As a young boy, I spent much of my time with my grandparents, and thus they had a great influence on my life. My grandfather, especially, was a piano teacher, church organist and choir director, as well as an amateur photographer and, last but not least, gardener. I also traveled with them by car to visit relatives in California several times, so was introduced to the west and southwest’s National Parks and Monuments and the wonderful scenery, so different from that of northern Iowa and southern Minnesota where I grew up. The fact that I have made my living as a professional musician, in what I refer to as my first life, and that I have always had an interest in photography, and plants and flowers and grand vistas, or at least images of them, should come as no surprise.
After starting my second life in the computer industry, and marrying my wife and starting a family, I felt the lack of artistic expression and this, coupled with the desire to see and travel through wilder areas of this continent, both with my son and with fellow enthusiasts, led me to started dabbling with a 35mm film camera to document my travels. This led to attempts at some artistic expressions that were, at best and very rarely, acceptable, but at worst, simply frustrating.
I was a rank amateur with the camera with no direction or focus. The frustration wasn’t worth it, so I put the camera down.
After my health forced me to re-examine the priorities in my life, I decided that I wanted to change the way I lived and what I did for a living. The question was what direction to take? Fortunately, I was offered, and accepted, a trip to Alaska along the Inside Passage then north to Denali National Park in 2008 and that rekindled my interest in traveling, and in photography as a way to express my joy and wonder at the scenes that were presented to me.
That is how my third life began. Ansel Adams had been and still is an inspiration, and the internet opened other photographers’ visions to me. In comparison, I have a lot to learn, so that is my challenge and my life today. I have been studying and working to improve and that has rejuvenated me and sparked my drive to try to present the beauty that is all around us in such a way that it helps others see and appreciate it.