People often ask me what camera I use to create my landscape and macro photos. The Nikon D800E is my camera of choice, and I use a variety of lenses depending on the scene. The RAW files are then processed in Photoshop or Adobe Lightroom. While gear is important, it is secondary to composition and weather. When I first transitioned from motocross photography to landscape, I did not realize the importance weather plays in determining outcome. It took several years to understand this concept, but when I did, my images changed dramatically. My favorite time to photograph is early morning when predawn light gives way to the warm tones of sunrise.
Most of my work focuses on landscapes, but I also enjoy macro photography. I seek out subjects that are unique to the rural Midwest. That includes old barns, fences, farm ponds, hay bales, pastures, field roads, flowers, and woodlands; anything that can be composed in a pleasing way. A lot of what I do includes elements that are both ethereal and moody.
Photography is a spiritual connection to nature. For me, it is setting out before sunrise anticipating the opportunities that lie ahead. In the still of the morning, I am isolated from the cares of the day. The sounds of my footsteps broken only by wildlife awakened by predawn light. This entire experience is shared with wildlife and the rest of God’s creation. What could be better than that? Each sunrise represents new possibilities and yesterday’s concerns fade away. If I can capture one special moment and share that experience with others, then it is a good day!
My path to photography was no direct route. After graduating college and farming for several years, I changed directions and found work as a web designer. Digital photography was just beginning to take root, and an interest in motorcycles motivated me to combine my love of photography, web design and motorcycles.
Fueled by an interest in motorcycles, my nephews suggested I try photographing motocross and immediately found a passion for the sport. I shot motocross for about seven years, mostly local races, but also photographed a variety of pro events. Race day often meant shooting thousands of photos, and painstakingly reviewing each before posting to the web. My motocross/motorcycle work has appeared in publications, tv and websites, including Barnett’s, Rumble Magazine, ATV Racin’ Extra, Dirt Wheels Magazine, Movin’ Out…Atvscene.com, Art.com and iStockphoto.com. One of my earliest pieces even appeared on the hit, motorcycle show, American Chopper.
After the 2008 recession, my motocross work hit the skids, signaling a change in creative direction. I love the outdoors, so I began photographing a variety of landscape subjects. Living in the Midwest there is no shortage of scenes that represent the rural lifestyle. Barns, bales, barbwire fences, farm ponds, woodlands, and so on… soon became my inspiration. God surrounds us with beauty, my goal became to find subjects, that are often overlooked, and capture them in a unique way. In a crazy world, landscape photography gives me purpose and allows me to see my surroundings in a completely different light. Whether it is black and white, or color, I enjoy finding subjects whose compositional elements seamlessly combine themselves to tell a story. In my opinion, that is what makes photography interesting and rewarding.
PO Box 272
Carlinville, IL 62626