When did you take your first picture?
Well take and make are two different things. I don’t remember the first photo I took. We all pushed a shutter release button at sometime in our life. I do remember the first photos I ‘made’. I was in high school and our family was on vacation visiting relatives. My parents were nominated to be ‘photographers’ for an organization they belonged to.
I borrowed the camera during our trip, and I started to play and experiment with different camera angles and not just shooting pictures of people standing and smiling. It’s probably the first time I really to look at things different, to really see.
What kind of camera do you use?
I shoot with Nikons currently. I use a D700, D300, D200, and a modified infrared D300. I also use Fuji DSLRs.
You use an infrared technique to create stunning panoramic landscapes, can you tell us about your process or is it top secret?
No, it’s not top secret. The sensors in digital cameras have an infrared blocking filter over them to keep the IR light out. This can be removed and replaced with an IR sorting filter, that allows the camera to ‘see’ IR light. That’s the D300 IR camera I use. And Fuji’s S2 can see IR right out of the box.
Living foliage ‘glows’ in IR the most, this is the main element I look for when making and interesting IR image.
If the trees or field is lit well and looks interesting, I’ll give it a shot. Also, dramatic clooudy skies look great in IR.
What is the most beautiful place you’ve ever been?
Wow that’s a hard one. Our family has been to over 40 of our wonderful National Parks. They are all stunning in their own ways. Right off, I’d have to say Yellowstone, but ask me again in an hour and I’ll think of another one.
Who are your main influences?
I would have to say more ‘what’ is my main influence. I have a limitless appetite for travel. If I’m not traveling, I’m thinking about or planning to travel.
Secondly, I’m a graphic designer by trade and education, so I’m always looking for interesting compositions and designs in landscapes.
I’m a lot like an antique collector, I’m always searching for undiscovered scenes to capture.
You photograph a variety of subjects, which one is your favorite?
I enjoy shooting anything that offers interesting lighting, composition, color, drama. And I’m always searching for that. I might be considered a photo junkie, maybe a photo hound has a better sound to it.
Do you (or did you) have an animal that is the muse behind your work?
The funny thing is, I’m not a huge animal person. I’ve had animals throughout my life, but I’ve never been so immersed in animals until I met my wife. Now I’m surrounded by them, literally. And we ended up moving to horse country in Florida many years ago. So much of my work revolves around horses.
I think if anything, I’ve become a lot closer to the many animals around me. Even when I go out and shoot, I’m amazed at the huge range of personalities a pasture full of horses can display.
I’m always looking for those affectionate moments horses, especially mares and foals, share. One of my most popular images is a foal gently rubbing up against his mother’s nose with both their eyes closed.
Where were you the most inspired, but without a camera?
I just got back from Photoshop World where I was able to go through seminars with several very talented photographers. In order to have a lighter load that day, I didn’t bring my camera with me. I only do this a few times a year for some reason or another. Every time I do it I feel horribly wrong. I figured I’m going to be at the convention center all day, what is there to shoot. Well, after seeing great images for over 6 hours and the fact that not having a camera makes me “see” photos more easily and more often, I was going nuts. I think that was the last time ever I’ll leave the camera behind.
What effect do you think the Internet will have on art and photography in general?
Well the internet has and will continue to have a huge effect on art and photography. It offers the world to every artist and art viewer. The flip side of this is the viewer won’t be able to see the whole world in their lifetime.
Artists have to be savvy and creative in order to stand out among the crowd. But to be able to put an image online and then know that people around the world are viewing it, is hard to comprehend.
Has it had an effect on yours?
Most definitely! I’ve just recently started a whole new direction with my blog. I want to share my knowledge and inspiration with everyone. I’m kinda a believer in the phrase ‘what goes around comes around’ I’ve started two weekly features; Photo Tip Tuesday, and Feature Photog Friday. I’ll be sharing practical tips for making better pictures and I’ll be sharing the site of other photographers who inspire me in one way or another.
I encourage everyone to subscribe to my blog for regular updated information. Just sign up in the upper right corner of my blog. If anyone wants to share a tip, ask a question, or suggest a photographer’s website, they can email me a firstname.lastname@example.org
Which one is your personal favorite image?
Favorite image?? That’s like asking which of your pets or kids is your favorite. Honestly, I think it’s all the photos that seem to just happen spontaneously without expectation. As the Roman philosopher Seneca said, “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity”.
What else are you passionate about?
Helping my boys earn their Eagle Scout rank in Boys Scouts, travel, history, helping organizations in our community, dark chocolate. Everything I do I try to do it passionately.
Working on anything new?
Well, I mentioned I’m updating and enhancing my blog. This is a big time consuming ongoing project as you know. I also have some ideas for new images I’ll be creating.
One concept is collecting infrared black and white images of American flags from all over the country. They will be square, probably 8 or 9″ square and the flag will be in color.
I have done this with a few of my infrared images, and they are a big hit. I want to make a wall filled with these square images, kinda a patriotic quilt of imagery.
More to Come
Also stay tuned for more interviews with horse artists and photographers.
Are you a horse artist or do you know an equine artist you’d like to see featured? Add your name and website in the comments below or drop me a note to get involved.