2020 Vision

The title is misleading. It’s more a retrospective.

Every image except one was shot in 2019. Good lord, it was a damn fine year. I’m lucky to observe people. Bearing witness is powerful stuff. I’m constantly amazed by it.

Lately, I’ve been building portraits around eyes. I really dial the eyes in first. They’re my secret subject. Always.

I pay close attention to irises and pupils. I finesse catch light. Only then do I compose a shot. Eyes first, then everything else follows: Hair, nose, mouth, and hoodie. Toque, tie, vest, or jewelry.

Whatever it may be. I don’t care. It doesn’t matter. It’s secondary.

“Eyes so transparent that through them the soul is seen.” —Theophile Gautier

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“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.”
—Mark Twain

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“Now I wash the gum from your eyes, / You must habit yourself to the dazzle of the light and of every moment of your life.”
—Walt Whitman

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“You have to be an optimist to open your eyes when you awake in the morning.”
—Carl Sandburg

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“Love is blind; friendship closes its eyes.”
—Friedrich Nietzsche

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“Keep your eyes wide open before marriage, half shut afterwards.”
—Benjamin Franklin

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“The hardest thing to see is what is in front of your eyes.”
—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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“There is no end to the adventures that we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.”
—Jawaharlai Nehru

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“Keep your eyes open to your mercies.”
—Robert Louis Stevenson

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“A gentleman has eyes on all those present….”
—Lawrence G. Lovasik

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“The eyes are more exact witnesses than the ears.”
—Heraclitus

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“Our eyes of flesh only see night.”
—Victor Hugo

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“A man’s feet should be planted in his country, but his eyes should survey the world.”
—George Santayana

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“The sky is the daily bread of the eyes.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson

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“The eyes without speaking confess the secrets of the heart.”
—St. Jerome

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“Of my face, I like the eyebrows and eyes.”
—Frida Kahlo

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“For I dipped into the future, far as the human eye could see, / Saw the vision of the world, and all the wonder that would be.”
—Alfred Lord Tennyson

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“The eye is the jewel of the body.”
—Henry David Thoreau

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The Winter of Our Content

Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Ōmisoka, or Kwanzaa, I come bearing gifts for the whole lot of you!

It’s the photographic equivalent of stocking stuffers, menorahs, and Amazakes.

Skim or go slowly. But whatever you do, enjoy the photos and the blessings of the holiday season.

Travel photography

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Prophetic Blue
Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon in Iceland

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Play-Dreaming
My daughter Paige found a place of her own in a birch grove in Iceland

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Alpenglow
Half Dome at twilight, where I battled other heathen photographers for room to shoot

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Fog
Sky Camp at Point Reyes National Seashore

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Topped Myself
A reflection in the Upside Down, Gamla Stan, Stockholm, Sweden

Corporate photography

Family photography

Fine art portrait photography

When you take portraits of ballerinas for use in applications to ballet companies worldwide, implied nude photography is the name of the game.

Honorable mention in the fine art photography category goes to…

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Yep, it’s a non sequitur. But it’s a warm and tasty one this holiday season.

Speaking of non sequiturs, I love you.

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Yosemite Calls

I first saw Yosemite in my early thirties. I arrived late at night with a boisterous crew. We made camp under large trees. They blocked the light from the moon and the stars. Darkness was complete. I saw nothing. I knew nothing beyond my meager cone of light. Then I slept. When I woke, I was utterly astonished. Actually, that word is too puny. It was more like rapture, except that word is too flabby. My reaction was coarse, visceral, and lightning fast. Holy fuck, I whispered. Holy fucking shit. I stopped breathing. I gazed in wonder and disbelief. I’d never seen anything like it. I won’t attempt to describe what I saw. But I will share some images I recently made while I was at Yosemite with my family on fall break.

Two Half Domes make a whole. Or, art makes the world whole. Yes, I like the sound of that, even though it’s only half true.

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Not even a language barrier got in our way. The man fussed with a tripod, then ran to his bride. He did this many times before I smiled and pointed, Here, I said without a word. They understood. They stepped where I’d pointed. They smiled back. Then I flourished my hand across my face, and the man’s hand followed suit. Her smile makes me indescribably happy.

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After the couple left, I waited for the light to mellow out. It did. And the chapel played peek-a-boo behind the trees.

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This is my wife. She has eyes like exotic insects. She’s doing what I did when I first beheld the granite walls of Yosemite. Gazing, raptly.

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Alex Honnold immortalized himself on this massive chunk of granite in Free Solo. Although the image is nice after a fashion, it’s basically false, because it doesn’t adequately communicate the sheer scale of the rock. Not even close.

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Here’s a stone bridge over the Merced river with drifting smoke from camp fires.

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Sometimes reflections are more real than the things themselves.

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I worked hard for this last image, fighting off other heathen photographers. Half Dome at twilight. It has the right balance of magic and realism that produces that holy-fucking-shit moment I had in my thirties when I woke up to a new world on the valley floor. I added a lot of grain to prevent color banding. But the high-res version of the image is fantastic and will print beautifully. If you’re interested in a copy, give me a shout. I’ll be doing a large print run soon.

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The Autumn of Our Content

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October, 2019.
McClellan Ranch, Cupertino, CA.
Autumn colors; blue sky, hazy.
Family mini sessions all day Sunday.
Too many great images to share.
But one stands out right now.
I stare and stare at it.
I know it’s not the greatest image ever taken.
But I secretly believe it is.
Photographers are strange that way.
The boys were pure energy when they arrived.
Scripted shots weren’t going to work.
So I threw mental choreography to the wind.
Instead, we walked and talked.
We laughed and poked fun at each other.
We discovered Sycamore leaves as large as Texas
And unearthed golf balls along the creek.
The shadows lengthened slowly.
My camera clicked without a set purpose in mind.
When the session was over, we walked back to the parking lot.
I said to the boys, Post up here, yeah, just like that.
Energy spent, they posted on the fence, relaxed and languid.
In that moment, I captured something real and enduring, I hope.
The image says something about the passage of time—
Of days, seasons, and childhood—
And it says something about brotherhood, too.
I hope you like the image as much as I do!
As always, thank you for visiting.

Contact me for kids, teens, couples, family, and corporate photography in the Bay Area.

Light In August

Last August, my buddies and I backpacked at Point Reyes. We walked and talked and sipped tequila and bourbon in the evening. On this particular outing, I paid close attention to light and its patterns on grass, trails, webs, and the forest floor.

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That last image above is my favorite from the set. Hope you enjoyed.

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Simply Lucy

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Lucy.
Freckles, yes.
Nose ring and earrings, great.
But eyes, always eyes.
Oh, and strength and beauty
And a head swarming with ideas.
Time to front the world.
Go, Lucy, go!

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Capturing Worlds

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Meet Esther Duterte.
She is the founder of Talent Hound.
An agency that delivers recruiting services with a genuine H2H touch.
Esther hired me to create photos for use on the agency’s Home and About pages.
It’s always gratifying to make images of business pros in urban landscapes.
Away from backdrops, gray, black, or otherwise.
Away from strobes and speed lights, from cubicles and offices.
But still right in the heart of the Silicon Valley.
Yes, very gratifying, indeed.

Contact me for kids, teens, couples, family, and corporate photography in the Bay Area.