I can pin-point the exact moment I realized I needed to man up and get serious about photography. It was early 2015 and I was steelhead fishing in Oregon with my good friend Ryan. We were swinging flies on a very pretty run on one of those popular rivers in the Columbia Gorge, and Ryan was standing in a river canyon casting out into a run. The sun was streaming through the mossy trees behind him, lighting up his fly line and all the water vapor around him each time he shot out a spey loop. So like a good budding photographer I busted out my Canon T3i with kit lens attached, and captured the moment. The results were earth shattering…..or so I thought at the time. The image you see below is horrible. The lighting was awesome, the composition was good, but the camera operator sucked. I blew it and the moment was gone.
Luckily in 2018 I am a much better photographer, and Ryan is a much better spey caster. As I edited my horrible image I began to get very frustrated. I knew the only remedy was take a step back, research, learn, and practice taking images. Like many photographers these days I turned to the University of YouTube, and earned many distinguished degrees. The Northrups and Nick Page were my professors, and I literally learned the basics of photography from them……and it was free. (I recently went on a photography workshop with Nick Page in Iceland, and he is probably one of the nicest guys I have ever met).
Four camera upgrades later I’m finally at a point where I’m mildly confident enough to show my images to the world. I’m currently shooting with a Canon 5D Mk III and have all the usual L lenses. I know the 5D Mk III is like a dinosaur now, but I always admire photographers who place gear second to getting the shot (says everyone with old gear).
One of the best things about photography is that you can see your own positive growth almost every time you thumb through your portfolio. I’m not crackin out Thomas Heaton images, but I’m happy with my current status as a photographer and am ready to get better. That shit image above of Ryan fishing? Well many steelhead trips later and a couple thousand dollars worth of camera gear allowed me to capture several good images of Ryan shooting sick spey loops. I would have taken more photos of me with giant steelhead, but I suck at steelhead fishing.