An early interest in photojournalism landed me at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks where I honed my camera skills freelancing for the college paper and the Fairbanks daily and weekly newspapers as well as shooting weddings and wildlife. After college, I detoured into reporting and editing newspapers in Fairbanks, Anchorage and Juneau with some occasional camera work.
I took an even sharper turn away from photography to commercial fish for salmon near Glacier Bay before marketing seafood in domestic and overseas markets and then serving in local government and the Alaska State House and Senate elective offices before becoming Senior Advisor to the Secretary of the Interior for Alaska Affairs. While ping-ponging through professions in Alaska, my home darkroom served mostly as extra storage for boxes of home detritus. My Nikons were expensive bookends.
It wasn't until the dawn of the digital age that my briefcases slowly were replaced by camera bags and my neckties began to give way to camera straps on weekends and getaways in the nooks and crannies of one of our nation's greatest legacies-- the public lands each of us, as citizens, have a nonexclusive right to use. (Woody Guthrie said it best in his mostly forgotten verse from the epic folk song This Land Is Your Land: "As I was walkin', I saw a sign there/And that sign said no trespassin'/But on the other side, it didn't say nothin'/Now that side was made for you and me.)
I found myself drawn to the peace and wonder of our communal lands and, boy, does Alaska have a lot of public lands. The national parks, national wildlife refuges, BLM lands, and national forest lands cover about two thirds of Alaska. Everyone of us is a co-owner. The mountains, woods, rivers, and coasts in the public domain, as well as the wildlife each nurtures, inspire awe and teach patience. Each offers photographers color, lack of color, surprise, peace, and sometimes a cleansing rush of adrenaline.
While most of my photography over the last few years focused on Alaska's public lands, Marylou and I now live in Bend, Oregon and we're starting to peel back the wonders of the Pacific Northwest. We look forward to many new challenges, new experiences, and new images on the public lands in Oregon and the neighboring states.
Each of the galleries, with the obvious exception of the Africa gallery, only includes images from our national public lands or state and local parks. The Africa gallery images are from one of that nation's treasures--Kruger National Park.