Currently based out of Fort Bragg, North Carolina (USA), I recently returned from living in Bavaria, Germany, thanks to an incredible opportunity to be stationed there with the United States Army. As I continue to learn more about myself, one enduring theme prevails:

I may be a soldier by trade, but I am a serial adventurer by make.

I remember trying to find my 'niche.' Was it going to be macro? Travel and adventure photography? Portraiture? Or what about landscape?

I’ve read countless times how it was important to focus on something specific, exploring every aspect and angle of whatever that may be. While getting very frustrated by my lack of direction and desire to focus on one interest while neglecting the others, I came across a friend's website (professional photographer Jim Radcliffe of Boxed Light) and his introduction hit home:

 

Photography is my hobby. I have no specific photographic interest. I photograph any and everything. I am always looking for something to photograph, from a macro to a seascape. I love color and I love black & white. I use a DSLR, a rangefinder, and compact cameras. I shoot for my own enjoyment first and share with others because photography is meant to be shared, not locked away in a photo album. Photography gives me something to look forward to every day. I know there is always something, some place or someone waiting to be photographed. I just have to take the time to see. It has always been my belief that the ability to see the shot is more important than the gear used to take the shot.

 

Reading that caused me to have an epiphany: “Why do I need to restrict myself to just one photographic pursuit?
 

Taken while visiting a great friend, Paul Monaghan, of the Kirky Studio in Kirkintilloch, Scotland.

I love photography, so denying countless photographic opportunities for the sake of a ‘specialization’ is crippling. I shoot what I shoot because I love to shoot, and whatever *it* is just so happened to be in front of my camera at the time.

So to make a long story short, my niche has evolved to be opportunity...

  "Combat Camera" during a patrol in Ghazni Province, Afghanistan.

My favorite memories from Afghanistan - meeting and helping the locals.

Visiting an abandoned school for boys in Afghanistan during a patrol. I would later learn it was where my interpreter attended as a child.

 

A self-portrait taken while experimenting with deep shadows, a passion of mine when it comes to portraiture.

 

Atop a small perch while hiking the Kepler Track on New Zealand's South Island.