My Father’s Influence
I once attended a seminar presented by famed National Geographic photographer Sam Abel who shared about the creative influence his father had on himself and his photographs. I greatly appreciated those personal insights, since my father also influenced, or actually initiated, my interest in photography, although I don’t think he realized it at the time and neither did I. My dad was always snapping pictures on outings, vacations, special family times, and whenever he had the chance. He had several cameras that he used, including a Voightlander medium format and a Rolleiflex with recommended f-stops and shutter speeds written in German for differing light conditions; I still have both of these cameras which he returned with from World War II. He also had an 8mm and Super 8mm movie camera which he would shoot almost as much as the stills. Otherwise, my first introduction into the world of photography was as a model for dad and local portrait photographers that would come around once a year or so to get the annual “Pony Picture” for the family albums.
My first camera was a Mamiya Sekor 1000 DTL 35mm film camera with a 50mm f/1.8 lens that I purchased after entering military service in the U. S. Air Force. After completing my military service, I purchased a Nikkormat FTn camera with a 50mm F1.2 lens and traveled to Morocco where I spent 8 months photographing and participating in a study of Eleanora’s Falcon (Falco eleanora) conducted through Cornell University. Unfortunately, the project was vandalized during the study and all of our photographic equipment was stolen. Upon my return from Morocco, I purchased a Canon FTb film camera with a 55mm f/1.2 lens which I still have today. Since then, I have used Canon cameras and lenses almost exclusively in my photographic journey. I completed a Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of North Alabama (UNA) with a major in Biology and a minor in French and.graduated 2 courses shy of a minor in Photography. While at UNA, I worked as a staff photographer for the university’s yearbook the “Diorama.” During that same time period, I also worked at the local television station as a camera operator and photographer mostly shooting and working up local business ads to be aired during the evening news.0 After moving West to complete advanced degrees in Wildlife and Range Resources, I purchased two additional Canon F1 bodies and a cohort of lenses which I shot for over 30 years. Sometime in 2004, I purchased a Canon EOS IV HS which was Canon’s last film-based camera which I still shoot on occasion.
In addition to university-level coursework in Basic Photography, Intermediate Photography, Commercial Photography, and Portrait Photography, I have been an avid reader since a very early age and have an extensive library on film and digital photography. I have received additional training in photography by attending numerous seminars and workshops given by Rod Planck, John Shaw, Jon and Barbara Gerlach, George Lepp, Vincent Versace, Sam Abel, Jeff Schewe, Alain Briot and others as well as online training courses in photography and videography attended through Creative Live and Luminous Landscapes.
The Digital Transition
I entered the world of digital photography in 2010 when I purchased a Canon EOS 7D and a 24-70mm f/2.8 L lens. Subsequently, I purchased a Canon EOS 5D Mark III as well and both serve as part of my primary “go-to” gear.I use the 7D for telephoto work almost exclusively with its 1.6 crop factor and prefer the 5D for ultra-wides, wides, and normal lenses.
Digital Print Making
Digital images are captured and recorded in RAW format, and film files are scanned either on a Nikon Super Coolscan 4000ED film scanner or scanned with Hasselblad drum scanners at AgX Imaging in Saulte Sainte Marie, Michigan. Printers used exclusively for photography are an Epson Stylus Pro 7600, an Epson Stylus Pro 3800, and an Epson Sure Color P600 all of which use Epson’s Ultrachrome archival pigment inks. I employ Adobe Camera Raw 9.6, Adobe Photoshop CS6, and Adobe Lightroom CC for all of my post-processing work.