Like many nature photographers, I started my career doing something else. A political scientist by training, my research focused on the politics of the environment in Latin America. I researched environmental politics and ecotourism in Costa Rica and worked here for a number of years as a conservation professional, having first come to the country in 1992 as a Peace Corps volunteer. I now dedicate myself full-time to my own photography and my Costa Rica photo tour company. I work out of my home office in Costa Rica’s central highlands, where I live with my wife, twin boys, our dogs and cats, and various hummingbirds and songbirds that visit our backyard feeders.
I hope that my images represent more than a simple documentation of nature. My vision of rainforests and cloud forests and the biodiversity they contain is more of a feeling rather than a recording. Although I shoot images that will be useful as stock for advertising, textbooks, magazines, and education exhibits, I try to depart from a literal representation of any subject. At the risk of sounding pretentious, I do strive to capture images that are truly art and that portray to the viewer the mystery, abundance, and wonder of Costa Rica’s ecosystems, flora, and fauna. I hope I’ve succeeded and that my passion for rainforests and the stunning biodiversity they contain shows through in the images on this site.
I feel strongly that a good nature photograph should be captured in camera. I try very hard to minimize post-production work in the computer, generally limiting it to slight exposure tweaks, a bit of saturation, noise reduction for high ISO images, and final sharpening — the common steps necessary for processing digital images. I am emphatically not a fan of cropping. In my opinion, the value of a photograph to the viewer is indirectly related to the amount of computer work the image has undergone. Once we learn that a photo has been Photoshopped to great degree, we are less impressed by the resulting image.
My images have been published in numerous books, calendars, and magazines, including National Geographic, National Geographic Kids, GEO Germany, Sierra Club, The Nature Conservancy, and Newsweek. Canon Europe has used my images in numerous product brochures, trade show displays, and product packages, and they featured me in a DVD series a few years ago about pro photographers using Canon equipment. I don’t enter many photo contests but I have had images honored in the two big ones I’ve entered — the BBC/Veolia Wildlife Photographer of the Year contest (the most prestigious nature photography competition in the world) and the Nature’s Best Windland Rice Smith contest (the most prestigious nature photography competition in North America).