Horizon & Light

The horizon can be hard and distinct or soft and obscure, yet it’s always there and is the universal line between heaven and earth. There’s something fascinating about it – compelling in fact – especially at certain times of day like sunrise, sunset, first light or last light. At these times, the horizon becomes a crack between worlds and we’re drawn to look more deeply. Living on an island the most obvious horizon to look into, of course, involves the ocean. But the majority of these images were looking into the mountains, the Ko‘olau, in fact.

For awhile now, I’ve been fascinated with very wide aspect ratios. I’m not really sure why, but it seems that nearly all the visual art I’ve done in the past couple of years has been very wide. During this time, I started taking the photographs that came from my digital camera and purposefully cropping them at a specific 3:1 aspect ratio. Sometimes, that still didn’t seem to be wide enough (as noted in a couple of these images). While cropping photographs in this manner might seem suspect, I found that restricting myself to the same ratio of 3:1 gave enough structure to provide a specific form while satisfying my secret desire to have a camera that actually shoots in a 3:1 aspect ratio.

Even though I live on a tropical island and the weather tends to be consistent from day to day and month to month, throughout each day, the light is always changing in some of the most amazing ways. While this is true all over the island, I found the horizon line with the mountains and the sky to be the most interesting, perhaps because there was often the additional factor of the clouds and weather, which is often more dramatic over the mountains. Even though all these images conformed to a wide aspect ratio (similar to a panorama), they actually represent only detail of the horizon (just the opposite of a panorama!). These images were taken with a long focal length lens (almost exclusively 200mm) and then cropped even narrower in some cases to represent quite a narrow field of view.



I realized that when I was going through recent photographs to add into the site, that there was a noticeable lack of landscape images – even though I consider myself a landscape photographer at heart. Not only that, the majority of these image are long exposure images, which has always been a favorite technique, but the process of sorting made me realize I want to start getting out more just to shoot nature.





Generally, I would consider myself a landscape photographer. While I’m
still primarily interested in nature photography, recently I’ve done
much more work with still life in the studio.
I’ve been particularly drawn to detail. Even in the studio I’ve been looking more and more
closely and becoming enchanted by the shapes, patterns and textures
that emerge in a closer view.

Many of these images were shot at the Kapi‘olani Community College cactus garden.
Each fall, I take a group of students there to wander around the campus and take
photographs. The cactus garden is a favorite stop.
Included in this collection are images I’ve taken of tropical flower
settings that I regularly place in my studio that help remind me of the wonderful gifts
of the natural world.



The moon, like the stars, somehow mesmerizes me. I love looking up and seeing it rising, setting or just hanging in the night sky. Living in an urban environment has its costs and one of them is the perceived absence of the moon and stars at night. Of course, they’re there – a constant presence – but we’re usually unable to see them.

In the 5th grade I took a field trip to the observatory on the campus of the University of North Carolina. I immediately wanted to become an astronomer. In fact, I first become interested in photography when I was in college studying astronomy. I was learning to take images through the telescope and then develop and print them in the darkroom. With the astronomy club, I traveled by car from North Carolina to Saskatchewan, Canada to photograph a solar eclipse (in February). It was the beginning of my fascination with photographing the stars and celestial objects.

Every now and again the moon is especially stunning and I try to capture it with an ordinary digital camera. This is a gallery that I will continue to add to so check back every now and then. I especially love trying to find the tiniest of slivers when the moon is only a day or so away from new. Usually, the moon is dark for a several days a month, but if you know where to look and what time, you can sometimes catch it a little closer to new.