I grew up in the flatlands of Cleveland, Ohio where some of my earliest memories were watching lake-effect snow storms inundate my suburban environment, transforming an otherwise uninspiring landscape into a dreamworld. After a family ski trip to the Colorado Rockies, I became transfixed with open spaces and crooked lands. Nature and light made a strong impression on my early imagination and left me with an urge to capture and share this inspiration. After receiving a Polaroid camera as gift from my parents when I was five, I quickly realized it was the perfect medium for expressing my love for the natural world. I was hooked.
That passion has only grown with time. I currently reside in New York City, far from the windswept, wet and wild places that occupy my dreams. There is no lack of inspiring imagery in NYC, but the sense of longing for wild spaces gnaws at my imagination and the comfort of my nine-to-five. The tension between stability and the risk of chasing dreams is something that plays an important role in my work. As an avid skier and backcountry trekker, I often escape the city with my camera, skis and a pack in search of fresh snow, solitude, and light. While my passions are for wild open spaces, I also seek to capture scenes of mystery and beauty in the manmade, exploring different ways of seeing my immediate surroundings in NYC.
My inspiration for photography is rooted in the books I read and the music I listen to. Authors such as Ernest Hemingway, Antoine De Saint-Exupery, and John Muir inspire the images in my mind that I seek to create through my lens. I admire the works of classical landscape painters from the Hudson River School for their interpretations of composition and light. My images generally begin with an interpretation of my surroundings and a vision of what I wish to create. From there I study a variety of dynamics such as weather patterns, atmospheric conditions, topography, the seasons, and even celestial mechanics, as a painter uses different brushes and paints. I hope you find appreciation in the foresight, long treks, failed attempts, and patience that underly these images.
The technology in digital photography is astounding and continues to advance, however, a digital sensor will always be inferior to the human eye and other senses. No technology can replicate the sensation one experiences in a wild and beautiful setting in fleeting moments of light. In creating an image, I seek to understand and compensate for photography's inherent limitations. My goal is to create the best possible “in camera” image and I incorporate a variety of tools and techniques to achieve my interpretation of a scene. I may use physical filters and tonal corrections in the digital darkroom to compensate for high contrast scenarios. When lighting conditions are especially challenging, I may use multiple exposures and combine those exposures in the digital darkroom to enhance the dynamic range of the image. In addition, I may combine multiple exposures to achieve a wider field of view. Finally, I may use minor cloning adjustments to clean an image of small distractions. My images reflect my interpretation of the actual scene but are not the result of heavy Photoshop adjustments.
I hope you enjoy these images and take inspiration in the world that surrounds you. Our modern world tempts us to live our lives virtually and drives us from our natural environments. In nature lies the cure for many of our modern-day anxieties and my goal is to inspire wonder and adventure in our own backyards. Go find those local places that inspire you and lose yourself. Let yourself wonder.