Thanks for visiting my photo pages. I am a birder and photographer living in Columbus, Ohio. I have been a professional musician since the age of 20 and have been employed as the English horn (cor anglais) soloist and oboist of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra since 1986. I was born near Buffalo, NY, but grew up in Rocky River, Ohio, a western Cleveland suburb. I was fortunate to attend 3 years of high school at the Interlochen Arts Academy in the northern lower Michigan peninsula after attending the summer camp there for 6 seasons. I then studied at the Cleveland Institute of Music as a student of John Mack, the Cleveland Orchestra's legendary principal oboist. My first professional experience was during those student days playing the English horn in the Akron and Canton Symphony Orchestras. My first full-time gig was serving as the English hornist with the San Francisco Symphony for a one-year appointment. The next year was spent in the soon to be defunct Kansas City Philharmonic. My interest in wildlife photography originally began when I lived in South Africa from 1983-1986, where I served as principal oboist for the Cape Performing Arts Board Orchestra in Cape Town. Enchanted by the scenery and wildlife, I purchased a Yashica FX-D and a few inexpensive lenses and traveled extensively throughout southern Africa.
In the '90's I renewed my interest in photography with the natural world of my native Ohio. I replaced my FX-D's and low-quality lenses with wonderful Contax cameras and Zeiss lenses. As I became a serious birder, I also added a Nikon F4s and the 500/f4P to begin photographing birds. In 1998, I switched to one system, Canon, to take advantage of their autofocus telephotos, namely the EF600/f4L. In 2000 I replaced that 600mm with the Image-Stabilization version. This lens helped my bird photography in leaps and bounds, and most of the photos on this website were taken with it. My 600mm or 800mm lenses are always used on a Gitzo 1548 carbon fiber tripod with a Wimberly head. Most of the film photos here were taken with a Canon EOS3 body filled mostly with Fuji ProviaF film. In October, 2003 I purchased my first digital camera and haven't used a single roll of film since. My current camera of choice is the Canon 1D MarkIV and am currently using the Canon 800mm f5.6L IS lens as my main bird lens. I'm first and foremost a musician and not a photographer, but photography has become an increasingly important source of my income over the years. My photos are regularly used in a wide variety of national and regional magazine and book publications and other diverse places.
I get a lot of "what should I buy?" requests about camera equipment. I don't pay too much attention to what the major camera makers are doing these days, and I can't answer those questions. There is a lot of information available elsewhere on the Internet. I have bought and sold a lot of cameras and lenses over the years, and photos on this website were taken with a variety of them. Here is a list of what I currently own, like, and use :
Canon EOS 1D Mark IV (2)
Canon 14mm f2.8 L II
Canon 16-35mm f2.8 L II
Canon 40mm f2.8
Canon 70-300mm f4-5.6 L IS
Canon 100mm f2.8 L IS macro
Canon 300mm f2.8 L IS II
Canon 800mm f5.6 L IS
Canon angle finder C
Canon 550EX flash units and cords
Quantum Turbo3 battery
Gitzo tripods : 5542LS (primary use for 800mm lens), 4542LS (lighter for carrying distances), 1548 (older model for use in water)
Wimberly tripod heads II
Zeiss 10x42 FL Victory binoculars and several others
Zeiss 85mm Diascope with 20-60 eyepiece
I only shoot RAW files and they are processed using ACR in various versions of Adobe Photoshop CS. In the past I regularly used Capture One Pro in various editions and many of the photos on this website were processed with that.
Please check back at this site often, since I will regularly add more photographs from here in Ohio and future travels when time and money allow. All wildlife presented at this site is shown in the wild in natural habitats. You will see no birds at feeders and prearranged set-ups, captives, or feral exotics here. Since I'm a birder as well as a photographer, my goal is to represent the best of what I see through my binoculars when I release the camera's shutter, depicting birds in their environments both as realistically and as aesthetically as possible.
All comments are appreciated.