I have always loved the natural world. Some of my earliest memories revolve around its calming and mysterious beauty. As a child I struggled to keep pace with my father’s long strides as we hiked through the forests of eastern Pennsylvania. Sometimes we’d stop so I could lift a fallen log, sitting to watch the orange salamanders and spiders dart into the leaf litter. When I was ten I was given an old microscope, and suddenly realized that a whole world could exist in a drop of pond water. Later in some turbulent teenage years I again turned towards the peace of and simplicity of nature. Spring days were spent crouched near gurgling streams, watching iridescent fish slash at rising mayflies, while I readied my fly rod.
This need to feel a connection to the outdoors carried over into my college choices, and I spent time in Alaska and Penn State before settling on the University of Miami. Here I could study marine biology, fish, and explore the unique landscape of the Everglades. It was also in Miami that I was introduced to photography.
Picking up a real camera for the first time (an old Canon AE-1) was like turning on the lights. Something just clicked and I was able to view the world around me in a new way. I still enjoyed the amazing sunset reflecting over the water, but now I began to realize why. I studied every book and photographer I could find, learning about composition, exposure, lines, color, equipment, and technique. I made many awful photos, but with practice I began to use the camera to look deeper; to find beauty within beauty, and started capturing these fleeting moments on film.
Now outdoor photography is a driving force in my life. It gives me the remarkable ability to express myself while bringing attention to the fragile magnificence of our planet. I have seen blowing sand dunes stretch into the distance, trees that towered over me like buildings, and jagged coastlines thundered by waves. Each experience refreshing my love of nature and its challenges.
Some time has passed since I first picked up a camera, enough to realize that I will always be a pupil to this art and to the world it draws from. However, I will never grow tired of learning.