“Wilderness is not a luxury, but a necessity of the human spirit.” – Edward Abbey
I am an avid outdoors person, who loves to explore, hike, kayak, camp and spend as much time in the wilds as possible. My photography goes hand in hand with this as I am able to capture the amazing world of nature all around us and share it with others. I love to share beauty of this phenomenal world. I want to encourage people to get out and enjoy nature but also to teach them about our wildlands and encourage them to take care of it so it will be there for not only us, but generations to come.
Nature has always been a draw to me, it has an inherent beauty that I learned to appreciate at a very young age. My family’s vacations were camping, hiking and fishing all around Kentucky and down into Tennessee. My parents loved the great outdoors and passed on that love to me and through the years of my life, I have always found myself gravitating to nature at every opportunity. To me, nature possesses an unending variety of beauty and is ever changing; it offers wonderful surprises at every look, every step, along every path, and in every corner and crevice.
With a camera in my hand, I see things I would possibly never see otherwise. I love to seek out those hidden beauties whether I might just be walking a short distance down a path, along a stream, or through a woods, or I am hiking the mountains to seeing the glorious vistas, thunderous waterfalls, or glacial lakes they have to offer. I love to hike, but even more I love to capture these images and share them with others to bring that story, that emotion, that sense of awe, that sense of peace and calm, that I have been able to experience when I step out into the wondrous world of nature around us.
The more I have immersed myself into nature that more I want to make a difference. The wilderness is changing and disappearing and I want to share this wilderness but also bring awareness of the changes it is undergoing. I want future generations to be able to experience what I am able to and to see all the variety of environments and wildlife and not to let these things disappear.
I feel strongly that there is healing in the beauty of nature, and there even has been evidence-based research to document that, and I’m glad to be able, through my photography, to share that healing attribute with the patients, their families and staff in healthcare centers around the country as well as individual’s homes and businesses
In the last 15 or so years, as digital photography capabilities have advanced, I’ve been able to combine my love of computers and my technical knowledge with my photography. In my photography I utilize Canon’s professional line of digital cameras and lenses and Canon’s and Epson’s professional printers. I’m experienced in all aspects of digital photography, including digital capture, digital darkroom processing, color management, printing, and presentation of fine-art prints, which I do both for myself and for other area artists. I’m also an experienced web developer and graphic designer and the owner of Koka Art Gallery, where I sell my photographic artwork and the artwork of many other local artists. I sell my works, too, at art shows around the country and at several galleries and have had several solo shows. I’m a member of the Joplin Regional Artists Coalition, Kansas City Artist Coalition, North American Nature Photography Association, The Society for the Arts in Healthcare, The Center for Health Design, Joplin Missouri’s Spiva Center for the Arts, and Carthage’s Art Central and am active in several Wilderness stewardship organizations include Leave No Trace and Stream Team.