Welcome to my new website, put together during “shelter in places” in April, 2020. Except for square images introducing categories in my portfolios, all images are horizontal, as it seems to provide a better flow for the enjoyment of the images. About a third of my images, not seen here, are vertical. NOTES is another area on this website where I plan to write about issues concerning photography that are important to me. Reading any of this is optional.
Retiring at 55 in 1994 enabled me to take up nature photography as a hobby. I purchased a used Canon camera with a bag and two lenses for $250 and joined the Santa Rosa Camera Club. Santa Rosa J.C. provided two classes in beginning photography. In 1997 I was fortunate to be in the White Mountain Bristlecone Pine Photo Class for a week with Stewart Scofield. Photography clubs’ contests tend to judge composition in terms off rules. Steward started with a day long discussion on seeing photographs saying that THERE ARE NO RULES. Approaching an image with preconception in mind, limits your search for its strength, for the opportunity to achieve a quality “beyond which the level of craftsmanship required is as sophisticated and as difficult to attain as that of any of the other fine art forms.” In an art museum, when you find a painting you really like, often you will move your body back and forth until you find the right distance (perspective) from which to enjoy it. Changing your bodies near — far relationship to an object changes what is observed: moving closer gives you greater depth of field, more texture, while elements within the image can change in size; a greater distance relatively flattens the image, stressing shapes. Composition demands the strongest ordering of the elements to be captured. Finding the best frame for the photograph before placing the camera on a tripod, then, requires an intense, time consuming, quality effort. This has provided the basis for my learning to see and become a fine art photographer.
During my first 10 years as a serious photographer, I was fortunate to win a good number of amateur photography awards. The square “Blue Agave Thorns” image that introduces the Abstract category in my portfolio was awarded Best of Show in Color by the California State Fair’s annual competition for winners of County Fairs. On a national level, I have received a first and fourth place recognition in annual club competitions of the Photographic Society of America. In the Pictorial category, the most important one for the 13 member Northern California Council of Camera Clubs, I achieved, for two years in a row, a first place. At the Marin County Fair I was awarded first and second place in color photography and over all Best of Show. Three Best of Show recognitions came form the Sonoma-Marin Fair. For 10 straight years, Photographers Forum Magazine’s Best of Photography annual selection (top 5-7%) publisher my work: The first year (27,000 entries) my Bristlecone Pine was give an entire page; an Award of Merit (top 10-60) was achieved four times. I stopped competing then.
My wife , Nancy, and I just celebrated our 50th anniversary. We have resided in Sonoma County since 1971, purchasing a house then under construction for $23,400. Our family is more important to us than anything else now. We have three fine sons, a wonderful daughter-in-law, and four marvelous grandkids.
I’ve served on the elected boards of the Old Adobe Union School District (1975-’81) and the Rincon Valley Unified School District (1983 -’94). For about a dozen years in raw 1970a and ‘80s I chaired the monthly meetings of the most important environmental group in Sonoma County: Californians Organized to Acquire Access to State Tidelands (C.O.A.A.S.T.), with some of the finest people I’ve known. My wife and I helped two families transition from a homeless shelter with Family Connection; I served a couple of years as its board president. For a dozen years I served on the board of Catholic Restorative Justice Ministries for the Diocese of Santa Rosa.
In the 1970s, Jack Cavanaugh and I were co-chairmen for Sonoma County for Michael Wornum’s two successful bids for Assembly. Our home on Crinella Drive served as headquarters for Bill Kortum’s unsuccessful campaign to challenge the county’s Taxpayer Associations efforts to recall him from our County Board of Supervisors. I became the second person then from Petaluma to win the four Toastmaster Clubs contests, the last for all Northern California, qualifying me for the Regional semi-finals in Washington. For three months each year for ten years (2000 -’10), my wife and I worked as Maryknoll Affiliates in Bangkok, Thailand, helping asylum seekers and prisoners. For many years now, my wife and I have been active in Restorative (Justice) Resources’ circles for juvenile and young adult offenders. As members of Petaluma’s Rapid Response Accompaniment group, and their help, we housed a homeless Haitian family while they gave birth to a fifth member. C.O.T.S. Family Shelter took them in shortly there after. We are also involved with Emmaus .