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Photography is Seeing


I bought my first real camera in 1972, a 35mm Konica Auto S2, black and silver with its knobs, dials, and leather case. From our home in Northern California, I went with my Dad on numerous trips to the mountains and coast, learning how to shoot with Ektachrome 64 slide film, with its vivid blues. Shooting images of Yosemite Valley was far and away my favorite. We rushed the exposed film off in bright yellow mailers to the Kodak lab to have it processed, eagerly anticipating the chance to view the slides projected on a large screen.

I love doing landscape photography in the National Parks of the American West. I am thrilled to be in the middle of a stunning display of beauty and wonder, as light is cast in countless ways on mountains, canyons, rivers, and trees. In the summer of 2011, I was alone in Arches National Park before the sun came up. Soon golden light was bathing the sandstone, and I was taking pictures like the kid I was back in California. I always feel a sense of awe and connection in these magnificent parks. That’s what I try to convey in my photography.

Delicate Arch in Aches National Park, Utah

I admire the work of Ansel Adams. I shoot with a Fujifilm X-E3, and process in Adobe Lightroom. Scott Kelby’s Digital Photography series got me started. I love the non-technical, “here is how you do this” approach. For a more philosophical approach, I like Bruce Barnbaum’s The Art of Photography.

Engaging in landscape photography helps me see. It slows me down and often leads to contemplation and prayer. There is a beauty beyond the beauty. “Nature” is better described as Creation, the artistic work of a God who is generous and beautiful. John Calvin referred to Creation as “the theater of God’s glory.”  If you look closely and patiently, beauty is everywhere to see. You don’t have to go to a National Park. I live in Columbus Ohio now, and I see glory all the time–even in a mud puddle next to a cornfield. Engaging in photography helps me see, and I hope my photographs help you see, so the beauty beyond the beauty moves you.

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