What turns you on creatively?
Out-of-the-ordinary shapes, lines, textures, lighting and color involving the sky. Interacting with and photographing a magnificent storm after days of forecasting, planning and anticipation. If I’m lucky, I’ll capture an atmospheric portrait.
What turns you off creatively?
Returning to the chaos and noise of civilization following a joyous day with nature.
What’s your dream photo assignment?
Traveling America for one year in an electric-powered motor home, making an atmospheric portrait in each state. The finished project would premiere at The White House, followed by a traveling concert series that would project the images over the stage. I’d like to inspire Americans to respect nature, learn more about weather and take personal responsibility for adapting to our changing climate.
If you could have dinner with an artist from any era, who would it be?
Gordon Parks. In addition to being multitalented—photography, writing, movies and music—he understood the importance of marketing and good PR, and he did it all against the backdrop of a very divisive time in America.
What’s your favorite photograph not taken by you?
“Earthrise at Christmas”—the first photograph of Earth as it appears from deep space. The crew of Apollo 8 took the photo in 1968. A remarkable photograph!
What profession other than photographer would you like to attempt?
Astronaut or fireman. But no matter what, a camera would always be close by.
What’s your favorite camera feature?
It’s definitely the reliability, durability and ease of use of my Nikons. In my line of work, I have only seconds to aim, adjust, focus and fire. If a camera were to malfunction because of rain, dust or temperature, or I’m fumbling with dials and buttons, I can’t ask the sky to do it all over again. I get one chance at a shot and that’s it. It’s a challenge I love and why I’ve been shooting exclusively with Nikon cameras my entire career.
What’s your favorite Nikon product, and how does it help you create better pictures or help you compete as a professional photographer?
I’ve had success with every Nikon D-SLR, from the D100 to the D3. Recently, I’ve been using the D700 as my primary camera, and I simply love it! The 12.1-megapixel, FX-format, full-frame CMOS sensor, the D700’s ability to shoot in low-light conditions (and believe me, I shoot in low-light conditions!), an easy-to-see, 3-inch LCD (indispensable when I’m shooting lightning)—these are just some of the camera’s attributes that enable me to get the shots I need to get.