Short version - Hi there! My name's Mark. I take pictures of landscapes and things I like.
The full story:
I've been interested in photography most of my life, but it was always something I felt was elusive and beyond my natural talents. Sweeping landscape shots and long-exposures seemed like the stuff of magic to me, not to mention understanding all the settings that go along with capturing brilliant images. That being said, I've always been a creative type. In my younger years I was always building things with Lego blocks (I'd buy the kits, but always ended up building something totally of my own imagination instead of following the directions...a harbinger of sorts, now that I look back on it). When I was 12 I started learning guitar. I played in numerous bands, and soon learned to play keyboards, bass, and drums also. I eventually wrote, recorded, and published a solo CD. And as cool as that was, photography was always something I thought was out of my creative reach.
Fast-forward several years and one lifetime...
In the last few months of 2014, my wife Kelly and I were doing a lot of traveling around the country - doing house-sitting or renting small places in areas we thought would be interesting to travel to. Our day jobs allow us to work remotely from wherever we can get an internet connection, so this was our lifestyle for a while - perfect for two Sagittarius wanderers. In December of that year, we happened to get a house-sit in northern New Mexico. To set the proper scale for this - Kelly and I both had never been west of the Mississippi until that point. What we experienced was nothing short of amazing. For two people who essentially grew up in the Northeast and spent all their time at or near sea level, New Mexico was truly other-worldly. Tremendously rugged mountains and mesas, the vast plains and open roads, the big sky with it's amazing sunsets, and the high desert fauna and wildlife spoke to us deeply (and in fact, it was so beautiful and different than anything we had ever known, we decided to move here). That first journey to the Southwest is what sparked my imagination, and truly ignited my passion for landscape photography.
In fact, I can point to a single moment in time, and a single photo, where I literally said "Hey, maybe I can actually do this":
December 23, 2014 - 07:41 MST - Dixon, NM. Early morning after an icy Winter storm.
This was the photo that started everything for me. It was shot with an iPhone 5s, and edited with the built-in Instagram tools (talk about humble beginnings). This photo, that I took with my phone, appealed to me enough to convince me to pursue it further. For a long time, I wasn't able to afford a "real camera", so I used my phone. I took pictures of everything, and practiced editing them. Eventually I realized that due to the way light works and the way the camera captures everything, some editing was typically needed to bring the photo up to the same level of what our eyes see. This was a major discovery - that editing was not only necessary for most photos, but also a real (and fun) part of the creative process for me.
Since then, I've worked to refine my composition and editing skills, and now I feel like I can share some of these photos that excite me with others. When I create images, my main hope is that someone somewhere will see it and feel something. To have something I created produce a mood or emotions is a wonderful thing. I hope these images bring you some kind of feeling, mood, or memory, and perhaps make you lose yourself a little bit in one.