My interest in photography goes back to when I was in the first grade. I can remember my parents giving me my first camera, a Brownie, and putting in those flash bulbs if you wanted to take indoor shots. I also recall my father taking me to my high school's boys varsity basketball games. I would stand under the oppositions basket, and when someone from the other team was getting ready to take a free throw, innocently enough, yah right, I'd fire a shot off and the player would miss. Finally, one of the referee's came over and very politely said, "son, we can't have you taking pictures when someone is at the free throw line".
That didn't stop me from taking pictures, no, not at all. My thirst for photography grew even more during that time period. And as I progressed through junior high school and high school, the Brownie camera was put aside and I remember buying my first 35mm film camera, a Mamiya, which I still have to this day. From there I went to the Canon AE1 camera and I had that for close to 25 years. I still have that camera as well. I would shoot all types of subject matter, and after each shot, I would record the weather conditions, temperature, ISO, shutter speed along with the F stop, and it was from this documentation I would learn how to adjust the settings for future shots.
Being an avid Celtics fan all my life, I remember making up a fake photo i.d. my junior and senior years in college. I would put the i.d. around my neck and walk right into the Boston Garden and sit down on the apron of the famed Garden parquet floor. And there I would sit with some of the most gifted and talented photographers throughout New England, asking them questions.....and learning.
Landscapes, sunrises, sunsets and all aspects of the beauty of the Cape caught my eye. Especially where my parents had a home in Chatham, it made it all very easy. I recall getting up at 5 a.m., and with my camera around my neck, hopping on my bike and riding to Harding's Beach. When I arrived, I would walk the one mile or so out to Stage Harbor Lighthouse and stay there for what seemed like hours photographing that beautiful lighthouse. This same lighthouse today still manages to draw me out there, no matter what time of day or season it is.
I've always had a fascination with the Cape and all of its unspoiled beauty. Its beautiful beaches, its landscapes, beautiful sunrise and sunsets, its gorgeous golden marshes and dunes. I could go on and on. The Cape can also be a challenge for any photographer. Wasn't it Mark Twain who said, "If you don't like New England weather, wait a minute, and it will change." I've had perfect light conditions, made some simple adjustments to my camera, and when I looked through the view finder moments later, have the light and the conditions be totally different.
People have asked me many times what my philosophy is when I'm going out to do a shoot. That question is very easy to answer. When I set out to do what I call a serious shoot, only three things exist in the entire world, myself, my camera, and the subject in my view finder. Just those three things. Everything else I block out. You have to be able to do that, if you don't, the average person looking at your work may not notice any difference, but you as a photographer certainly will. And after all, aren't we are toughest critics?
It was in 2003 that a man by the name of Clyde Tkala gave me an opportunity to become associated with the most successful team in the history of the famed Cape Cod Baseball League, the Cotuit Kettleers, as their official team photographer. Though my business partner calls shooting sports "rock and roll" and events such as weddings, family portraits, capturing the brilliant morning light as its hitting the golden sand of a beautiful Cape Cod sand dune, or the setting sun of a spectacular sunset hitting the top of a Cape Cod lighthouse, where you have to adjust for light conditions, shadows, use a light meter and shoot pure manual as "ballet". Anyone can do "rock and roll" he says, "but not everyone can do ballet" . I agree 100%.
I feel as if I could give my camera to any 10 year old boy or girl in the stands, and with a ten minute tutorial, they could probably shoot the same quality shots, if not better, than any photographer roaming the sidelines. But I love the challenge of shooting weddings, landscapes, sunrises, sunsets where you have to shoot pure manual and most of the time use a lightmeter.....that's ballet.
I hope you enjoy purusing through the galleries on this site as much as I've enjoyed taking the photographs.