Summer Round-Up

I had a great time exhibiting this past summer at numerous art festivals throughout Chicago and Milwaukee. Interacting with others about my work and sharing stories is always uplifting as I’ve found the communal nature of the art world extremely inspirational.

Capturing images in the field and polishing them in the studio is extremely challenging and rewarding but sharing them with others, for me at least, ties the artistic process all together.

The Hungarian composer Béla Bartók once proclaimed, “Competitions are for horses, not artists” and for many years I held that notion. However, under the spirit of sharing my work and “getting it out there”, I entered a couple of competitions for the first time. Despite what Bartók said, I promise you I’m still fully human and haven’t grown any hooves!

I am proud to announce that a select number of my images have won awards in two major competitions: The 2018 Professional Photographers of America (PPA) International Competition and the 2018 International Photography Awards (IPA) competition.

Three of my images, Evening at Nymph Lake, Saguaro of the Superstition Mountains, and Vermillion Glow, received a Merit Collection award and will be on display at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia, Jan. 20-22, 2019, during Imaging USA, the annual convention and trade show for professional photographers.

Four of my images, Ghost in a Granite Landscape, First Light at the Badlands, Saguaro of the Superstition Mountains, and Vermillion Glow each received an Honorable Mention under the Professional Nature: Landscape Category at the 2018 International Photography Awards competition.

Limited edition prints of these works are available.

I’m honored and humbled to see my work stand the test of critique and to share the stage with amazing photographic artists from around the world!

Best. Quote. Ever.

My role as a creator comes full circle and I feel fulfilled when I capture, edit, share, and receive feedback on my work. The camera allows me to share my slice of reality with others. Whether my slant on reality agrees with the viewer or not, ultimately, does not matter.
What matters to me is successfully communicating my aesthetic experience of a particular subject through my art.
Recently, I had the opportunity of exhibiting six landscape works at the InSight Gallery hosted by the Chicago Photography School during the Ravenswood Art Walk. It was a dream come true for me on many fronts. Ravenswood, on Chicago’s Northside, is where I grew up and I’ve always been a fan of the yearly end-of-summer art walk. I also love the community at the Chicago Photography School and to be on display alongside wonderful photographer friends was exciting.
The weekend was filled with over 1,000 visitors walking through the gallery space and I had a lot of insightful conversations about my work with others.
Some people shared with me their personal experiences with the National Parks I had photographed and others asked more technical questions about camera settings and technique. One man in a tank top with bulging muscles stood across my work and, as if he wanted to beat the answer out of me, looked me square in the eye and muttered, “How did you get those colors?”.
 My favorite comment, however, was made by a lady that pulled her boyfriend aside and said, “It’s like Ansel Adams but in color!” My jaw dropped to the floor.
Are you kidding me?! She had no idea how much her comment meant to me but I was ecstatic. My work somehow resonated enough with her to make the Ansel Adams connection. Of course I’m no Ansel Adams— far from it. And, although Adams is most known for his prolific black and white landscape photography, he also dabbled in color. Nevertheless, her comment offered some assurance that I’m artistically growing in the right direction.
Printing and exhibiting my work is a goal I hope never to lose sight of in an age where it’s much easier to post online and leave it at that. After all, the printing process has the power to reveal what we’ve overlooked and hanging in a gallery, or on any wall for that matter, carries with it ascribed respect and admiration for our work.
And I’ll be listening. Not to inflate my ego but rather to gauge if my photography has successfully communicated something of value to the viewer.
After all, it’s more fun interacting with others about my art than staring at the computer screen and questioning whether it means anything to anyone. And, if you’re wondering how I got those colors… well… half the secret is in drinking a lot of coffee!