At an early age, Gary was introduced to California Plein Air artists such as William Keith, Percy Gray and Thomas Hill, all disciples of the Hudson River School of landscape painting. From them he developed an appreciation for color, composition and the importance of natural light. He acquired a Nikon F2 SLR in 1970 and since then a camera has never been far from his reach. As an amateur star-gazer, he became familiar with the world of optics. As a life-long fly-fisherman his quest for wild trout took him to places of exceptional beauty and solitude. And as a dedicated bird watcher, binoculars and a spotting telescope were part of his outdoor life. But it was not until the late 1990s that Gary began to center his efforts on digital photography, while not abandoning his earlier interests.
Gary immersed himself in photography workshops with the Point Reyes National Seashore Association Institute. The Institute combines access to the majestic California coastline and its unique wildlife habit with a comprehensive array of photographic educational programs. Gary has also participated in numerous photo workshops throughout the western United States and most recently, in England.
As a member of the Marin Society of Artists, Center for Photographic Art and the Marin Photography Club (MPC), Gary has benefitted from the collaboration and competition with other artists. In his first year, he won the Marin Photography Club's annual prize for the most points by a new member, and in the following two years garnered three coveted "Best in Shows". He serves as co-chair of the MPC Education Committee. He also has exhibited at several Bay Area galleries and public venues.
Gary served as a Trustee of the Marin Art & Garden Center for over a decade. He was a founding member of both the Marin Rose Society and the Ross Historical Society. He currently serves as a Trustee of the Moya Library-Ross Historical Society. Gary is co-author of the book; Ross, California, and continues to write about Marin County history, often using rephotography to show the "then and now" of a historical site. Gary's writing and photos have been published in the prominent Pacific Horticulture magazine.
Gary and his wife Janet created an award-winning garden at their home in Ross, California, which once numbered over 400 rose bushes. He has received many national merit certificates from the American Rose Society for his photographs of roses as well as his writing on their history. In 1995, he was awarded the society's prestigious Bronze Medal. He also has received recognition from San Francisco Bay Area environmental and nature groups for his photographs of wildlife, particularly birds.
The wonder of the world, the beauty and the power, the shapes of things, their color, light and shades. These I saw. Look ye also, while life lasts."
Found on a 18th century country gravestone in England's Lake District and as a preface to all books by celebrated British naturalist, illustrator and children's author Denys Watkins Pitchford MBE, 1905 – 1990.
These words make a deep impression on me, serving not only as an excellent dictum for my personal life, but as an even better guiding principle to me as a photographer. So often the world's clattering obscures our vision and limits our ability to focus with "eyes that see, and ears that hear."
Our modern cameras are simply extraordinary. The digital post-processing alternatives available today are nothing short of miraculous. Many photographers today, and I include myself, are troubled by the extent a photograph can be altered, or even as some would say manipulated, by the newest software programs. When does photography become a different medium? At some point does the initial expression of the artist's creative skills become so blurred by technology that the core nature of his or her work becomes compromised? There are a couple of images in the Abstract Gallery where I have used more aggressive post-processing techniques. To me they are fun, innovative, and uniquely unduplicatable. I would love to hear your thoughts and reactions. But regardless of the post-processing techniques, the image must first be perfectly clear, bright and true in the photographer's mind’s eye.
My objective is to capture the essence of shapes, color, light and shades.