About Me & My Photograpy
I was born and raised in North Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. While I enjoyed taking photos as a kid, I never developed a desire to pursue photography as a hobby or profession, but rather just to document the fun times, holidays, trips, activities, and to make memories.
A few months before my 30th birthday, I moved to Homestead, Florida, in southern Miami-Dade County. By this time I had a 35mm film camera (automatic) but rarely used it. This was around the same time that the digital cameras were coming around. People started migrating to the aptly named 'point 'n shoot' cameras that were unbelievably expensive in their early days; especially compared to the quality.
By the mid 2000's, my office had purchased a few of these cameras to document job sites. I 'borrowed' one for a long Labor Day weekend. Little did I know that this was the weekend that would change my whole perspective on photography. As I drove home that Friday evening, the most beautiful sunset was happening in front of me. I pulled over on the entrance ramp to the Turnpike and nearly got clipped by a passing car for my troubles. When I looked at what I had captured I said to myself, "yeah, that was worth almost getting hit by a car". By the next payday, I bought one of my own; a Nikon Coolpix. I loved it!
But my desire to capture quality images was hitting the limit of my camera. I was out in Shark Valley of the Everglades one afternoon, taking a tram ride, when a bird took flight and I tried desperately to get a shot of it flying away. My point ‘n shoot stalled and I got nothing, I was so frustrated! A guy across the seat from me with one of those 'fancy cameras' was rattling off shots like a machine gun. I asked him what kind of camera it was. I don’t remember the brand, but I remember looking it up online and was shocked at the price. Nearly 10 times what my little ol' point and shoot cost. It was a DSLR. And oh did I want one.
After a discussion with a professional photographer, I ultimately discovered I couldn't afford one, not the newest and latest model. And I certainly couldn't justify the expense if I could. Nope, that would have to wait. But not for too long, as very shortly I was given the opportunity to buy a gently used older beginner model; an Olympus E500 for the bargain basement price of $200. It sure did look good! I had absolutely NO idea how to use it, but I played with it until I realized this wasn't going to be easy. I went to seminars, I went to a local camera store's free event, I even went to Miami Dade College and enrolled in a beginner to digital photography class. Only to find out that the instructor was there to teach composition, not how to teach us how to use our cameras as they were meant to be used. I bailed after 3 classes. Nope, I would have to learn on my own. For the next 4 years I gave it little attention. I occasionally bought accessories; a tripod, some memory cards etc., but nothing helped my ability or understanding of how it worked. So it mostly sat in its case.
Until a friend shared a local event with me on Facebook. I read the vendor list and WHOOP! hit me like a freight train, there was a camera club! But not just a any camera club, a South Florida National Parks Camera Club! Just what I had been looking for. I didn't make it to the event, but I did keep the club on my radar and a few months later an event came up that pushed me to finally join. It was a starry skies night workshop in the Everglades. Oh I was so excited! I joined right then and there and never looked back. Nine months later I had enough of my Olympus [what I had so lovingly nicknamed] POS. It was terribly unsatisfying and extremely frustrating (to this day I think there’s something internally wrong with the focus mechanism). I was determined to buy a new Nikon. And after a nice gesture from the boss that Christmas, I had purchased my first Nikon DSLR, a D7100 with 2 kit lenses, six days before Christmas, 2015. Merry Christmas to me!
After that special day, my confidence rose, the quality of my images skyrocketed, and my photography outings were consistent. I even went out and bought the National Parks Pass as I was in and out of the Everglades almost every weekend. 2016 was THE year for me to come out of my photography shell. Soon I would be submitting images for shows, and entering a few photo contests, and even joined another camera club. I was bound and determined to excel. Which finally led me to creating this website. As my exposure grew, people wanted to see my photos and Facebook wasn't cutting it. I decided to start a website and showcase my better images. I’m still learning and still practicing, and that’s about all anyone can do.
So sit back, scroll through the gallery pages and enjoy!