From my earliest memory, I was interested in the cosmos. I remember staring up at the sky on a starry night, as a child, and thinking: Where do we come from? What are we doing here? One Christmas my Dad gave me a telescope, and I’ll never forget the excitement I felt, being able to view the moon so closely.
I started my career in photography working at Samys Camera rental department in Hollywood. There, I learned how to use cameras and lighting equipment, cleaning and checking all of the gear, as it came back from being rented. Eventually I ended up photo assisting for some of the biggest commercial photographers of our time. Guys like Terry Richardson, as well as many others. Terry was instrumental in starting me on my career as a commercial, editorial, and fine art photographer. He taught me the importance of having my own voice in photography.
Primarily a portrait photographer, last year I started playing around with this little phone app called Instagram. The criteria for me at the time, was to use this app purely for fun, in the hopes that it would provide a nice break in my free time between shooting commercial jobs and magazine editorials.
I attempted my first night landscape photo about 3 years ago at my friend’s house in Joshua Tree California, shooting towards some mountains in the distance, with the starry sky above. Little did I know at the time that my camera just so happened to be pointing at the Milky Way galaxy. Later, after much practice on sleepless nights in the California wilderness, fumbling around in the dark with cameras, perfecting the look of my nightscape photos, I went back through those first images and noticed the Milky Way. I was blown away!
What started as a sort of vacation from my commercial work, has turned into a body of work that has gained interest over time. Maybe I’m trying to convey a kind of transcendence through visual meditation, if you will, with these night landscapes. I hope you enjoy them.
Capturing an image like this one involves waiting for clear weather, and planning around the percentage of moon that will be in the sky, as well as the position of the moon and orientation of the landscape in relation to that position. All of the images used here were made with a Canon 5D Mark III camera, and either a Canon 24mm lens, or 16-35mm lens. Made in Joshua Tree California in April of 2014.
Taken sometime during April of 2015 in Joshua Tree California, not far from the 26 mile road that loops through the park, I was convinced this photo was going to be a mistake, due to the light pollution from the brake lights of a truck that had passed nearby, but when the image appeared on the back of my camera’s lcd screen, I knew I had gotten lucky with a “happy accident”, as so often happens.
I made this image in early March of this year, at 1am in the morning. I had to take quite a few, as the fog was entering in thick waves, then leaving the valley.
Taken in 29 Palms, California in June of 2014. I climbed some boulders and saw what looks like lantern light and campfire light across this canyon, and thought it would capture the spirit of adventure and mystery that I felt at the time.
I had hiked with a couple of friends on the Big Horn Mine Trail to the actual mine, and on the way back we stopped every so often to make photographs such as the one here. This non specific night landscape really spoke to me for some reason. It reminded me of a magical Disney movie I may have seen as a child. Made in March of 2015.
A couple of friends and I traveled to Horseshoe Bend in late March of 2015, arriving here a couple of hours before I made this photo. The drop from the cliff 5 feet in front of where my camera was is at least 1000’ and many people have lost camera equipment over the edge of this very spot.
If you turned 90 degrees from the view of the previous photo, this is what you would see at 5am in late March, given clear skies.
A couple of friends and I hiked The Delicate Arch Trail in Moab Utah’s Arches National Park for our first time in late March of 2015. We got lost off trail in the moonlight, walking through an ankle high field of cactus, until two guys on a granite slab several hundred yards away directed us to them, then showed us the way to this stunning arch.