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After spending decades under fluorescent lights in cubicles, offices and semiconductor clean rooms, I escaped. Throughout those years, at every opportunity, I fled to the mountains or to the ocean so that I could feel the sun on my face, breathe fresh air and bask in the glories of nature. I climbed mountains and dove on reefs, always overburdened with too much camera equipment. In those days, photography was my anchor to sanity and humanity, giving me a sense of control that I could not maintain over my technical work. Good, bad, or ugly, my images were my own, free from committee-imposed mediocrity. Now, I am fortunate to be able travel the American West, sometimes backpacking to obscure locations, other times driving in comfort, trying to capture the remarkable beauty before me.
My intent in creating these images is to provide an intimate view of nature as I experience it. I intend for them to be printed large and to be placed in prominent locations in homes and offices where they can provide the eye and the mind a place to rest and recuperate from the stress and confusion of daily life. I have selected the images in this collection for their universal and timeless appeal so that each will provide its owner with many years of enjoyment.
My current equipment is a high-end Canon digital camera, Canon “L” lenses and, of course, a tripod. I process my images with Photoshop and other software. My aim, rather than to create the most sensational image possible—and with contemporary software and technique, that can be pretty sensational—is to recreate what I saw and felt at the moment that I captured the image. Neither film nor silicon sensor can accurately duplicate what human eyes see. We see detail in shadows and highlights where the camera records only black and blown-out white. Consequently, I feel free to blend images captured or developed from RAW files under different conditions. To me, this is no different in intent from the dodging and burning that photographers have done in the darkroom for decades. It is certainly true that control in the “digital darkroom” is far more precise and has far greater range than anything I was ever able to achieve in a traditional darkroom. I try to control this power so that my images do not end up, as Mark Twain once remarked of a Bierstadt painting of Yosemite, “Considerably more beautiful than the original.” It is not difficult to find images, many by highly regarded photographic artists, that more closely resemble the work of Hollywood animators than anything to be found in the natural world.
On occasion, I will remove from images objects that I consider extraneous. Occasionally I find a piece of trash that I failed to notice when I was composing the image. Or there may be objects, such as power lines, that do nothing to enhance the viewer’s appreciation of nature. I hope that the viewer will forgive these embellishments.