What turns you on creatively?
An adventurous spirit. Wild angles. Creating an image that has never been shot before.
What turns you off creatively?
Sitting in front of my computer!
What’s your dream photo assignment?
Photographing cheetahs running at full speed in the Serengeti. I’m not a wildlife photographer, but I’ve always dreamed about going to the Serengeti to photograph the animals and the landscapes there. It would be sweet to spend a few months living with the animals, getting to know them and create some stunning images.
If you could have dinner with an artist from any era, who would it be?
Salvador Dali. He was out there and always created visually stunning art. He created art that you couldn’t turn away from—it was completely new and original and done with incredible technical skill.
What’s your favorite photograph not taken by you?
Steve McCurry’s photograph of the Afghan girl that was on the cover of National Geographic years ago. Her green eyes are captivating and tell a story that goes well beyond a normal portrait. It’s one of those few photographs where every time I see it, I’m mesmerized by her face, what she has been through and what she must have been thinking at that moment.
What profession other than photographer would you like to attempt?
Professional tennis player. I was never good enough to make it, but I still play as often as I can.
What’s your favorite camera feature?
The D2xs has many incredible features, but the white balance eye (Nikon calls it the Ambient Light Sensor) on the top of the camera is one feature that I use all the time. In a few seconds, I can create a custom white balance for the light I’m shooting in by just pressing two buttons and pointing the camera at the light source. It’s a great feature for all lighting scenarios, but especially when shooting at last light when the color temperature is changing every few minutes.
What’s your favorite Nikon product, and how does it help you create better pictures or help you compete as a professional photographer?
My hands-down favorite is the D2xs. When coupled to a 17-55mm I have a great shooting setup. The D2xs is the finest camera Nikon has ever made and the range of the 17-55mm allows me to get some of my most dramatic shots. The D2xs is tough, and that becomes a nice feature when hanging from a rope and bashing my cameras up against the cliff face trying to get into position while shooting rock climbers. Add in the 17-55mm lens and Nikon’s superb Speedlights, and it adds up to a system that allows me to get images I never could have gotten with film.