Above: Photographing Lake Powell from Hole-in-the-Rock, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Utah
I am a self-taught nature and wildlife photographer. My favorite subject to photograph is the night sky and I have a passion for making images after dark. My photography primarily focuses on my home area of northeast Minnesota but I also have an ever-expanding collection of images from other locations as I extend my travels "Beyond Minnesota".
Above: "Beautiful Silence"
A hint of northern lights over a lake in Grand Portage State Forest, MN
My number one passion when it comes to photography is the night sky. I love photographing it but I also love the simple act of just being with it and experiencing it. For me it is my number one anchor that keeps me grounded and centered.
Often times the most notable quality of the night is the silence. I have experienced many nights where the silence is deafening. To hear that silence you need to push everything out of your mind and let yourself truly be in that moment. It's not an easy thing to do. Our minds tend to always be running with some sort of thought or memory. I know mine is like that.
Our subconscious is always replaying that day's events, or thinking about what might happen tomorrow. Most of the time I don't think we even realize it. That's why I like the night sky so much. It's the easiest way I can quiet my mind and just be there in the present. When I'm gazing up at the sky, especially on such a quiet night, I feel utterly and completely relaxed and refreshed.
It's one of the best ways, in my opinion, to balance out the clutter and commotion of modern life.
Above: "Mindfulness and the Milky Way"
Self-portrait in Grand Portage State Forest, MN
I try to practice mindfulness and being in the moment as much as I can and it's had a profound effect on my life. I used to busy myself with capturing as many images as possible and thinking about when or how I was going to share them with the world. But lately I've been doing less of that and instead trying to fully immerse myself in each moment and experience.Much of the time when doing this I never even take my camera out of the bag. Sometimes, when I do make images, I don't share them for a month or more.
In the practice of being mindful I've noticed that I feel much calmer than I used to. My mind doesn't race the way it used to. I feel rested and peaceful more often than not. My actions with the camera are much more deliberate and thought out than they used to be. The above photo is a good representation of that mindfulness. I feel like it really conveys the sense of calm and peacefulness that comes with truly being in that moment, right then and there.
It also reminds me of a favorite saying (and title of a book about mindfulness):
"Wherever you go, there you are."
Below: "Taming the Dragon"
Self-portrait in Borrego Springs, California
Sony RX 10 III
Nikon 14-24 f/2.8
Nikon 16-35 f/4
Nikon 24-120 f/4
Formatt Hitech 100mm filter holder with 77mm wide angle adapter mount
Formatt Hitech 100x150mm 2-stop soft-edge graduated ND filter
Formatt Hitech 100x150mm 2-stop reverse graduated ND filter
Formatt Hitech 100x100mm 6-stop ND filter
Formatt Hitech 105mm circular polarizer
Robus RC-5558 Vantage Series 3 Carbon Fiber Tripod
Kirk BH-40 Ball Head