A Quiet Calm

A deep breath of air.  A quiet calm.  Sublime observations of minute interactions between light and shadow pulse through the minds eye.  I stand unfettered, patiently accepting the pace at which the natural world unfolds before me.  I stand and stare, lost in peace as my subconscious mechanically calculates the scene.  A slight breeze blows from the East, and I awake in time.  Composition is right, light is balanced, exposure calculated, image taken.  I slowly pack my gear, sling it over my back and continue the slow march deeper into the desert, into nature, into myself.  I take a drink of water and a deep breath.  A quiet calm.


Architecture Design | and all that

A whirlwind of activity over the past several weeks has yielded a substantial new portfolio, a fresh direction, new clients, and a healthy respect for design.  Heavily focusing on a single photographic subject forces you to evaluate it in extreme detail, to learn its' subtle nuances, to see it in a light that perhaps is unconsciously ignored by the passerby.  Until I started to truly look at architecture through my lens, with eyes honed from years of patiently photographing the landscape, I failed to appreciate the level of manufactured grace that comes from the understanding of space and how to fill it with man-made constructs.  I've come to be inspired by something that compositionally resembles the natural world, but otherwise is the exact opposite.  I now see architecture as a three dimensional canvas that has two very different, yet symbiotic, functions.  It must be usable, and at the same time visually powerful.  The space must tell a story, whatever that story may be is up to the architect.  Perhaps it's one of integration into the surroundings, or a narrative on the use of sustainable materials.  I see it, as an architectural photographer, to capture all these things in two very simple dimensions.  To show the viewer the power of a building or beauty of a space, to communicate the architects intent.  I love my job.


The Astronaut and the Humbled Photographer

I love all things space.  Space travel, history, ships, rockets, trivia, telescopes, moons, pulsars, the list is almost endless.  The Right Stuff is the first move I remember seeing in the theater, well maybe Empire Strikes Back, but they're both about space travel.  I'm a whiz at space trivia, or at least space history trivia, the science can get a bit tricky.  I have old school mission patches, including from my favorite astronaut, Cooper.  Yes, I have a favorite astronaut.  Check him out, he was the definition of one cool customer.  I follow the NASA missions with intense interest and mourned when Spirit got bogged down for good on Mars.  I find it all so incredibly fascinating and wonderful.  Last October we went to the Academy of Sciences building in the Golden Gate Park here in San Francisco.  Each Thursday night the museum puts on an a party, they dim the lights, serve drinks, and even have a DJ.  Which is a bit odd walking around a modern science museum with the thumping base beat pulsing in the background.  Sometimes they have a theme, and bring in special people and displays in honor of that theme.  So last April they celebrated Yuri's night, the anniversary of Yuri Gagarin's historic space flight with a slew of different events and speakers.  Buzz Aldrin was abound as were other NASA astronauts. They showed an amazingly cool planetarium show, basically about how very small we are, and how very big the universe truly is.  Trust me, it's big out there.  I have to say now, I've never met an astronaut, and for me it's definitely a 'star struck' kind of thing.  Place any A-list actor in front of me and I could almost care less, but an astronaut, well that's a different ball game.  After a few hours of wandering, and taking in the humbling planetarium show I finally met my first astronaut.  I was a little star struck.  But, as we got to talking he mentioned he did photography as a hobby, and I immediately thought okay now not only do we have something in common, I have a little edge up.  I blabber on about this shoot and that, images I got in far off places and he patiently listens and then chimes in with this.  He was on the first shuttle flight after the Columbia accident and one of his jobs was to spacewalk underneath the shuttle and check for heat shield damage, where he tells me he has a little extra time and so decides to bust out his cameras, yes plural, he likes to shoot what's called stereoscopic images, essentially 3D, and photograph the distant horizon line of the earth.  Trumped.  Astronauts, they just do everything a bit cooler.


Buildings, Spaces and Interiors

The past month and a half has been a hotbed of architecture activity.   I've shot, edited and shot some more.  Traveled from Napa to Stanford and many spots in between to re-brand my commercial portfolio.  From research centers to museums, houses to office spaces, I've shot a little bit of everything. Outside, inside, big vistas and small details.  I'm extremely happy with these new images and with this direction.  The visual elements are very similar to landscape photography in terms of light, composition and design.  I've been meeting with architects, interior designers and builders to get the word spread around.  This particular portfolio will be updated quite frequently as I'm photographing fresh images almost daily.  Stay tuned...