May 21, 2008: Joined TrekEarth

I recently stumbled upon a great web site that accomplishes two things: 1) allows photographers to display their work in a supportive and orderly environment, and 2) helps others to learn more about the world through photography...two very good things!! :) The site is call TrekEarth. To see my TrekEarth profile, click here. Members are only permitted to upload one photo per day, so I only have 2 photos posted to the site at the time of this entry. I will be submitting many more photos in the days to come. Please take some time to view the many wonderful photographs submitted by all the other TrekEarth members.

May 15, 2008: I'm Back!!!!!!

After a very long hiatus from the world of photography, I'm finally back! Upon returning home from Oregon, I just wasn't feeling the whole photography thing. I snapped some photos on a couple of vacations (see Cozumel and Ecuador), but aside from those two occasions, I just couldn't seem to motivate myself to go out in search of subjects.

Photography is usually a very solitary pursuit, especially nature photography. It involves waking up early and hiking around in search of the best subjects and the best light. Once I returned home from Oregon and was reunited with my friends, I realized that I didn't want to spend as much time alone as I used to, and I wanted to try out some new activities. I started mountain biking a lot, especially freeride/urban assault/trials-style riding. I also started playing guitar again. I actually ended up selling all of my high-end Canon gear. I had pretty much given up photography for the foreseeable future.

Well, something happened to me recently that changed my mind. Her name is Cassie and she rocked my world!! :) We have been together for 9 months now (the best 9 months of my life) and I love her very much. We are perfect partners in crime. We do everything together and share many adventures. She loves the outdoors as much as I do, and we recently started hiking and camping together. Being out in nature again, and seeing all the beautiful landscapes, plants and creatures, sparked something inside me. I tried to tell myself that seeing nature with my own eyes was enough, and that I didn't need to capture it in photographs in order to truly experience it...well, I wasn't totally convinced. I found myself yearning for that rush that I feel when I get home and load the images into Photoshop to see what I captured. I had to start photographing nature again...even if I just invested 1/3 of the energy that I did when I spending most of my free time on photography.

I decided that I was not going to buy $20,000 worth of photo gear and lug it all around with me everywhere I go. Instead, I decided to purchase a smaller, lower-end digital SLR, a small, light tripod, and one or two small lenses (see the My Gear page). This will allow me to hike and backpack without increasing my pack weight significantly. I don't think I will be producing as many images as I was back in 2004, but I will be ready to capture images of beautiful scenes, plants and animals as I come across them in my travels with Cassie. So, I am back!!! :D

July 1, 2004: I'm Coming Home!

I've had a great time since I've left Northern Virginia and it's been an adventure for me, but I've decided that I want to return home. When I decided to leave VeriSign, I wanted nothing more than change. I wanted to live a much more modest lifestyle in a place much different than the D.C. metro area and I wanted to do nothing more than to spend a year photographing the Pacific Northwest, with the hopes of eventually turning my favorite pastime into a career. After 45 days of traveling and setting myself up in a new town, I simply realized that I miss Virginia. I miss my friends and I miss working with computers. Thinking of my photography as a possible means of financial sustenance sucked the fun right out of it. It added a pressure that was never there before. Photography is my creative outlet. It's my primary source of pleasure in life, but only when it's an outlet and not a requirement. I've decided that I want to work in the corporate world again. I want routine and I want to be challenged daily, and software engineering gives me just that. I am returning to Virginia by August 1st and I am looking for a new employer sometime around the end summer. I have clarity, perspective, and I'm excited to return home. Life is good.

June 1, 2004: Published in Nature Photographer Magazine

Nature Photographer, a small magazine that showcases field contributor's images, has published my photo of the osprey with the fish in its talons in their spring edition. It's not one of the major photography publications, but it's still an honor to have one of my photos chosen. I'm glad to be a part of any publications that promotes photography and appreciation of nature.

May 13, 2004: The Adventure Begins!

My condo has sold and I have finally moved out. I settle on the sale of my condo tomorrow at 11:00 AM. I'm signing the papers and shaking a few hands, and then I'm on the road, due west!!! The adventure shall now commence. My journal is now being posted in case you care to track my journey. Wish me luck!

April 07, 2004: Purchased Canon EOS 1Ds Digital SLR Camera

This was definitely an impulse buy. I had always told myself that this camera body was too expensive and that I'd wait for the release of a less expensive, high-resolution, full-frame sensor Canon EOS body. Well, I'm clearly not one for waiting. I just had to have this camera. It has a full-frame 11.1-megapixel sensor, so my wide-angle lenses are now wide-angle lenses again. I don't have the advantage of a 1.6x sensor conversion when using long lenses to shoot wildlife, but I do get a 45-point autofocus (AF) system that is far superior to the 7-point AF system found in the EOS 10D. The 1Ds has many other cool features, too many to mention here.

If you are interested in learning more about the Canon EOS 1Ds, you can read this review at Digital Photography Review:

DP Review - Canon EOS 1Ds

April 02, 2004: Moving to the Pacific Northwest

After 6 years of working for Network Solutions & VeriSign as a Senior Software Engineer and a Software Development Manager, I've decided to alter my course a bit. I have resigned from my position at VeriSign and I'm taking an extended, 1-year photography trip to the northern coastal region of Oregon.

I have really enjoyed working in a fast-paced, ever-changing corporate environment over the past six years, but I think it's time to try something new with my life. I'm selling my condominium in Fairfax Virginia, packing up all of my photography tools and supplies, and driving across the country to Oregon. In fact, I'm only packing what will fit in my Ford Expedition. If it doesn't fit in the truck, it's not coming with me. All the rest of my belongings will be sold or will go into storage. I don't even know where I'm going to live in Oregon. I'll just have to figure it out when I get there. The point is that I've been very materialistic for most of my life, primarily concerned with career advancement and salary increases. Over the past two years I've come to realize that photography and nature are the two things in life that I'm most passionate least for now. Who knows? Perhaps I'll get to Oregon and realize that it's not my cup of tea and that I miss life in the corporate world. If so, I'll just come back. Perhaps I'll get to Oregon and decide that it's what I've been searching for and I'll settle down there and start the next phase of my life. Frankly, I don't care. It should be fun... anything just to break up the monotony and ennui that sets in after doing the same thing for too long.

I plan on hitting the road by May 20, 2004. I'm going to spend 3-4 days each at Bryce Canyon, Seqouia/Kings Canyon, and Yosemite National Parks. After Yosemite I'm heading straight to Oregon. Once I begin my roadtrip, I'll also begin posting my daily journal on the site for those that may, for some reason, be interested in following my small journey. At the very least, I hope to walk away with lots of images that I'll have with me for the rest of my life. Life is short!

January 15, 2004: Gallery Showing in Leesburg, Virginia

I was offered a gallery showing at Photoworks Photography Studio in Leesburg, Virginia. Photoworks participates in Historic Leesburg's First Friday Gallery Walk. The Gallery Walk takes place on the first Friday of the month, year-round. Local Art Galleries and shops participate in the Gallery Walk by displaying the work of local artists, craftsmen, and photographers. A sampling of my photography will be displayed at Photoworks on the first Friday of September, 2004. If you are local to the Northern Virginia area, and are interested in attending one of the many Gallery Walks, check out this site for more information on First Friday:

January 01, 2004: Honorable Mention in Photo Contest

Received Honorable Mention (Travel Category) for "Seattle Center After Sunset" image in the Popular Photography & Imaging's 10th Annual International Picture Contest. The image was printed in the January 2004 issue of the magazine. This was the first contest I've ever entered. It's not first place, but I'll take what I can get!

Last Updated: 05/21/2008

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