Growing up in Kansas I had a lot of opportunities to spend time outside. I hate to admit it, but at the time I did not pay much attention to the landscapes around me. I did, however, learn to enjoy being outside. For me, my first forays into photography were an excuse to be outside and that excuse is still one reason I like to pick up my camera and head out for a drive.
A common question I often see asked of photographers is what do you want to achieve with your work? Honestly, I struggle with that question. I enjoy being outside and that is part of why photography interests me (I do not know why I need that excuse to go out and enjoy time in nature, but it does seem to motivate me). I want my photography to connect me to the landscape around me and I want to really be there and not have my mind running in a thousand other directions thinking of other stuff. Photography can help me be more present (and sometimes have the opposite effect). I like the challenges of photography, both on the technical side and the creative side – and the most important challenge of blending these two aspects together. I often find a scene where something has grabbed my attention, try to really isolate what that something was and then create something that represents that experience of being there or to create an idea or vision that I have of a scene. Ideally, I would like to strive to create something that can really provide the viewer at least some sense of what I was feeling (not just seeing), something that can stir some emotion in the viewer, conjure a good memory or just create a feeling of peacefulness. I think the natural world is a beautiful place and of course I want viewers of my photographs to get a sense of awe and recognize the beauty in the areas I photograph.
Most of my photography is done in the Flint Hills region of Kansas which is the largest remaining area of tallgrass prairie in North America. I grew up in wide open country and find a lot of beauty and peace in the prairie and wide-open spaces. There is something relaxing about that to me, and it helps me try to keep the world in perspective. I hope my photos can bring some of those feelings across in them.