I shoot black and white landscapes. It’s a creative pursuit that’s appreciated by a particular audience, and my family and friends often ask why I do it. The truth is, I don’t do it for the photos themselves, and I don’t expect anyone else to enjoy them as much as I do. I do it because of the things that have to happen in order for the photo to exist.
Years ago, I framed and drywalled my own darkroom. I processed and printed my work in chemicals of my own concoction. I attended workshops taught by master black and white printer John Sexton, who’d worked alongside Ansel Adams. Black and white photography was one of the first creative things I attempted in my life and, since I’m a terrible painter, it was an art form in which I could use my hands without angering people. I put in more than a decade of effort to become proud of maybe a handful of prints.
Then I met my wife. We started a family. We moved a few times, and settled in the Northwest. Digital photography eventually took over the world, and as life demanded, I left my photo lab behind. I’ve been married for 23 years now to my beautiful, smart, and funny wife Kelly. We have two sons, Garrett and Daniel, both young adults. Of course, all of us are busy — my wife and me with our careers, and my sons each trying to get their own lives going. As everyone knows, getting your family in the same room at the same time isn’t easy, and it can be shocking how out of touch you can get in a very short time.
This is my photo of Old Faithful at Yellowstone, a favorite subject for postcards. You see a geyser. I see a trophy. To get this shot, my wife and two sons had to agree to a family road trip to Yellowstone. We had to cram ourselves into a tiny car, and drive for days. We enjoyed each other’s company more than any of us thought possible, especially in tight quarters. We listened to a David Sedaris book ‘on tape’ and laughed together. We ate every meal of every day as a family. We discovered amazing sights together. We swapped sardonic quips at the expense of the roadside attractions that still ended up with our money. It was worth it.
My brother and his wife met us in Yellowstone. They live two states away, and I rarely get to see them. So, at the moment you see here, when I captured Old Faithful, I was improbably surrounded by my favorite people.
Old Faithful erupts with impressive energy — somewhat reliably, but not without a long stretch of waiting for the next eruption. My family is due for another road trip. The best part is: we all agree.
Jim Love, UX Director
- I occasionally write and record music.
- I was mentioned in a Wired article about photos from Mars.
- I once had tea with Thomas Dolby in his home.
I like to shoot: Black and white landscapes, with an old Canon 40D. Why? I like the process — it usually requires a road trip.
My Mylio setup: Five devices managing 3,270 images.