I have been photographing nature, both landscapes and wildlife, for nearly forty years now. I enjoy being outdoors in the mountains – in the woods or meadows, hiking or canoeing with my cameras. I’ve been on a personal quest to find the perfect scene and capture it on film or, now, in the digital age, on a media card. Over the years I’ve taken quite a few photos that approach this criteria but I’m not sure I have ever quite attained it. I do know I am never more at peace than when I am in the wild with my camera and scope, when there is nothing more than a pretty scene, or a wild animal – nature, natural light, quiet, peace, and me.
My beautiful wife started it all. Long ago, she gave me a Yashica SLR camera with the standard 50 mm lens as a Christmas present along with two coffee table art photography books - one on Yellowstone and the other on Yosemite. It didn’t take me very long to get hooked. Within the year I upgraded to the Nikon system of cameras. I now own six cameras and nine lenses, ranging from a 20 mm wide-angle to a 500 mm f/4 for wildlife. We also have two spotting scopes, and numerous tripods and binoculars. We are ready!
I have literally thousands of images of wild places. A small percentage of them have been deemed good enough to be matted, framed, and hung. My photos hang in almost every room of our house (lately, they’re slowly being replaced by my paintings). There are mostly Yellowstone shots, but also photos from the Grand Tetons to Yosemite, Zion and the Grand Canyon, New York’s Catskill and Adirondack Mountains, and Alaska.
Recently, I have begun to paint again. In Watercolors! I think it’s great! It’s relaxing! I enjoy it tremendously! I can take one of my best photos, or a photo that has a good composition but mediocre light, draw it, and then paint it in the light I feel it should have had all along. I can add patches of light or shadow. I can move things around, trees, rocks, and animals. I can add or eliminate them too. It’s amazing! It’s called artistic license. A better, cleaner composition is just...better!
Lately, I have been stuck on Yellowstone National Park. It’s been quite a long time now, going on decades. This will be our fourth straight year in the park. We drive cross-country because of all the equipment we bring. I’ve decided to stick with the Yellowstone theme and paint mostly Yellowstone scenes, at least for now. I also have a New York City series. Paint what you like best, right? I started with scenes, landscapes - trees, mountains, rocks, water, and sky. I quickly tried wildlife.
Check it out!
More to come….