I've been captivated by the power, colors, and textures of the ocean since I was a child. I first started photographing waves as a studio art student at Humboldt State University in Northern California in the early 1990s. I used analog cameras and felt my way through the darkroom, learning the basics of traditional photography while exploring the remote beaches of Northern California and the lower Pacific Northwest.
I continued my education at Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, where I studied commercial photography—portraiture, studio lighting and digital imaging. Bringing my technical skills and fascination for the ocean together, I started seeing and photographing waves in an entirely new way.
Using waterproof housings for my 35mm, medium-format and digital cameras, I photograph while I’m swimming, which allows me to position myself within the wave. I’m continually fascinated by the behavior of light as it passes through different parts of the wave.
This appreciation for the quality of light is what I'm looking to emphasize in teaching to my students, and is the focus of the curriculum that I develop. This recognition of a special quality of light is essential to creating exceptional photographs.