While working for an insurance company in a career as a web application engineer I had the fortune to visit Zurich, Switzerland. While this was a business trip we were allowed a week of travel allowing us to see the countryside, meet the people, enjoy the food, and to take in the scenery. While I no longer code for a living professionally, this was an interesting part of my life as I came to appreciate time and how, while working 60 – 80 hour weeks, one can quickly find time passing them by ever so quickly. It was at this time that I decided all those years ago back in 2000 to go back to school. While I made a few attempts both at my MBA in business and my Masters in Computer Science none of them really felt like they were for me. I have always found myself attracted to art, nature, and have strong beliefs in doing something that makes both a difference and that can help others.
I came to realize that a majority of my friends back in college were artist who I respected and I really enjoyed being a part of their world. It was a process of giving to the world when one creates art in all its forms. I came to appreciate this more and more as the years went by. I could never say the same for all of the business analysts, coders, DBA’s or managers focused on creating the next new tool or generating reports for the business unit. To me this became counterintuitive and lost focus of why I went to school to begin with – to help others and to study culture.
I graduated from Indiana University with a degree in Anthropology and a minor in Biology. Originally I was studying to get into Genetics but quickly became disillusioned by the field as I saw too much “for profit” and not enough “for the people” causes.
Almost fifteen years later I came to realize that I have always experienced the world more visually and enjoy creating art from concepts or the world around us. Before this, while I took pictures, I was never actively involved in the process. Instead, if I saw something I liked I simply pressed the shutter haphazardly without a thought to the how, why, or how I can improve. This is what eventually led me to experiment with photography, though, never being one to want to imitate, I knew that there was more to photography than simply taking good pictures. I wanted to understand what makes an image successful and to find ways to use it as a vehicle to express my ideas, emotions, or to elicit emotions or ideas in others. While the first three years were experimental, they were formative years. For, I would never have been ready in 2011 to pursue my MFA if I hadn’t taken the time to make mistakes. Even while in graduate school it took a good year or more to evolve and mature as an artist and, to this very day, I still find myself pushing to grow both as an artist and how I presently use imagery as a means of expression.
One of the greatest challenges that I had to learn was how to take criticism. For, when one creates something it becomes personal and a bit of our own self goes into the process. The other aspect that I saw grow was the ability to take an idea or concept and to explore and evolve the process while never allowing myself from getting too comfortable.
Today I am sharing one of my earlier images that I created while on my trip in Switzerland while up in the Swiss Alps on one of our mini-trips. Fot it was, while looking at many of the images that I created over the past couple decades, that I gained a greater appreciation for photography as both art and as a means of expression.