a love of nature and art
My love of animals, nature, and art has been with me since I was a child growing up in Spokane, Washington. I was raised by a father who was a respected outdoorsman, writer, and photographer, and by an English mother who passionately loved life and offered a smile and friendly word to everyone she met. Family life revolved around the outdoors. We frequently visited neighboring lakes and streams to fish or identify flora and fauna, and we looked forward every year to family vacations on the Oregon Coast, which is still one of my favorite places.
I currently live in Tacoma, Washington – an ideal place for nature photography. I’m two hours away from the ocean, Mount Rainier NP, and the dry sagebrush interior. One of the top national wildlife refuges, Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually NWR, is 40 minutes away from my home.
I’m both a nature photographer and an avid birder, so you’ll notice that many of my images feature birds. I enjoy photographing all wildlife, however – from ladybugs to bears. It is my hope that my photography raises awareness of all our fellow creatures and inspires appreciation for nature’s inherent beauty.
I’m thrilled and honored to be selected as one of the winners of the 2017 Audubon Photography Awards. The winning photo is Varied Thrush and Sorbus forrestii, which you can see in my Songbirds gallery. I’ve been recognized by Audubon as having one of the top 100 bird photos in a prior contest, and my images have been used to illustrate Audubon articles and emails online. I’m also honored to have the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and major environmental nonprofits on the Oregon Coast use my photos for their educational efforts. Several of my photos are featured in a major line of Pacific Northwest greeting cards.
The winning Varied Thrush photo and other photos on my website are available for purchase as fine art giclée prints produced with archival inks on fine art paper. Simply click on Purchase Print beneath the photo and it will take you to a page where you can select the size and easily make the purchase.
I strive for truth in my photography, so what you see in my photos is what I viewed in the field. When it suits the photo, I do make changes in coloration for aesthetic and artistic purposes – including black and white and sepia tone - but I don’t add or remove major elements such as a bird, a branch, or even a cloud.
I also treat my subjects with the utmost respect. I use natural light, I don’t bait animals, and I try to be as quiet and unobtrusive as possible when I’m around them. My greatest joy is when they calmly accept my presence or not even know I’m there.
As the Trappist monk and theologian Thomas Merton said regarding his passion for photography, the camera serves “as an instrument of contemplation.”
Sometimes I’m overwhelmed by the beauty I witness. This happened on Mount Rainier one day as I was walking up the Skyline trail lined with lupine, paintbrush, and heather, completely alone with the mountain looming over me. This Navajo prayer came to mind, in which to “walk in beauty” means to walk in harmony with all living things:
With beauty before me, May I walk
With beauty behind me, May I walk
With beauty above me, May I walk
With beauty below me, May I walk
With beauty all around me,
May I walk
Wandering on a trail of beauty,
Lively I walk.
May you walk in beauty. Thanks so much for visiting my website.