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B a c k g r o u n d:

netherlands-.jpg
2000px-Flag_of_Finland.svg.png
German Flag.jpg
cz-flag.jpg
Netherlands, Finland, Germany, Czech Rep
IMG_1618-1_edited.jpg
255px-Flag_of_California.svg.png
1200px-Flag_of_Wyoming_by_Verna_Keays.jpg
Hawaii Flag.jpg
California, Wyoming, Hawaii
Des%20with%20an%20Oriental%20Bay%20Owl%2
South Africa Flag.jpg
tz.gif
255px-Flag_of_Uganda.svg.png
Botswana.gif
South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Botswana
Canada.jpg
2000px-Flag_of_Mexico.svg.png
2000px-Flag_of_Panama.svg.png
2000px-Flag_of_Ecuador.svg.png
Flag_of_the_Galapagos_Islands.png
Canada, Mexico, Panama, Ecuador, Galapagos 
Australia.jpg
New Zealand.gif
Australia, New Zealand
Sabah Borneo.jpg
Malaysia.png
resources_singaporeflaghighres.jpg
Borneo, Singapore, Malaysia
Argentina, Falkland Islands, South Georgia, Antarctica, Svalbard

I am a citizen of the world. With that, I mean that I have lived on 5 of the seven continents and visited all 7. While I was born in South Africa, I started out my life as a Dutchman. My family has been living around the world since I was born, and once I became an adult, I continued the wanderlust. Currently I am back in the US, living in the Bay Area of California. 

My formal schooling has been very technical, I am an analytical chemist by trade with a specialization in instrument design. This means that during my day job I tend to be very technical and focused on the intricacies of various scientific instruments. In an effort to balance my analytical side with a more artistic side, I took up photography as a hobby at a young age. I have been working on my skills for the last 40 plus years.  Having lived all over the world and being a passionate traveler, my second hobby, I have had many opportunities to photograph exotic places. 

I got my start as a photographer in the mid 80's. This start was as a result of a personal tragedy, where as a young teenage boy I lost my mother, an avid photographer, to Cancer. After she passed, all of her photographic gear collected dust for a few years as I worked through my grief from such a great loss. Having always been a keen observer, I was always attracted to the photos of all the exotic places and animals that my mother had taken. Shortly after her death, we moved from Guatemala to Germany for my last two years in High School. As a new student in a new school, I remember having the opportunity to take a elective course in Black and White darkroom processing. Remembering all of mothers photographic equipment languishing in a box, I picked up her old Pentax and decided that this would be a good way to keep her memory alive. This course was so inspiring that I quickly bought an old used enlarger and converted the utility room in our basement into a photographic lab. I enjoyed both the peacefulness of working alone in the red lights as well as the joy of tapping into my artistic side with both pictures and processing. Maybe this was also the start to my career in chemistry. As time progressed I  moved into slide photography and then into Digital Photography.  

My early gear as mentioned was Pentax, but i moved on to Olympus as my first Digital Camera, and have now moved into the Canon line. People often ask me which gear is the best, and are surprised by my answer when I tell them that the gear you own is the best. When pressed I always tell them that this is a difficult question since it depends on budget and personal preferences. I prefer Canon since I like their software menu system best (It makes sense to me). I also like them since they have a large line of accessories and lenses, which allows you to do almost anything you want to do. Furthermore since Canon and Nikon seem to be the most popular DSLR cameras, if you have one of these you have a higher likelihood that any photography friends you make may also have either brand. This leads to the ability to learn directly from others and to borrow their gear to test new lenses and accessories before you buy them.

What types of Photography do I like? Well I would say a lot of different types . I use photography both as a way to spend quality time by myself and as a way to spend time with close friends. The styles mentioned below have influenced my technique;

 

  • Bird Photography, Digi-Scoping, and Wildlife Photography (my wife is an avid birder and animal lover). 

  • Landscape Photography, Night Photography, Light Painting, Portraits, and even Nudescapes (My friends Ian, Steve, and Neil (all in Australia) have kindly shared their passion and tricks making me a better photographer in these styles) 

  • Urban Street and Cityscapes (My friend Terrance (Australia) was always a keen partner to travel into Downtown Melbourne) 

  • Visiting numerous art galleries and exhibits with my close friend and artist Fiona has also helped me develop a little more of an artistic eye not to mention the cultural experience and art appreciation that she has instilled in me.

  • Currently since my wife paints, she has also shown a great interest in my photography, and is always suggesting new ways to artistically enhance my compositions. This has been a great way to spend quality time together.

 

Each different type of photography has helped me in becoming a better photographer, by bringing skills learned in one style to another. This site shares some examples of my favorites images throughout the years.

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