1958 - Jackson, California
Delta College, Stockton 1978
I became interested in photography growing up in the late 1960s. I had attended an Ansel Adams lecture at the college that my sister attended. Soon after the exposure to Adams, I tried my hand at a home photo processing kit. Watching photos develop before my eyes was magical. I’ve been hooked ever since
In November 1972, fire destroyed my high school. I was there with my new camera. The local newspaper asked if I had photos. The sale became my first paying photo job.
I’ve been very fortunate to live in photography since that time. First, my parents helped me get the photo my mother would drive me; my father built me a darkroom to develop it. Second, I was mentored by next door neighbors who also had an interest in photography. They opened the doors to the right teachers and helped push me through. The Bury’s had always been interested in photography and knew who could help develop me.
It was through the Bury’s and the sponsorship of my parents that I met Al Weber, a commercial photographer and founder of the photographic education program at the University of California, Santa Cruz. My first formal class in photography was with Weber to Alaska. At the same time a high school teacher got me involved with classes in ecology and photography through UC Davis. The instructor was John Hofstetter and I took several classes in Death Valley with him. I later assisted his teaching color photography classes at Columbia College.
After graduation from Ione High School, I continued my studies at Delta under the direction of Ed Schwyn where I learned the art of dye transfer color printing and honed my Cibachrome skills. I continued my University studies with classes from the late Steve Crouch, Phillip Hyde, Al Weber, and others. I briefly attended Brigham Young University studying photography where I learned the beauty of the full frame image. As the 1970s came to a close, I was fortunate to attend the Ansel Adams workshop at Yosemite where I was exposed to many interesting points of view in the art of photography.
In the early 1980s I worked as a color printer and assistant for the late Al Snyder a master graphic designer and photographer who was well-versed in commercial arts. I got into computers at the same time, visualizing their potential to photography and design. I did many of my own projects for editorial and commercial clients, in addition to personal work featuring The West. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, I worked as a graphic artist, using my computer and design skills for the California Department of Forestry at their training academy. In the 1990s I became technical advisor to Shooting the West workshop in Winnemucca which I still enjoy. In 1996 along with my partner Carolyn Fox, we self-published the book, Driving East to Find the West, about the people we met driving to Texas and back. Driving East showcases my design and photography and Carolyn’s writing and photography. We gave copies of it to our friends and clients for Christmas.
Since high school, I’ve traveled The Rural West extensively with a camera shooting what I love, including the people and places. Since the mid 1990s, my work is getting better known throughout the US. Recent editorial work has appeared in RANGE, Nevada, and VIA. My commercial and industrial photography has included work for Georgia-Pacific, Amador Commission on Tourism, and nuerous wineries. Recent books include America’s Heartland (2002), California 24/7, Nevada 24/7, Portrait of the West (2004). Cowboys and Country (2007), and This Land of the Free (2008). Calendars for 2009 include Real Buckaroo, Jackasses, Sunflower and others.
With e-mail and the World Wide Web, I’m not isolated in the world market. I use this tool to continue finding new clients and interesting projects to photograph. With the advent and expansion of digital tools for photography, the magic continues toward new and exiting images yet to be seen.
I am a member of the American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP), Editorial Photographers (EP), and National Association of Photoshop Professionals (NAPP).
1946 - City of Orange, California
University of California, Irvine 1968
Jackson, California 1978
I’ve always had good luck with contests. When I was in kindergarten I had my first public showing of my work in the Laguna Art Festival with a portrait of a Rhode Island Red chicken done in poster paint. My first camera was a plastic Brownie. When a teen, I advanced to an Instamatic, then a Yashica; none of which I had mastered. Frustrated by my lack of success, I would do large watercolor paintings by copying my photos. This was entirely too much work so I decided to take a photography class and lab at Columbia College in Tuolumne County, California. There I fell in with a bunch of field trip addicts and I began to see the world. This consisted mostly of the Mojave Desert and one great trip 275 miles through the Grand Canyon of the Colorado on a rubber raft.
My first photo was published by Sierra Heritage Magazine in Auburn, California. This was the result of a contest that I made the effort to enter. Next I entered The Great Nevada Picture Hunt created by C.J. Hadley at Nevada Magazine. I won a lousy Honorable Mention. This got your name in the magazine without a photo. A couple of months later Nevada called and asked for the photo to be sent back. More time passed and when I received the latest issue the Honorable Mention photo was on the cover. Later C.J. would start her own magazine, Range, and would use my photos and also my words. I put American West Magazine out of business when I won first place in their photo contest with a black and white print of a view from three windows taken at the ghost town of Rhyolite, Nevada. The prize was a Pentax 645 with a telephoto lens both of which I use all the time.
In 1996 I wrote a book entitled Driving East to Find the West published by my sidekick Larry Angier using his Mac computer. It was about the people we met when we drove to west Texas and back. It was something I had to do. We always have the best luck where ever we go. Sometimes, its getting a bride and groom to pose at sunset on the highway near Buffalo, Wyoming, or photographing the bare-backed young man covered with Anasazi-motif tattoos while he sketched the petroglyphs outside Moab, Utah.
This brings me to the new millennium where I continue stock and calendar photography along with a little writing. Sierra Heritage, Nevada, and RANGE have all very generously considered my manuscripts without query letters. I have completed courses through San Joaquin Delta College located in Stockton, and now know the correct way to make a submission. I must disagree with my writing teacher when he said, "You should write what you know," but rather I go along with Arthur Miller: "He who understands everything about his subject cannot write it. I write as much to discover as to explain."