It is totally unnatural for me to write about myself. But as a photographer/writer with more years behind me than I have ahead, I'll share some background and if you're interested please read on.
When I received my Bachelor of Science degree in animal science and radio and television speech, photography was simply an extension of my continuing education that unfolded to support my career choice in farm and ranch news reporting. As an agriculture newspaper editor, I learned basic black and white still photography. (In my brief 20-minute training session I was told to set the twin-lens camera at 1/125 at f/8 until I learned better.) Several years later, while producing a daily 30-minute television agriculture news show, I learned about shooting color slides and 16-milimeter film. In both print and broadcast media, I learned composition, lighting and editing skills that I've used in capturing photos of the natural world.
My love for photographing the natural world really started in the mid 1970s during a family vacation in our VW pop-top camper. Using a borrowed Pentax camera, I photographed the Grand Canyon, Yosemite and other magnificent areas of our great American southwest. (Yes, I still drive the VW for photography.) The trip we took in the VW retraced the vacation route my parents took in 1948. I had no idea that it would end up being so meaningful for our lives.
At first I shot landscapes, then in a few years my interest moved to include macro photography and more recently to wildlife. Much of that evolution in my photography grew out of the desire to expand into other areas of interest. But, I must admit that the movement from one area of photography to another was based on our ability to purchase expensive lenses and cameras.
I've been lucky because with a minimum amount of effort my images have been published in national publications, regional publications, as cover photos for statewide directories, and as a commemorative stamp for the U.S. Postal Service. Some have also been marketed as photo note cards, which is a major feature in the products available on this web site.
Most recently my wife, Dr. Sandra Johnson and I have edited Wildlife in Focus III & IV, the Coastal Bend Wildlife Photo Contest's last two books of award winning images shot in a multi county area near Corpus Christi, Texas. We're a good editing team because of my background in photography coupled with Sandra's interest in science and nature.
Sandra trained teachers in science for the Regional Education Service Center in Austin, Texas, and as an assistant professor at the University of Texas at Austin and Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi. Sandra's interest in nature began in her childhood and helped to make science the center of her teaching.
She has written curriculum for elementary and middle school, based on the environment. The curriculum guides are being used extensively in the Coastal Bend area of Texas. We are proud of our role in providing students with tools to learn about the importance of wildlife management programs that the Wildlife Photo Contest promotes in South Texas. Sandra's work also includes aligning the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department's Project Wild and Project Aquatic Wild with the state curriculum standards. On the national level she wrote children's books with a science theme and science lessons for Silver Burdett Publishing Company.