Interference Pattern

Two drops of water illustrate an interference pattern, captured at Brooks Institute’s industrial studio 2. When two drops of water fall side by side and land into the same body of water, they will both create concentric rings on impact, which will spread out and eventually collide with each other. The areas where these ripples intersect are called an interference pattern. This physical process isn’t exclusive to water, light also behaves this way, as well as sound.

Holography, a technique that produces three-dimensional images using lasers (Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation), relies on the interference of light beams from a laser or other coherent light source.


One of my absolute favorite photographers is Dan Winters, and I had the incredible pleasure of seeing him speak at the Eddie Adam’s Workshop last year. His photographs cover so many different themes and subjects, everything from celebrity portraiture to aircraft cockpits. I can’t help but be inspired by the versatility of his interests and his ability to capture them all. Our first assignment in Advanced Lighting class was to find artificially lit images that inspire us, and attempt to recreate the lighting. I went with an amazing portrait on Winter’s site, and my good friend Andrew Davidson was kind enough to lend me his profile.

Class: Advanced Lighting / Paul Meyer.

The Hum of the Hive

Danny Terhaar, age 45, has been an organic beekeeper for two years. He’s responsible for nearly 50 hives spread over several locations from Carpinteria up to Thousand Oaks. Recently, he’s started up Bees and Beyond – a bee rescue company. Bees and Beyond offers humane swarm removal services to areas around Ventura county. Rather than exterminating the hive, Terhaar relocates the bees to a new home in his yard or with other local beekeepers.

“Shoeboxing” is a term my good friend Ben Morris coined to describe the tendency photographers have to let their work gather dust on their hardrives, and I couldn’t be more guilty of it in this case.  I produced this project several months ago, but for whatever reason I never got around to actually posting it until now. Despite my inherent fear of them, I had developed a sudden fascination with bees, so I did a search for some local beekeepers online. I was fortunate enough to find Danny’s website, and he was kind enough to let me come by. Danny’s easily one of the nicest people I’ve ever me, and I mean that sincerely. Even his bees were polite.

Class: Natural History Photography / Ralph Clevenger

Photographing Sound

My good friend Ryan Buller and I had a really great time setting up this shoot. If you’d like to see how it was done be sure to check out the behind the scenes video on Ryan’s Vimeo page.

The New Energy Frontier

1/5000 sec @ f/2.8, ISO 200, Nikon D300. San Francisco, March 30, 2012.

The objective for the class was for each student to spend 15 weeks photographing an issue that we are passionate about, and I really wanted to challenge myself to shoot something out of the ordinary. Since I tend to photograph people more than anything, I decided to go about creating environmental and architectural photographs that would document society and the power infrastructures that support it. 

I took a slightly different approach to the multimedia component of this assignment. Rather than build the story on a timeline in Final Cut Pro, I decided to design an e-book article for the iPad using the iBooks Author app, and looked to Al Gore's "Our Choice” and National Geographic's "7 Billion" for guidance and inspiration. I'm by no means an expert on energy, so this is not intended to be any sort of comprehensive study or report. Rather, this essay relates a picture of what I've learned and come across during my research. I got interested in sustainable energy by watching a ton of TED Talks, and many of the speakers had hopeful and inspiring things to say about the future and the potential for renewable energy. One speaker in particular whom I refer to several times in the e-book is American architect William McDonough. His design theology became the foundation for my project, and I tried to create an overall piece that visually spoke to many of his ideas. What developed is a three-part photo essay that represents the present, the present future, and the potential future of our current power struggle. 

Photos: Approx 7,500 stills over 8 shoots

Travel: Approx 2,476 miles (not counting flight miles)

Aircraft: Maule M7 STOL fixed wing aircraft, Schweizer 300CBi helicopter

Cameras: Nikon D300, Canon EOS 5D Mark II

Holi Fest

A few weeks ago I photographed one of the most enjoyable events I’ve ever witnessed. My good friends Ryan Buller,Ben Morris and Suzanne Tylander were kind enough to invite me on a road trip up to the Hare Krishna Temple in Spanish Fork, Utah, to photograph the Holi Fesitval of Colors. Roughly 80,000 people showed up, and we were among the first to arrive. There was a buzz in the air that seemed to grow throughout the morning – and then all hell broke loose. From sun up to sun down people celebrated wildly and threw tons of colorful powder on each other. Every two hours the day was punctuated by mass “throwings” that literally blocked out the sun with an enormous cloud of color and filled our lungs with dust. Everyone was in great spirits, and I found the experience to be overwhelmingly warm and joyful.

Holi is a Hindu faith practice that celebrates the end of winter and the beginning of Spring. When you consider that the state of Utah hosts the highest concentration of Mormons in the world, it’s easy to appreciate the spiritual and cultural diversity taking place here.

Vessel for a Muse

Arthur and Andrew are musicians in “June Humor,” a band they formed less than a year ago with friends at Fullerton College. “With music and being a musician, you can be a machine or you can be a vessel for a muse,” said Andrew.

The Magic of Metal

The idea for this shoot came from an assignment to produce a short feature on a person at work. A Google search for local blacksmiths brought me to a brief article on Max Randolph published only a few months ago by California Country Magazine. Something about him seemed especially genuine, so I sent him an email. A few days later I found myself waking up at 4 a.m. and driving almost three hours up the 101 to San Luis Obispo County. I spent the day with Max in his workspace – a home garage he’s converted into a fully functional blacksmith shop – and watched as he transformed a rough lump of steel into a smooth, beautiful blade. While the job is highly labor intensive, like any other artist Max remains quite sensitive and thoughtful about his work. He seemed to take every measure possible to achieve the best results throughout every step of the process. I learned a lot about the art and science of ironwork and have a whole new appreciation for craft.

A Day As An MC

Helicopter Combat Squadron 21, the “Blackjacks”, pictured from left to right, Aviation Warfare Systems Operator 2nd Class Kevin Watson, Lt. Cmdr. Kimberly Ernst and Aviation Warfare Systems Operator 2nd Class Gabriel Martin; background, Aviation Warfare Systems Operator 2nd Class Jack Delbridge.

Back in 2008, Derek Sanchez, a friend and colleague of mine, put together this video of a portrait shoot I organized on the flight deck of USNS Mercy while anchored in the Federated States of Micronesia. I used a single SB-800 with a LumiQuest Mini Softbox attached to light the foreground.

Mercy was the primary platform for Pacific Partnership 2008, a humanitarian and civic assistance mission to the Pacific and Southeast Asia. The ship is a fully functional hospital, one of only two in the United States. When deployed, the vessel becomes fully staffed with military and civilian medical professionals from every branch of service from all over the world.

Special thanks to legendary Chief Photographer's Mate Jon Gesch,

Dethkills Collective

I met Chris Wolford a little over a year ago, at about the same time I was discovering graffiti culture, Banksy’s legendary stencils and this whole “new” concept of street art (which until now I hadn’t been exposed to all that much.) Chris leads a local Los Angeles based art collective called Dethkills with his best friend Bobby Alderman, and the art they create together puts an entirely new spin on things.

The collective consists of anywhere from 10 to 20 local artists at any given time, and together they’ve created a signature style using a combination of graffiti art and traditional painting techniques. They do absolutely everything themselves, from hammering together the panels they’ll be painting on, to screen printing their own Dethkills brand T-shirt designs.  It’s a process they’ve learned to do quickly, and when they perform live painting installations, it takes the concept of fine art and totally rockifies it. They’re like visual troubadours, approaching virtually any venue as if they were performing live music. The group will band together on stage and create an entire painting from scratch over the course of a night, allowing the audience to witness their collaborative process from start to finish.

It’s a new kind of art – more communal, more of a reflection of the world we live in, and they’re really paying it forward. Their passion and creativity have helped inspire me since the day I met them, and I hope they come to inspire you the same way. I’m currently in the process of putting together a short documentary on these guys, so check back again soon.

See the shots as they happen in this Dethkills Collective video made entirely of still images.