Where There’s Smoke, There’s Fire
About the Artist
After retiring in 2015 from my professorship at California State University Long Beach, my wife and I moved to the Sierra foothills near Coarsegold, California, and I have been devoting much more time to my lifelong hobby of photography, taking advantage of the stunning scenery throughout the area, including Yosemite National Park. Much of my recent work reflects my primary aesthetic goal not just trying to capture unique, artistically composed images, which are often highlighted by vivid colors and dramatic contrasts, but also an underlying ethical motivation to preserve the natural environment as well as the wildlife that depend on it. I view nature photography as a contribution to environmental conservation efforts.
I focus on images that represent unique moments in time and space; for example, capturing the sunset at a certain time of day as it lights up the face of a mountain, accented by a cascading waterfall and contrasting colors of the sky, all viewed from a panoramic perspective across a forest of evergreen trees. That magical moment occurs only once in a lifetime for a particular observer, but it endures as photographic memory, and it has recurred forever in the endless cycle of nature of which all life is a part. Will that cycle and those moments continue forever? This is the question haunting much of my work currently, like a ghost of Christmas future. As scientists have been warning, the imminent, disastrous effects posed in large part by global warming and climate change threaten the entire ecosystem and most species of life on the planet, perhaps as soon as the end of this century, if more action isn’t taken immediately to eliminate the causes of this impending apocalypse. Ironically, photos may be the only legacy left of wildlife and human civilization in the foreseeable future.