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The 2016 Raccoon River Watershed Phenology Calendar

The 2016 calendar features a cover photo of a prairie scene by acclaimed Iowa outdoor photographer Ty Smedes (click here to visit Ty's web site). As usual, there is a rich selection of photos from the Raccoon basin, and of the animals and plants found within the watershed. Other photographers contribute their work to help illustrate the birds, insects, mammals, and plants.

Use the
Contact Me link in the left menu to pre-order send inquiries about the calendar, or visit this page at my consulting web site for details: Phenology Calendar and order from there.

This is the cover of the 2015 calendar:

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My Work as a Photographer

My photography emphasizes outdoor scenery, from finest detail to broad vistas. Some of my work involves fellow humans, often at events, going about their lives, or it implies the presences of humans as the subjects outside the frame. I also work in urban settings, looking for distinctive architecture, lighting, humor (a bike shop called "The Chain Gang" in San Francisco that maintains that Rosebud was a bicycle; a signed altered to say "Tobasco-Free Grounds"), and topical material.

Much of my photographic work follows from my personal sense of what is or could be beautiful, and from the underlying view that a sense of beauty is ethically necessary to our lives.

A photograph, in my opinion, strives to capture the everyday and elevate it to the uncommon through the use of subject matter, perspective, lighting, and other elements of photography. A great photo is a bit of visual poetry, establishing connections far beyond the poem, or enriching what is obvious at a glance in a poetic verse.

I prefer to shoot with ambient light and work with its challenges and possibilities. At times the effect borders on the abstract: the layers of color in a flower bed, taken a little out of focus; reflections from moving or nearly still water; a small detail of a flower or butterfly wing usually perceived as a whole. I am often aware that
"every photograph is a lie" (B. Peterson), because it cannot faithfully reproduce the physical place, the actions, or a photographer's experience. And yet I find photography necessary somehow, perhaps because the power of a story well told is worth the effort. Or, to continue the quote, "but it is within that lie that a mountain of truth is revealed."

You enter this portfolio as a participant, with your choices, preferences, and sense of style.
We could imagine ourselves in a dialogue about the aesthetic qualities, the meanings evoked, or the technical requirements - in short, about the truth that is revealed. Once in a while I put a "self-portrait" on public display - my reflection or shadow, my feet or legs - as a reminder to you and myself of that presence. Yet the appreciation of photography as art is itself an act of creativity. It's there that you find yourself reflected back for your own consideration.

Feel free to look through my portfolio.  If you have any questions, please contact me.
Do the same if you have specific requests, such as about shoot fees, contract work, images you think I might have but that don't appear hear, and more. I'd love to hear from you.