Architectural and aerial photographer located in Richmond, VA.

Today

Located in Richmond, VA. I combine the beauty of art and architecture with technology. It starts with high quality tools (cameras, lenses, drones) and then leverages software to take them to the next level. 

This includes: 

 - HDR
 - Panoramas
 - Exposure blending
 - Drones (I am FAA Licensed)
 - Condition forecasting

Additionally, time is extremely limited so its important to capture photographs when conditions are best. I wrote software to forecast when the weather will be best for architectural photography.  This allows me to get the job done quickly and efficiently.

How it started

I blame my parents for where I am today (thank you Mom & Dad).  Both parents are unique artists.  My mother quilts, paints, draws, and picks up new talents every few years.  My father has the most instantly recognizable art style I have ever known (see a preview in the book written by my wife that he illustrated, Presto!). Thank you both for providing great genes and inspiration.


Architecture lead to photography

My father is an architect, so is my sister and brother (even my eldest daughter at the moment also wants to be one).  I wanted to follow in his footsteps for years, but got sidetracked along the way. 


My dad drew plans for home additions on the side.  When I was in high school, he would take me to these homes and I would help him take measurements. It was then my responsibility to draw up the floor plans to scale.  As much as I loved to draw, I hated doing this by hand. Computers to the rescue.


Just one problem, that software was obscenely expensive (and my dad didn't have access to anything as he is [still] probably the only practicing architect that does everything by hand).  Conveniently, a new company was trying to get architects to use its software and they sent my dad their first version for free (which he of course gave to me).  Thank you Rhino3D for being my answer (I still use it today).


The software was more catered toward making three dimensional creations than two dimensional floor plans.  I quickly found turning the floor plans into 3 dimensional models  way more interesting, however, that also came with a new challenge: textures. Textures are the patterns placed on the surfaces of the 3D model that represent brick, siding, shingles, etc.  The problem then was the textures that existed were also stupid expensive.  I knew how to create repeating textures in Photoshop, but I needed photographs to make them from.


Thankfully I grew up at the perfect time. Digital photography had just became something accessible by most anyone and I got my first digital camera, the HP C200. I took it with me everywhere, capturing all sorts of shots that I could turn into textures for my 3D models.

As you might imagine, I quickly started taking more than texture photographs and the passion for photography took off.

Technology

So my love of technology started well before photography, but its back story isn't as rosy.  As a kid, I loved gaming (and still do). I played the Nintendo we had all the time.  You can probably guess that when I was grounded as a kid, access to that Nintendo was taken away. Fortunately, it was not the only way to play games in the house.

My parents had a 286 computer (running MS-DOS) that we used for little more than word processing.  It had a game that I could play football (which consisted of calling a play, then watching the X's and O's play out the call) and the original SimCity (which I remember leaving on overnight to accumulate money in the game but not wanting to be anywhere near that computer in the morning because it was giving off so much heat). The gaming wasn't nearly as good, but I was playing it a ton (I sure was getting grounded often).

It was when Doom II came out that things changed. Doom encouraged being modified. I enjoyed building my own maps for the game. This required understanding 3D modeling which I already had from Rhino3D with computers. It was the computer part that was all new to me, but I was motivated to learn.

At the same time, I was in high school and playing games in class on my calculator during class. However, every math test, the teacher would visit each student and clear out their calculator's memory.  This not only wiped out  high scores but the games themselves. This had to stop. Using the calculator manual I wrote a program that faked the steps of clearing the calculator's memory.  I would run the program and hand it to my teacher.  It would be handed back, memory in tact.

I quickly discovered that was only the start of what I could do.  I quickly started writing programs to do my math homework for me.

Thank you parents for grounding me and having a computer. Thank you gaming for motivating me to learn general computing and then programming.

Blended

I now use the combination of photography and technology wherever I can.  Learning new techniques and coming up with my own. After graduating from college (major in computer science), I was going out almost nightly to take photographs.  I would visit the Huguenot Bridge on a pretty regular basis.  In this one week in early January, I went 4 times in a single week.  It started with this:             

That photograph was terrible, and not worth keeping.  But a few days later, I ended up with this:

This started me thinking, could I write software to prevent me from wasting time going out when there wasn't much of a chance of capturing anything worthwhile.  I stewed on this for 7 years before writing my first mobile app in 2010 that I called the "Clockendar".  It allowed for displaying a clock and you could visualize (for the next 12 hours) what the weather conditions would be.  It looked cool, but it was extremely hard to use, and required users to setup what they wanted to see (and then figure out what the heck they were even looking at).


Three years later, I revised the concept and released GetOutCast. No longer did you have to figure out how to read the weather conditions and come up with a guess on when it worked best.  You simply read a number 0-10 on how good your chances were.  Of course, the first forecast was for Sunrise/Sunset (the most popular today) to address that original problem.  I've since added many more, including Architecture with more to come.

That week of sunsets

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