I'm the guy on the right. 20 years ago. The four of us were camped for a week on a remote volcanic island on the Antarctic Peninsula 1200 miles from nowhere. We had just crossed the Drake Passage over Christmas in a 44' sailboat and rolled over twice. Before we left Punta Arenas, Argentina the week before, I stuffed two thousand rolls of 35mm and medium format film in double, Zip-Lock bags into the bilge, four camera bags with five bodies and ten lenses into the head (bathroom), and hoisted a skinned sheep into the rigging for New Year's Eve dinner. It was the greatest trip of my life.
Iconic photography doesn't originate in a digital darkroom. It isn't manipulated or coerced from pixels, recreated by stacking or masking, or shot from a car window. It's envisioned, imagined, planned, plotted, and—sometimes painfully—earned. I learned this 20 years ago the hard way, and the lessons from that Antarctica trip have shaped everything about how I approach photography today.
I never studied photography in school. I never took courses or workshops or had mentors who taught me the ropes. Back in the 1990s the Internet didn't exist. You couldn't learn lighting tricks or replicate the pros' techniques by watching YouTube. You read books from masters like Galen Rowell and scrutinized every Ansel Adams and Frank Hurley photo you could get your hands on, reverse-engineering how every frame was shot, where the shadows fell, and how both men somehow magically always caught the light of the High Sierra and the Antarctic at just the right time. You figured it out. On your own. Shot by shot. Until you nailed it yourself.
This same obsessive attention to detail, technique, and technical precision drives everything about how I shoot today—whether it's a remote landscape in Greenland for a travel magazine, an estate for a real estate broker, or a product shot or a restaurant for a commercial brand. DSLR cameras and post-production software have revolutionized everything about how we shoot and consume the visual world around us, and how we as photographers realize our clients' visions.
At its root, however, great, bold photography still originates with Zip-Lock bags, salt-crusted lenses, and sheep in the rigging. It's also much more fun than sitting in front of a computer pushing pixels.
Want to learn more about what we shoot with, our techniques, lighting tricks, how we work with clients and editorial outlets, and our favorite locations to shoot?