I set out into the wild, for the very first time in 2007 with nothing but a camera in hand. Back then, I didn’t know that I would be laying the track for what would become the greatest adventure of my life. In 2007 I had the privilege to travel to Haiti, a beautiful country with happy hearts, and souls that I would very quickly call my friends, if not my second family.
As I traveled from villages, mostly on foot, I had the wonderful opportunity to capture the great landscapes around me, and, unfortunately, some of the ugliness, corruption, and poverty that lay before me as well. Even back then I found myself gravitating more towards the beauty of nature and showing off what most would simply walk by. I saw the way the pink flowers would shoot up from the ground, a plague they called it, something that choked the life out of the native flora and fauna. I found it absolutely breathtaking.
A few years later In late 2012, I found myself needing an outlet. I remembered my time in Haiti and quickly bought my first camera. It was an old Canon Rebel XS, 10MP with a kit lens; it was my first DSLR. I found myself once again gravitating towards the outdoors and into nature. Nebraska landscapes became my love. I would venture long distances often in the middle of the night to capture the beauty of this state and there was more of it than I actually realized. I made this my habit and before long, it was like therapy to me to capture the greatest sunsets, sunrises, and storms that would be on full display.
ABOVE: Dragonfly macro, with the Canon 100mm f/2.8
Then Covid happened. In 2020, Covid greatly reduced my ability to travel and see the beauty of this state. I found myself sitting inside most days. My motivation to shoot was still there, but how would I travel around without putting myself and others at risk? I then had an idea… as long as I’m in nature, by myself, in the open the risk should be relatively low. I wouldn’t be traveling long distances anytime soon so how about I see what’s right here in my own backyard? Literally.
I quickly became acquainted with my macro lens. A 100mm f/2.8L Canon model macro lens that allows me to take amazing close-ups of things that we literally walk on every day. I found that the world beneath my feet and the world of tiny things was just as interesting if not more so than the large landscapes I would photograph. The tiny world was full of strange creatures, tiny mountains and rivers, and valleys that kept me intrigued and continue to keep me intrigued. Being unable to travel as much has taught me that art is truly everywhere only if you know where to look.
ABOVE: Sunlight through a butterfly’s wings, a macro shot with my 100mm f/2.8L
Suddenly the world didn’t look so closed in anymore, there was something new to explore, something amazing and it was accessible. The best part was, being a photographer and artist I could then bring this new world to those who love art and were also yearning to see something beautiful. It helped me out because I had my passion back even though I couldn’t move very far. It really helped keep my spirits high and I’d like to think others seeing my work kept theirs high as well.
Art has a way of connecting people, through different mediums, and ideas, we can see through the eyes of someone who views the world differently from us. We can see things from another perspective. I always say that a blend of beautiful colors is the best medicine one can possibly receive. There is no cure for COVID but through art, we have a way of lifting our spirits.