Oh, Beautiful America !
America is blessed with countless scenic places -- west to east, and north to south -- which inspire, enrich and restore us.
One of my goals for this website is to highlight and share what is special about the places I visit.
Every image in the Oh, Beautiful America portfolios has been selected to celebrate the diversity, beauty and grandeur of the American landscape. I've drawn from National Parks, Monuments, and Wilderness Areas, state parks, public lands and seashores, and even local parks, lakes, creeks and farmlands.
I've been at this for 20+ years now, but assembling a comprehensive view of something as large as America is a challenge. Fortunately, I take this as an on-going assignment and regularly add to my image portfolios. Be sure to check back for updates.
I recently read something by Ivan Makarov, who wrote: “I do not photograph because I see. I see because I photograph.” That's how it's worked for me. My awareness at each place is greater when I am intent on identifying what I want to photograph and share.
No matter where I go I find myself watching for potential subjects and imagining compositions, whether I have a camera with me or not.
When I go out to shoot I look for an interesting location. I want a composition that will show what's special about the place, first, but also what it was like being there. Making a worthwhile photograph is an elusive goal. Recognizing what is there is critical -- a puzzle to be solved.
I love what I do. I savor the surprises and constancy of nature. I am moved by the sights, sounds, scents and sensations of each special place.
Some outings are more productive than others, obviously, but every trip and every hike should be rewarding in some way, simply for being out and attuned to nature.
For about nine years "home base" was my gallery in Littleton and Centennial, Colorado, where we gratefully sold framed pieces, more than a thousand large prints, a comparable number of smaller prints, and complemented it all with loads of stylish and artistic gift and decor items.
Denver visitors apparently liked our place, voting us top gallery in the city many times. (See the AWARDS and HONORS section tab on this site for more details.)
In a "previous life" I've worked with people in the performing arts as a vocalist, musician, teacher, conductor and artistic director, drawing on two college degrees in music (SIU and DU). When time allows I like to treat myself to a great concert or theatre production in Denver, or while on a shooting and family visit trip out of state.
I live in Colorado but, as a photographer, can head any direction for a change of scenery. If I've done my research properly, there's likely to be a special subject waiting at the end of the lane, or over the hill, or down at the bottom of the canyon.
Sometimes, the best subject isn't even the one I planned for, and that's a gift.
The promise of a stunning dawn motivates the hour-long hike in the dark. Add a touch of dramatic weather, and you have a chance for something magnificent.
Art Wolfe succinctly explains what all nature and landscape photographers live for: "...the instance when circumstance, light and subject matter miraculously collide to form an iconic image." When this happens, it's a fabulous natural high!
Today, in this digital era, there is so much equipment available that relieves the casual user of technical guesswork. Nearly everyone can take a “perfect” picture. Point. Shoot. Score! However, if the objective is to also make a revealing, expressive or memorable image, the photographer is even more important now, whether using film or digital gear.
Camera manufacturers have not been able to program the attributes of judgment and artistry into their computer chips. Yet.
In 1998 I began working with a 6x7 medium format film camera and six prime lenses for all my work. I valued its rugged simplicity and dependability. However, as the years passed, I also became more aware of the weight and size of my gear, and the technical versatility of digital capture.
While I enjoyed being seen as anachronistic, I continued with it because of the image quality the system could yield. I could produce excellent big prints – some 4’x 6’ or much larger – with wonderful clarity and tone. As you look through the image portfolios nearly half the shots are still from this gear.
This pair of Colorado landscape summer scenes is in the main waiting area for the Rocky Mountain Ear Center, Denver's Swedish Medical Center. Other images are in their conference room, corridors and offices.
But, practicality, efficiency, convenience -- even cost -- won out. In July, 2014, I converted to a full-frame digital camera and an array lenses in my field pack. The shots from this equipment are beginning to show up in my portfolios. They're designated "nd" in the picture captions, meaning "Nikon digital."
For a lot of home or business locations it's important to match the scale of the finished pictures with the size of the room or wall.
For example: Late in 2012 I installed a pair of landscape scenes at a commercial location which were 5’x 10’ and 5’x 12.' Awesome!
Here's the 12-footer. We moved a couple of the cars away so you could see it fully.
For this location the image was divided into three equal panels, so they could be handled safely for the times when the wall would be repainted.
When the Colorado Association of Realtors remodeled their Inverness Business Park (southeast Denver suburban location) headquarters building eight of my Colorado scenes were chosen to decorate the corridors and common area.
Here are three different interior placements.
A review of my sales records shows most of my work goes to residences, with the balance a mix of corporate and professional installations, health care suites, and commercial sites.
These two pictures (right) are from the reception area waiting room, from a treatment and rehabilation clinic in North Platte, Nebraska.
Several other scenes can be found in consulting areas, offices, and conference rooms.
The scene of dune grass and rippled sand (left) is from a Colorado home.
If you're looking for an image to bring drama or vivid color to a focal point wall in your home or place of work, I'd like to offer my services to consult with you on your options. I frequently will prepare a mock-up of a client's place and digitally insert a variety of pictures for you to review on your computer.
While there's a good chance you'll find an ideal scene here in one of my portfolios, there is another option. We can discuss adding it to my "to do" list for an up-coming trip.
I deliver and install within the general Denver area. On occasion I've provided a delivery further away when it coincided with a shooting or personal trip. I've crated and shipped pieces all over the country, as well.
In any case, I'll look forward to talking with you.