Frequently Asked Questions
How did you get started in photography?
After high school graduation I went to Alaska with a high school buddy. He had a new Nikkormat. I had my parents' Argus C3. Stewart ended up getting published in an LDS youth magazine and I looked at my photos and thought they were as good as Stewart's. I took a few classes at the SLC Art Center and became known as Camera Man among my backpacking friends. I got hooked pretty quickly.
Who has influenced your work the most?
Among the living I was first influenced by Brent Herridge in SLC who invited me to join a photo group he founded. John Telford taught me the finer points of using and printing BW. I soon purchased a 4x5 view camera. I had the good fortune of serving as an assistant to photo educator Al Weber for two summers at Snowbird. I've pretty much remained self-taught and I have taken casual instruction from all of my photographic friends.
Among the deceased I take inspiration from Minor White, Ansel Adams, Brett Weston and others.
Do you have a preference over B&W or color?
While I create images in both, I perform an extra cartwheel of joy when I come across an image that rocks my BW boat! I find compelling imagery in both areas and like to work both. I admire friends like Chuck Kimmerle to remain true to BW.
What are your thoughts on digital vs. traditional forms?
Those who take sides are missing the point and the point is, is that whatever form and its attendant technical appendages you choose you should choose it because it best helps you express your vision. Whether digital or traditional, they are both tools for the creative person.
What role does photography play in your overall life?
Photography is a way of life for me. Not a job. Not a hobby. It is largely the way I meet and go through life. Active seeing is the way I learn and photography is an outgrowth of that.
How do you balance a photographic career with your art, teaching and other interests?
Balance is a tricky word. One way to balance them is to view all other interests as feeder of my photography. Truly, when I come to make a single new photograph I do so thinking that all that I am at that moment somehow enters the frame. If I'm teaching photography or art to children, if I'm rafting or hiking, if I'm reading or writing, ultimately I'm working on my photography, as it is the final best expression of my creative self.
That's one way of thinking of it. There is a more practical one. I teach art to kids 5 days a week in a full-time, elementary school environment. This leaves little time for photography during the week. I spend some evenings processing imagery or working on my website. Weekends are often devoted to photo trips or printing. Summers are often dedicated to special projects and as many trips as I can fit.
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