South Pasadena, California
In 2003, I first started to get into photography because of my love of desert wandering and keen but amateur interest in mineralogy. Living in Los Angeles meant close proximity to the Mojave Desert. During my vacations and weekends, I would explore the abandoned mines strewn throughout the vast Mojave area collecting mineral specimens from the mines themselves or their tailing piles. Rather than amassing boxes of specimens with no means of physical display, I hit upon taking pictures and posting them on a now defunct website as the display medium. I used a Sony Cybershot that had a special 'microscope' feature that allowed focusing as close as one centimeter from the subject. That was the beginning.
My photography obsession truly began in 2007 with my first trip to Hawaii. I am a rabid fan of snorkeling/freediving and wanted to capture in pictures what I saw. I quickly became disillusioned with the terrible quality of disposable underwater cameras. I vowed to buy a camera that was capable of showing people what moved me, so I dropped a bundle on a Sea & Sea DX1G. It worked. I combed Maui for the best freedive locations. Using only the ambient light during my freediving, I took thousands of pictures, spending many hours sifting for the best. On the advice of a friend who saw my best underwater pics, I began submitting to stock photography sites. Sales spurred my confidence, and I decided that I needed to buy an out of water camera to capture my love of the outdoors, particularly the American Southwest, the Canadian Rockies and the spectacular sunsets of Powell River.
With these landscapes as my new medium, my next camera investment was the Nikon D90 with a Nikkor 16-85mm lens. Along with them, I amassed filters, tripods, cable releases and other equipment necessary for premium landscape work. Moreover, I 'enrolled' in two private photo tutorials. The first was a four day landscape adventure in Northern Arizona and Southern Utah with renowned landscape photographer Mike Norton. The second was a three day intensive portrait photography class in West Hollywood with one of America's top portrait photographers, Lauren Rinder. Some of the best have taught me, and my obsession has not diminished.