Photography became a serious hobby for me in 2013 when I was, quite literally, looking for a hobby. I took a beginner photography class in the University of Cincinnati's adult education program. At the time I was using a point and shoot Panasonic that I had bought to take pictures in the woods surrounding the house I rented at the time. Once I started understanding how all the dials worked and what all the weird numbers meant I got excited. I permanently borrowed my dad's Nikon D60 and a few lenses, took a few more classes and I was off. The real springboard was a trip to Ireland with my camera (at this point I had traded in dad's camera and lenses for a D3100). I realized that I could use photography as an excuse to travel to Europe! Looking back on those photos makes me cringe a little but it was an exciting time for me.
Here we are 10 years on from that first photography class and as I write this I have been back in the US for 2 weeks from a trip overseas. While I am still lugging camera gear through airports and around European cities, that gear has changed a lot and I am currently in the process of paring the amount of equipment I have back to a manageable size. I switched to the Nikon Z mirrorless system during the COVID pandemic and do not regret it for an instant.
My typical photography target is the natural landscape. That may be here in Ohio, or in one of our amazing US National Parks or, most recently, on a subtropical island off the coast of Africa. During the pandemic I started trying my hand at macro and on my recent trip to Lisbon I even tried "street" photography which was way outside of my comfort zone! I just enjoy seeing the world through a camera lens and trying to get the photo to communicate what I feel when I see a scene. I love that photography gives me an opportunity to exercise both the right and left sides of my brain. On the one hand, there are definite technical aspects to this hobby that let me apply my science background and operate with structured "rules" to get a proper exposure and compose a scene, but on the other I get to be a rebel and break those rules whenever I want...just to see if it works.
I grew up in Greater Cincinnati (but born in Columbus!) with my younger brother and sister and our two tremendous parents. We lived in a suburban area but I fondly remember spending countless hours in the woods and "wild" areas around our neighborhood. Hiking, collecting fossils, looking for critters, canoeing and camping were regular features of a typical summer when I wasn't at baseball or soccer practice.
I studied Environmental Science in college which only deepened my appreciation of how our world works and the systems which tie us to each other, to our planet's other inhabitants and to the planet itself. I worked for several years as an environmental and occupational safety consultant in Cincinnati and Indianapolis when I entered the real world. Monday through Friday I am currently an Environmental, Health and Safety Specialist for a large chemical company. I'm lucky enough to own a house in a very rural area with a fairly good size piece of land where I can practice my eccentricities without annoying too many people. I am currently owned by a 2 year old English Springer Spaniel named Rosie.