Getting there is half the fun
One comment landscape and nature photographers hear frequently is,“Boy, you have a great job! You get to travel all the time!” The truth is, that much of the time is spent in a dark studio editing images and making prints. That’s why I treasure my time in the field. I make a point to take at least three major trips a year — more than that and I have problems processing the images. I shoot a lot, especially now that digital capture has eliminated the film cost part of the equation. The downside of shooting a lot of material is having to sort through it later; the amount of hard disk space needed is mind boggling! Storage can also be an issue on the road, and requires that I carry a laptop and backup drives.
I like to get off the beaten track and hike a bit if possible. Some of my favorite images were shot days from the road. I try to travel light, carrying only one camera with two lenses. The only filters I use are a basic UV filter and a circular polarizer, and the occasional graduated filter. The less I have to think about my equipment the easier it is to concentrate on what the light and the weather are giving me.
Archival Prints & Editions
While I love the process of getting an image from pixels to paper, it is time-consuming. The images are downloaded to hard drives, edited and color-corrected in Adobe Lightroom. For many images, I use Skylum’s Aurora 2019 to process High Dynamic Range (HDR) files. This entails shooting several exposures in the field and combining them using the software. I will use Luminar to add finishing touches to certain images as well. Luminar has a fantastic sky replacement tool, which is new in version 4. Lightroom allows me to go back and review image history at any time, and to make prints of various sizes. Photoshop is still useful for cloning out electrical wires, compositing, and for enlarging images past their native resolution.
My philosophy is not that of a documentarian, but more illustrative. I will process an image to satisfy my own artistic goals, and to evoke emotion in the viewer. If that requires making an image from raw material shot in the field at different times, that’s okay with me.
A Note About Images Sizes and Ordering
Thinking about ordering through the online gallery? Here are a few pointers on how my standard prints and mats are sized in the store. I also print custom sizes; please contact me directly for a quote.
I make all of my own prints, on Epson professional printers, using UltraChrome HDR and Sure Color pigment inks. I run test images before committing to the final edits. I used to track the date, paper, sharpening, profile — all the technical data — and log the prints, but since the advent of Lightroom, most of that information is kept in the file. Rather than make 100 prints at a time, I print a few in each session. Fine art editions are limited to 250 prints of each image, inclusive of all sizes. Editions tend to evolve over time, with paper selection and inks changing with technological advances. The print you hold in your hands is truly one-of-a-kind. Laminated canvas prints are a separate edition, with 50 being the most I will make of any given image.
All of my limited edition prints are signed and numbered.
I print on genuine Epson & Moab paper and Breathing Color Crystalline Canvas. All of the paper I use is acid-free, archival quality fine art paper. Tests by Wilhelm Institute and the Aardenburg Imaging project indicate that prints made with Epson inks will last at least 75 years, if not more. And the newer Epson HDR inks are better than the old K3 inks. https://www.aardenburg-imaging.com/epson-uchd-versus-k3-inks Since the nature of photography is so rapidly changing, I offer a guarantee on my prints if they fade, I will replace it for the original owner as long as I have the technology available. Contact me for details.
More information on Frame Styles
Matting and Framing
I assemble all of the work in my studio. While I tend towards simple gallery style in framing, I do offer any style you might want. I use TruVue Conservation Reflection Control glass and 6-ply acid-free mat board with foam-core backing boards. Prints are attached to the backing boards with paper hinges, and the mattes are hinged to the backing board with linen tape. Each one of my prints is entered into a Filemaker Pro database which keeps track of when the print was sold, how it was mounted and who it was sold to. This verifies the authenticity of each limited edition print — I also issue a Certificate of Authenticity with each print. At shows, you receive a combination bill of sale and COA that lists all of your purchases.
The larger laminated work is printed on Breathing Color Crystalline Canvas, which is pre-coated to eliminate fade. Once the print has cured at least 24 hours, it is mounted to 1/4” Gatorfoam, a super-stable substrate that will not warp. I use Raphael’s Miracle Muck, an archival mounting glue to permanently affix the canvas to the board, and weight it overnight. The board is trimmed to the final size, and framed in one of my custom reclaimed frames, or in the frame of your choice.
People always ask what kind of camera I shoot with. And I answer, “I’ve got a lot of cameras.” My first camera was a Kodak Brownie (seen here), and I went through many different types of film cameras growing up photographically. Now I shoot with Canon & Sony equipment– a 5DMkIII and Sony 6400, some good L-series image stabilized zoom lenses, and a Gitzo tripod with a Really Right Stuff ballhead.
For studio lighting, I favor Mole-Richardson old-style tungsten lighting. I also use small Canon Speedlites, LED light panels, and other luminaries when appropriate.
- Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Lightroom
- Skylum Luminar and Aurora
- Nikon SuperCoolscan 5000 slide scanner
- Apple MacPro desktop with a 6tb RAID
- Apple MacBook Pro laptop for the road
- Epson SP9890 44” Wide Format Printer
- Epson SC-P5000 17” Wide Format Printer