Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer had nothing on me. I had the luck to grow up in Chico, California. It has a wonderful creek in the entire length of the park which was eleven miles long. It is the third largest municiple park in California. The top end is a rugged deep canyon with cool pools and tumbling rapids of water. Then it meanders down to the valley and flows slowly under huge groves of old growth valley oaks, sycamores and vines. All I needed was my bike, a mask, fins and a fishing pole and I was good to go. Almost every day, all summer long. What a life.
It was here that I really learned about the fish, the animals, the birds and I developed great respect and love for them. I grew up in nature. It felt comfortable and natural. It was a great way to grow up.
My first camera was a Kodak Brownie. It was interesting, but less than overwhelming. Years latter, my Dad brought home a Canon F 1 with a 55 mm 1.2 lens. Now that was impressive! Soon I was burning through rolls of film trying to go from snapshots to something more compelling. Something approaching art. In college I took a course in photography just for fun. That was interesting ! The whole class would go to the same place and yet everyone had different images. I was soon spending many hours learning the dark arts of imaging.
After more years of studying and testing I returned to Chico, started a practice and thought up an idea for a product that I patented. I manufactured it and marketing it and was soon doing some serious travel. My camera came with me. The more I shot , the more I enjoyed it. I was able to visit in a lot of different cities and countries and I always made it a point to visit some museums. I admire painters because they had photoshop in their heads. If someone was too heavy, they simply made them thinner. If they needed a red coat instead of a blue coat. No problem. No programs, no updates. It was in their heads. Sheer talent.
I also grew to appreciate the fact that the rules of composition that painters had developed over the centuries was practically the same for photographers. Composition was simply the most powerful way of seeing.
Eventually, I got an opportunity to go to Africa. It was a game changer. It was a perfect fusion of science, art, biology and adventure. It called on my practical knowledge of animals and birds in a predictive sort of way. Things can happen at very fast speeds in east Africa. You have no control over what your subjects will do next. Just none! If you are fumbling with your camera's settings, its gone. Things you have never seen and probably will never see again are forever gone. Preparation, technic, and prediction. High speed art.
Most people when going of their first safari, say "It's like coming home to a place I've never been to". People from all countries feel a kinship to Africa. Sometimes, with luck, everything comes together. And I capture an image that will stand out and remind us of the awe and wonder to be found in our stunningly beautiful, great green and blue planet. A second frozen in time.
If you find an image that might harmonize with your home or office, well, I'd like to help you out!
Please feel free to contact with me with your questions. I look forward to hearing from you ! I am often out shooting, but I will get back to you when I return. And thank-you for dropping by.