The January rainstorms had come to the Utah high desert mountains, making it a perfect day to capture the storm clouds and rainbows that moved across the various mountain ranges. As I was driving on the outskirts of the small town of Gunlock, Utah, I came around a large mountain cliff ledge. To my surprise under the ledge were at least a dozen donkeys trying to escape the cold, freezing drizzle and get the warmth coming off the rock face. There were two donkeys in particular that caught my eye because of their noisy insistence on being in the same place.
This King Penguin chick, warm in his downy “fur coat,” didn’t seem to mind the snow, cold, or gray skies, but he plaintively called for his parents hoping to be fed. Larger than either parent he seemed to be well cared for, but his full-throated calls and beseeching body language made it clear that he wanted his parents and food now. It’s hard to make your voice heard among so many thousands I’m sure, but it made us smile. He has more in common with human children than he knows.
Walking along the boardwalk at the Wakodahatchee Wetlands in Delray Beach, Florida, I was taking pictures of birds when I heard a thunderous roar emerging from under the boardwalk. I also heard a huge splash and people screaming. I knew without looking that an alligator had emerged from hiding and grabbed something in the water. Looking into the water I saw the alligator with a turtle in its mouth. My emotions elevated into help mode and my impulse was to grab a stick and hit the beast in an effort to free the turtle that was attempting to escape but caught on the alligator’s huge teeth. I also realized the alligator could severely injure or even kill me.
Growing up in Florida, I began playing golf at an early age. However, for many years the most important club in my golf bag was the ball retriever. Florida golf courses are notorious for their water hazards and I believe I found many of them.
This pair of cream-colored mountain goats presented themselves on one of my early morning trips to the Mt. Evans Wilderness in Arapaho National Forest, southwest of Idaho Springs, Colorado. They could have been mates, sisters, brothers, or rivals. The hair raised along their backbones, particularly the goat on the right, suggests they were spooked by the presence of people. At 13,000 feet above sea level, this scene, as well as the thin air, literally took my breath away. Only three photographers were privileged to shoot this scene, which changed a second later, for eternity. Nature and photography are funny that way.
During a recent photo shoot getaway at Joshua Tree National Park, my primary vision was a foreground filled with a Joshua tree and the background would consist of a large rock formation with star trails circling the scene.
While driving up to higher elevation searching for the perfect scene, it became evident that it had recently snowed and I spotted this snowman that a mother and her two young sons were just completing. I stopped for a while and enjoyed making a few images of the snowman and as I was walking back to my vehicle it dawned on me that this rare desert snowman would make a great subject for my star trail image.
In the fall of 2011 my wife and I traveled to the Charlevoix region of Quebec known for its spectacular autumn foliage. Unfortunately, the weather was uncooperative with heavy rain, dark clouds, and high winds.
Disappointed but undeterred, I pocketed my Fuji X100 to explore the local vibrant artistic community. I came across the veranda of a local artist’s boutique and my mood immediately improved. The whimsical and creative display with the “Commedia dell’Arte” surreal theme reminded me of children playing joyfully in the rain.
At the Goodyear Blimp hangar in Pompano Beach, Florida, I was struck by the stark geometry of the common site of the blimp. The preparation platform makes a distinct linear comparison to the round shape of the blimp seen nose on. I must say, too, that the sheer size of the hangar and blimp are quite remarkable. The blimp took off within 15 minutes of this photo and it was quite a sight.
After a long morning shoot throughout Death Valley National Park my wife and I found ourselves at Furnace Creek at the Borax Museum. She was intent on going inside the museum but I spotted old equipment outside that previously had been used in mining operations. Being a strict nature photographer I am normally not attracted to architectural venues or mechanical subjects. But on further examination I found the afternoon light to be pleasing, casting interesting contrasts between the illuminated equipment and shadows. I was particularly attracted to this old rusty train locomotive, one of two engines previously used in Death Valley on the narrow-gauge railroad extant during the borax mining era.
Late in 2010 I made a trip to South China to visit my wife’s family in a village of rice and vegetable farmers. Being very hot and humid there, I always looked forward to walking the bean fields with my camera late in the day. It’s very peaceful and sometimes you can catch a cool breeze.
Bicycles are integral to the city of Amsterdam’s lifestyle and while traveling there, I decided to give myself an assignment and carve out time to concentrate on them alone. I set up in the open window of my hotel room along a busy, narrow thoroughfare with a designated bicycle lane, next to the Amstel River, and began to shoot. I recorded an incredible variety of bikes, including some for hauling everything from pets to freight, but this one, which I call “Rush Hour,” has become my favorite.
Traveling in winter on the train from Dresden, Germany, the mostly overcast countryside zipped by as the train quickly moved along on its way to our destination in Prague, Czech Republic. Occasionally the sun peeked out from the clouds and lit up the houses and the industrial areas we traveled through. At first I thought my images might be impaired by a too slow shutter speed and the reflection in the train windows, but I quickly decided to use those problems to my advantage. The photos I ultimately made (and named “Views From the Train”) clearly indicate movement, low light, and reflections; qualities that mirror both the literal and metaphorical aspects of the country we traveled through.
Hiking through the mountains in the Poudre Canyon above Fort Collins, Colorado, I happened upon a small clearing. Up against a mountain and surrounded by a grove of aspen trees, I found this very old abandoned cabin. The sight of this stopped me in my tracks. I immediately felt chills and a sense that I was stepping back in time. I took very slow steps as I listened to the wind move through the cracks of this home from the past. I felt as though I was trespassing on a family from long ago. I stayed long enough to capture this image with the sun setting the front aglow.
I captured this image on a backpacking trip to the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in Michigan one wet, stormy morning. I’ll never forget rounding the corner to the beach at dawn, instantly getting blasted by 25 to 30 mph winds and standing in awe of the massive 15- to 20-foot waves that were plowing into the shoreline. I decided to start shooting what was becoming an amazingly intense sky when all of the sudden a rainbow—than a double—materialized in the frame. I never moved the camera when the rainbows showed up—they were compositionally perfect in the viewfinder!