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Posted on: September 1, 2008
[Photo] Dave Vuono collection
I have to say, I really don't consider myself a great photographer. I have to give credit to the subjects: the people and places that inspire a fantastic shot.
I have a full-time job unrelated to the outdoor world, which unfortunately takes up too much time for all the real things that matter to me. But in my spare time I pour my heart and soul into climbing, photography, restoration of a 1982 Diesel VW Vanagon (for climbing road trips) and studying to get into grad school (this really should be higher on my list).
I started climbing almost seven years ago and have never looked back. Early on, a friend gave a slideshow about rock climbing in Kalymnos, Greece. His images, stories and passion have stuck with me. Every year that followed, I traveled to some new place and brought back a climbing story to tell. That's how I began taking photographs.
In college I took a black and white photography course to learn the basics. Since then I've invested in the latest gear and scrounged up all sorts of info to advance my techniques. Sometimes it comes from a book or magazine and sometimes from trial and error—but most meaningful are tips offered by those who cross my path with a story to tell and knowledge to share.
I feel it's very important to remember your roots, whether it be climbing, photography, or simply life. Respect others' work; don't sell out; work hard, out of passion. As much as I would love to be a professional, full time photographer, I don't see it as my path. I climb and take photos because it's fun. Turning it into "work," I think, would render mute its spontaneity, appreciation, improvisation. I get satisfaction from sharing my images with others, and perhaps inspiring a few along the way.
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