My first camera, at age 8, was a Kodak Target Brownie 6-20 box camera. I used it to photograph the contents of microscope slides and the opened backs of pocket watches. These images all made in a “laboratory” I created in my parent’s basement.
Later, my photographic “eye” was formed, as a young teen, by absorbing National Geographic magazine, as well as Elliott Porter’s classic photographs – “In Wildness is the Preservation of the World”, published in 1962, by the Sierra Club, who, 30 years later, honored me with their prestigious Ansel Adams Award.
Studies in Journalism at Boston University and graduation from Emerson College with a BS in Speech communications sensitized me to the necessity for precise, constant attention to clarity in both imagery and word.
While in Boston, I studied Oriental Medicine – massage, acupuncture, moxibustion, diet, and meditation. During that time, I realized the possibility that electromagnetic radiation from electronic devices may negatively impact human health.
After five years in Boston, still convinced about “evil” electromagnetic radiation fields, I escaped to the Rocky Mountain wilderness of British Columbia to test my theory. There, I lived as far away from the electric grid as I possibly could – 15 dirt road miles into the undeveloped heart of the Canadian Rockies.
I lived in many conditions – from 8 feet of snow to constant assault by summer mosquitoes. Rutabagas, rice, beans, and scavenged forest greens kept me alive. I survived close encounters of the third kind with black bears, grizzlies, coyotes, and badgers. Eagles visited me in dreams, giving guidance for physical and spiritual survival. And yes, I had long hair and a beard and sometimes ran through the forest giggling to myself.
Nine months later, in a moment of extreme mental clarity, I felt the call to test my “electromagnetically purified condition.” I packed everything into my weed-overgrown Chevy pickup and drove over an hour to the nearest town.
I parked, and walked into a modestly sized “supermarket” brilliantly lit and audibly humming with ballasted fluorescent light. For the next two minutes, I felt my brain become numb and useless. Convinced that I would pass out, I stumbled back to the parking lot and sat dazed in the truck for 2 – 3 hours, until someone knocked on the window to ask if I needed help.
“Yes,” I replied. “Which way to Vancouver?”
Many thousands of miles and ten years later: 1. I had worked in an acupuncture clinic; 2.Been married and divorced; 3. Received a prestigious design award for hand made woodworking tools; 4. Apprenticed as a ship’s chandler building ocean-going yachts, and 5. became a professional yogurt maker.
During those years, I remained convinced that my theories of human bioelectric fields were correct. As this certainty grew, a variety of spiritual thought leaders approached me to become their successor. Not what I had in mind, but I didn’t shut the door entirely because I felt “something” was coming!
As I imagined future times, I received some compelling information about a great yogi who lived deep in the north Indian Himalayan foothills. I ended up living with him as a yogi-monk for seven years. Before he left his body in the mid-80s, he told me to be a painter and that I would build bridges of pure silver. As it turns out, photographic film was still using silver halide emulsions at that time.
After seven years, I returned to the US with the desire to share the insight and loving-kindness I received in the Himalayas. I chose the medium of photography. I spent the next five years educating myself, building my dream darkroom, winning awards and publishing fine art lithographs and magazine articles. Eventually, the digital era reared its bristling head, and that is, ultimately, how I came to be here writing this blog.
To help humanity intimately reconnect in body, mind, and heart with the oft-forgotten grace, gesture, and healing power of the natural world. To motivate everyone to strip naked and step into the forest, breathe deep, and leave all electronic devices at home – for at least an hour!
My images are in collections of nature lovers around the world, including corporations such as: Disney, Inc., Toyota, Coors, Sun Microsystems, IBM, Taco-Bell, Barnes and Noble, Random House, Hallmark, VailAssociates, The Environmental Defense Fund, The Nature Conservancy, The Sierra Club, CH2MHill, The High Country News, McLean’s Magazine, Sunset Magazine, The Denver Post, Rocky Mountain Magazine, The Ritz Carleton and Wellness Resorts in nature.
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