cityscape

Projects

When you stand at the end of a pier and look at the ocean, you see what most of the world looks like. You stare at the horizon and feel alien. But this should not come as a revelation. There is much that is inaccessible. When you blink your eyes, you warp superstrings vibrating in unseen quantum dimensions. But who cares?

Through my photography I want to highlight the things we do care about, especially the things we forget we care about. We are the offspring of the world around us, however indirectly you care to think. We can feel the rocks and the water and the air. We can feel time. We can control but never master them. We learn about ourselves as we study them.

The world is at its most beautiful when all its parts work together. Consider yourself a part. Listen.

Every Day 2016

Every Day 2016

Over more than a decade of publishing my photography on this site, I have presented hundreds of photos. Many hundreds more, however, remain unfinished, unprocessed, or even untaken. Is this a necessary side-effect of photography being a hobby instead of a paid gig? Perhaps, but my workflow and mindset are largely to blame.

A solution: I will take at least one photo every day in 2016, and upload the results to this page as quickly as possible.

The goals of this project are to cultivate a faster workflow, getting photos out of the camera and onto the site more quickly; to focus on getting photos closer to perfect in-camera, rather than relying on time-consuming and procrastination-ready computer processing; and to broaden my ideas about which photos are worth sharing, getting away from the idea that everything must be a masterpiece.

I'm not promising these will all be beautiful, meaningful, or even very good. But hopefully as the year goes on, more and more of them have all three of those qualities.

Hawaii Nei

Hawaii Nei

Hawaii's reputation as one of the world's most beautiful places is well-deserved. A day does not pass without a rainbow.

Still, you have to make an effort to really appreciate it. As a tourist, you are overwhelmed by the place, the mountains and colors and iridescent ocean, your attention flicking from view to view. As a resident, you become desensitized to it, bored, too busy.

Hawaii demands a mindset of constant acceptance, yet constant wonder.

Olympia

Olympia

Washington's Olympic Peninsula is a place of ethereal loveliness, of mists and hills, thick stands of trees, and bomb-swept clear-cut. There is a sense of a world still being made, brush strokes not yet cured and dried. You often feel a bit off-balance, a bit of an intruder. But there is still Aloha there to welcome you.

Just watch out for the werewolves.

Oahu Back Alleys

Oahu Back Alleys

Not far from the glamour of the tourist hot spots, the real Honolulu carries on its business. Like anywhere, Oahu hosts auto body shops, homeless folks pushing shopping carts, shuttered warehouses, and eyesore gotta-put-it-somewhere public works facilities. These are the places you fly over and drive past. As you take off and head home, your bellhop will come here to pick up his girlfriend after work. Your trolley driver will stop for a beer. Your waiter will punch in for his other gig. Honolulu continues.

Architecture

Architecture

There is a parallel universe where I am an architect. I am fascinated by the way little details build up, by the way great buildings create environments. Photographing architecture requires thinking about a building's fields and flows, much the same as designing it. Architecture photography is homage.

Bleak

Bleak

There is a certain welcome calm in desolation. Don't fret, little one. Lay back; take a breath; smile. It will all be over soon.

Echoes

Echoes

Time is an ocean. Its waves wash us, its currents steer us, and its landmarks don't always match our maps. But we are not entirely at its mercy. We can make ripples. We can leave echoes. And by studying the wakes and shadows we leave behind, perhaps we can know each other better.

En Route

En Route

Getting there is often all the fun, in my experience. There may be roads and runways now, but the exploration has not ended. There are many stories to be found in the tools, terminals, and routes of our travels. Sometimes you most strongly want to be nowhere.

General Topic

General Topic

Stand-alone photos that aren't part of a larger project. Sometimes you're not trying to make a bold statement about life.

History

History

These are photos that were significant at various points in this site's history (or mine). For the most part they just look like "pictures of things" to me now, and in some cases that's all they ever were. But they are preserved here as a display of evolution.

Impressionism

Impressionism

Quantum theory tells us that at the smallest levels, sharp focus and perfect knowledge are impossible. It tells us that by observing something, we change it. Information is lost; new information is spontaneously generated from nowhere. The truth is a question of interpretation.

Kama'aina

Kama'aina

Hawaii was beautiful before anyone saw it. Since that first landfall, many of man's works have dulled, diluted, and diminished the natural vividness. But not all of them. When man has worked with Hawaii, he has often created splendor that would not have existed otherwise.

Land of Enchantment

Land of Enchantment

New Mexico has a well-chosen state nickname. In most of the state, you feel a sense of quiet calm, like you are surrounded by history, inhabiting a moment of a grander plan.

Nature At Work

Nature At Work

Most of the world's apex predators don't care about reality television. The redwood forests carefully avoid forming an opinion on European monetary policy. Ocean tides are unaffected by traffic jams. While we distract ourselves, the real world happens around us.

Solitude

Solitude

Solitude is a hard thing to describe. It isn't simply being alone. It isn't being far from the crush of the normal world. It isn't a sense of control. More, it's a sense of not having control, of there being no control, of control being unnecessary. The universe does what it wants. Accept that you are part of that universe, and you will find solitude.

Strangers

Strangers

We are all strangers to most of the people we see. We feel like we know something of one another, and maybe we do.

The American Interior

The American Interior

There's still a lot of rustic open air in the United States. There are places that feel like 1950, and 1900, and 1850. There are places that feel untouched. There are places that are still negotiating with civilization.

The City

The City

I prefer to think of cities as events, rather than places. A city has a beginning, middle, and end. Cities are never finished. The plot is always evolving.

The Northland

The Northland

While not a Minnesota native, I consider it to be "home." Minnesota doesn't go for grand spectacle, monuments of past upheaval and cataclysm. It's alive now. You can see the beauty being created all around you.

The Ocean

The Ocean

I was in high school the first time I saw the ocean. Now, living on an island, I can hardly not see it. The shore feels to me like the portal to an alien world. You look out at the horizon, and you imagine the thousands of miles between you and the next dry land, and you realize that most of the world looks like that. The planet as it really is bears little resemblance to the greens and browns we are used to.

The Photographer

The Photographer

Photography is a process. There's planning, and training, and preparation. There is a script to write, actors to recruit, and a performance to give. All the world's a studio.

You Are Here

You Are Here

The world is always begging to wrap its arms around you. Look around. There's something you can get lost in.