Talk”.
While I earned my living running my own business, Western DC Systems, I spend my ‘free time’ pursuing imaging in some fashion. Now I’ve retired and I’m selling my childhood home in Poway to pursue my passion for Nature Photography, while living in my RV/Van and travelling North America.