There was a time when I hated taking pictures. I was the guy who would actually forget the camera on purpose when we would take the kids to an event. Then about twelve years ago we bought a digital camera and it changed my life.

The first time I really got serious with the digital camera was on my second trip to the Amazon. On my first trip six months earlier I took a couple disposable cameras with me, not knowing how safe it would be to take a “real” camera. I was very disappointed with my photos after I got them developed. The cheap little disposable cameras just didn’t capture the majesty of the vistas I had witnessed.

But on that next trip, I took my digital camera and kept pointing it at everything. At night I would lay in my hammock and flip through the pictures on the camera’s tiny LCD screen, decide which ones to keep, and purge the rest from my painfully small memory card. At the end of the trip I imported the photos into my new MacBook and played with all the nifty tools iPhoto had to offer. I was hooked.

Over the past decade my hobby has become one of the greatest sources of joy and expression in my life. The camera gear has changed quite a bit, and the computers and software are much more complex and capable. My son Alex shares my passion and we make regular journeys to find those special shots. Our favorite subject is one we call Strange Beautiful…others call it urban/rural exploration. We like to find abandoned places (homes, factories, hospitals, hotels, power plants, etc.) and capture the colors, textures, and atmospheres of these forgotten places.

I shoot primarily using a technique called High Dynamic Range photography, or simply, HDR. It is a fancy term for taking a series of photos of the same object/scene at slightly different exposures. You then combine the images using software and perform a variety of tone mapping operations to bring images to life that you otherwise could never perceive with just the human eye. Many times the results are truly breathtaking.

My son Alex has a completely different style, which makes shooting the same subject matter with him exciting. He prefers macro (up close) photography and tends to focus on small details in a scene, using a variety of specialty lenses and focal techniques to achieve amazing results. He sees the world in a unique way and captures things that I would otherwise never see.

In the end, photography, like writing, is all about conveying ideas and emotions. I am truly thankful to have the opportunity to capture places and moments that speak in ways people can understand. Please visit my photography page and I hope you find something there that speaks to you.

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