I grew up on Long Island and went to college at Columbia University, where I majored in French. Upon graduation I spent 1968 and 1969 as a Peace Corps math teacher in Honduras; I learned that I was good not only at math (which I knew) but also at teaching it (which I’d had no reason to suspect). It was also in Honduras that I learned the rudiments of photography and got my first “real” camera, a Pentax Spotmatic. In the late 1970s and early 1980s I did a fair amount of art photography and eventually published three books of 3-D infrared photographs. The combination of 3-D and black-and-white infrared was an unusual one but I was fond of it, at least in part because it was unique. My book Bodies of Light won an award from the Printing Industries of America in 1981.
I moved to Austin on July 6, 1976, two days after my birthday and the 200th anniversary of American independence. In my early years in Texas I did some landscape photography, still primarily in black-and-white infrared. I was an early adopter of digital photography: in 1999 I launched into a project to produce a photographic CD documenting the Austin area. In the process, I grew increasingly aware of and captivated by the many species of native plants that grow here; they became and remain my primary photographic subject.
In the years since then I’ve had the following native plant articles (many including text and photographs) published:
Texas Highways, April 2002: “Speaking of Lesser-Known Texas Wildflowers”
Texas Highways, October 2003: “Second-Season Splendor”
Texas Highways, October 2007: “The Third Act”
Texas Prairie Journal, Spring 2008: “Dodder” (The cover picture is mine, even though it doesn’t match the text of my article.)
Texas Highways, April 2010: “Trips to Bountiful” (three photographs in this group article)
Texas Highways, July 2010: “Some Like It Hot”
Wildflower (the magazine of The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center), Summer 2011: “Get Low and Behold“
Wildflower, Fall 2011: “Color My World“
Texas Highways, October 2011: “The Unexpected Season”
Wildflower, Winter 2011: four photographs, notably one of a cedar waxwing swallowing a possumhaw fruit
NPSOT (Native Plant Society of Texas) News, Winter 2012: front cover
Wildflower, Spring 2012: front and back cover, 10 photographs inside
NPSOT News, Spring 2012: back cover
Texas Highways, April 2012: two photographs
Wildflower, Summer 2012: five full-page photographs, one other
Texas Highways, June 2012: “Window on Texas“; a photograph of a white prickly poppy standing in contrast to the pines destroyed in Bastrop State Park by the Labor Day fire of 2011.
NPSOT News, Summer 2012: front and back cover
NPSOT News, Fall 2012: front cover
NPSOT News, Spring 2013: back cover
Wildflower, Spring 2013: front cover; article “Shine Like a Bulb”; article “Picture Perfect”
Texas Highways, April 2013: two-page panoramic spread of a prairie verbena colony.
In 2007, Parade (the magazine that’s included in many Sunday newspapers) ran a photo contest on the theme “Celebrate America’s Beauty.” There were more than 60,000 entries, and my photograph of a basket-flower ended up being one of a hundred finalists.
In 2008 Popular Photography‘s blog featured three of my photographs and commentaries on them. In 2009 and 2010 Quick Reference Publishing commissioned me to provide all the photographs and text for three laminated wildflower guides: North Texas, Central Texas, and Southeast Texas.
I’ve contributed over 200 photographs to the native plant database of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. In 2010 I won second place in the professional category of that institution’s first-ever Wildflower Photo Contest.
My other interests include natural foods and the already-mentioned mathematics and language; with regard to that last subject I write a blog called Spanish-English Word Connections, where I managed to sneak in one of my nature photographs from time to time before I had this regular outlet.