While in elementary school in Indiana, the courses that interested me most were art-related ones. I learned a lot about pottery, illustration, and painting. I remember copying Vincent van Gogh’s portrait of Dr. Gachet. After moving to North Carolina, I drew profiles and landscapes in graphite and pen, dreaming of becoming an illustrator. In high school, I submitted a four seasons flower art for the local Griffin Motors’ calendar at my art teacher’s suggestion and won the front cover. During technical college, I grew interested in electronic radio frequency schematic design, commercial architecture AutoCAD, and product design. Then I stopped drawing while working on an electronics degree and a networking certificate, which helped me build amateur radio kits and troubleshoot computers. I got into truck driving for a short time and then pursued a graphic design and advertising degree at the same technical college.
During my electronic and amateur radio pursuits, I met a local radio operator, Bob “Elmo” Bass, who also was a good photographer although his love of photography didn’t really have an impact on me. Then I took a job photographing visitors to the JAARS campus nearby as an assistant to the late Don Horneman, who complimented me by saying that a third of my images were done well. Later, Google Plus added Photos to their platform, which had an algorithm that showed the best photos based on composition (before it moved to being a standalone product), and I learned much from it. At that time up until 2014, I was still taking pictures with smartphones and started to edit my photos on the phone. Later, I researched for a professional camera to own because I was noticing the limited dynamics of light that smartphones were able to capture.
After using the Sony Alpha a6000 for almost a year, I adopted a photographer mentor, Michael “Hutch” Hutchinson, who showed me there was more to photography than just sunsets. Eventually, I developed my own style and interests after several monthly road trips with Hutch. I enjoy visiting places that are new to me, unexplored, or ignored. Sometimes, rusty and vintage autos catch my interest.