Another Decade in the Mirror

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The change of a decade is the perfect time to reflect and marvel at the changes. So here goes…

Y2K

Who remembers Y2K, when computers were going to meltdown and airliners were doomed to fall from the sky? At the time I was an enthusiastic amateur photographer with a solid career in technical communications (tech writing, training, and support) for tech companies small and large. On New Year’s Eve 1999 my wife and I each went to bed with a pager on the bedside table, ready to spring into action when a customer reported a problem. At some point in the night a pager buzzed, I don’t remember who’s, and we each bolted up in the dark and collided like Keystone Cops at the foot of the bed. Just 20 years later pagers are virtually forgotten, replaced by ubiquitous smartphones that also happen to take pictures that are arguably better than my first DSLR could capture.

It’s 2000 and my camera is the same Olympus OM-2 (remember film?) I’d been clicking since the mid-70s. My photo locations are usually dictated by family priorities, almost always within easy driving distance of my home in Sacramento—infrequently augmented by a family vacation to points more distant. On one of those vacations in 2000, I acquire a 1 megapixel, fixed focal-length, hand-me-down digital camera from my brother-in-law and I am somewhat baffled and very much intrigued by digital photography. Little did I know….

2010

Where did the years go? It’s 2010 and I’m seven years into a complete transition to digital photography; five years into a new career as a professional landscape photographer. I make my living providing photo workshops in locations I’ve spent my life visiting and photographing: Yosemite, Death Valley, and the Eastern Sierra. Each year I augment that workshop income with a half dozen or so weekend art shows that are equal parts lucrative and exhausting.

After three decades of service, my trusty Olympus retired in 2003—by 2010 I am already on my fifth DSLR, a 21-megapixel Canon 1DS Mark III.  I find 21 megapixels both ridiculous and thrilling. The only other option available to pro photographers is Nikon, but I’m satisfied with Canon. As a digital photographer I have the control over my color images that I used to dream about in my film days. Digital capture has also enabled me to pursue night photography, but extreme noise at any ISO beyond 800 limit me to moonlight on full moon nights. The ISOs necessary to even consider Milky Way photography remain a distant dream.

With the kids out of the house and no more 9-5 commitments (and blessed with a supportive wife), I am free to explore far and wide with my camera. 2010 marks my first ever visit to Hawaii and I start considering workshops outside my California wheelhouse.

2020

Here on the eve of another new decade, my bread-and-butter remains photo workshops, but I’ve replaced the art show income with writing for “Outdoor Photographer” magazine and other publications. My blog has taken off (thanks for reading!), and for better or worse, several hours each day are dedicated to social media (a relationship that ranges from mild entertainment to a necessary evil). I’ve become a Sony Artisan of Imagery, and have had many magazine covers. Life is good.

While I won’t argue with the photography cliché that says, “It’s the photographer, not the camera,” in 2014 I jettisoned Canon in favor of Sony mirrorless. Of course there’s no universal “best” camera, but Sony’s dynamic range and low light capabilities make it the best camera for me. The Sony sensor allows me to capture scenes that would not have been possible with Canon or any other camera for that matter after a longer than expected adjustment period, I’ve grown to love mirrorless shooting and can’t imagine returning to a DSLR. My Sony a7RIV has a truly ridiculous 61 megapixels and more dynamic range than I’d dreamed possible ten years ago.

Another big change in the last 10 years is my workshop locations. As my existing California workshops continued to thrive through the decade, so did my experience and confidence. Both on my own and with my good friend Don Smith, I started adding workshops in many locations I’d been exploring: Hawaii (the Big Island and Maui), Grand Canyon (an annual raft trip and a summer monsoon workshop), the Columbia River Gorge, and the spectacular Oregon Coast. And in 2018 Don and I added New Zealand, with Iceland to follow in 2020.

I have no plans to stop and can’t wait to see what the coming decade brings.

The decade in pictures

I’m sharing a series of galleries with a few highlights of the last decade, broken down by year. I can’t begin to express how much fun I had compiling these images, reliving moments, and never ceasing to be stunned by how long it’s been since this memory or that.

2010

(Click an image for a closer look and slideshow)


2011

(Click an image for a closer look and slideshow)


2012

(Click an image for a closer look and slideshow)


2013

(Click an image for a closer look and slideshow)


2014

(Click an image for a closer look and slideshow)


2015

(Click an image for a closer look and slideshow)

2016

(Click an image for a closer look and slideshow)

2017

(Click an image for a closer look and slideshow)

2018

(Click an image for a closer look and slideshow)

2019

(Click an image for a closer look and slideshow)

Workshop Schedule || Purchase Prints

10 Comments on “Another Decade in the Mirror

  1. A delightful read and a pleasure to look back on your stunning work, Gary. Many images are like visiting old friends I’ve been acquainted with along the way. Thank you for sharing your vision and wishing you a creative, fruitful and happy new year! 🌟

  2. “Starry Night” Incredibly beautiful. You are very talented and your photos are beautiful.

Leave a Reply to Eloquent Nature by Gary Hart Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: