May 2017 Magazine - Page 54

You started photography at a young age. What made you want to pursue it? Glitter Gulch certainly doesn’t conjure images of nature. How does living in Las Vegas affect your art? I became interested in photography when I saw my first black and white images as a teenager. I was amazed by the emotion one could feel by simply looking at an image. I took a summer job working for a commercial photography studio where we focused on print advertisements and, while the subject matter was not of particular interest to me (mostly food), I found the process very interesting. I loved seeing how much energy and detail went into capturing a single image. It really laid the foundation for the attention to detail and patience I would need to call upon later in my career. It certainly controls the variety of local subject matter and my ability to shoot more frequently. The wonderful weather allows more days/nights in the field and the local wildlife more “out and about” time which makes for more activity in the field. I have lived in Las Vegas for 16 years now and love it. I would never want to live anywhere else. ◆ From food to animals. What was the draw to nature photography? I chose to pursue photography of the natural world for a few reasons. First, it’s naturally beautiful-there’s no need to do anything to it to make it attractive. It’s my challenge to capture an image in a way that my viewer can see some of the beauty that I see. Second, I think people really enjoy getting back to their “roots” in this tech- crazy world. Images of nature are a way for us to feel grounded; a way to relate to our planet and the creatures we share it with. Finally, my subjects don’t complain if the shot isn’t perfect. Nature rarely cares if its eyes were closed! What does it take to get the perfect shot in the real world? I will usually decide on a species I want to shoot and then plan an itinerary around that location. You have to find wildlife and “pattern” their behavior if you want to observe and photograph them with success. People often assume that you just show up and the animals come out to play. This can occur, but there are many days when I sit out for hours and see nothing at all. You have to be willing to get out there and put some time into it. The Natural History Museum exhibit was your first public showing. What did you hope to share with your audience? I separated the exhibit into two parts—one focusing on Nevada and one on the rest of the world. I selected images that I felt were dramatic and would grab a viewer’s attention. I also wanted people coming to the museum to learn something about each subject so I included a small card with each image that gave some details about the subject itself or how I captured the image. I wanted my viewers to connect to each piece and walk away with something they didn’t know or feel before. 54