About Me

I was born and raised in Seattle, WA and grew up fishing and hiking the backcountry near my home. Most of my childhood memories are of fishing Puget Sound for salmon and searun cutthroat, or plying the glacier fed streams of Western Washington for steelhead. Time spent in the wild nurtured in me a sense of place in the natural world. I learned as a child that the natural world is not merely a backdrop for my own life. It is the creation of the same God who created me. The reflection of His image. As such, I have a connection with it that goes beyond mere fun or usefulness. I have a place in the natural world and it has a place in me. My photographic images are a reflection of this personal connection. An image that does not tell a story, or point beyond itself to something eternal, is not truly an image - only a lifeless record of an event. My vision is for my images to point to something beyond themselves and awaken in others a love for their Creator, a sense of their own connection to the natural world, and a passion to protect it for future generations.

I also bring this passion for God's creation to the environmental research I do for my Environmental & Social Issues site. To me, passion is a necessary ingredient in any search for truth. While it can, and often does, cloud judgement, it is nevertheless the only lens through which the true value of things can be seen - the eyes of the heart, without which we will never truly understand what we were created for. I believe that this passion must work together with reason and I try to bring both to my work. It is also fundamental to my whole view of things that truth is not fragile and will survive any honest inquiry. I believe that no investigation into the matters we all care about can ever stand unless it take into account all available evidence, so I strive to expose myself to all inputs, even hostile ones. I may or may not give space to arguments I consider to be vicious, inflammatory or based on unusually poor scholarship (you won't find much here from conspiracy theory groups or bombastic talk show hosts), but I will expose myself even to inputs like these and think about them before preparing any content for my site. Those who are on solid ground need not fear being examined and need not hide from any sources that do not support their conclusions. I have to assume that if I ever feel compelled to run away from an honest and thoughtful challenge, there will be a reason why - and it won't bode well for my beliefs!

I am self taught in photography, doing most of my work in the 35mm and 4x5 formats. Trial and error in the field has shown me that photography is as much craft as art. I bring this sense of craft to my printed images. Many today believe that composition and light are the very essence of photography. The beginning and the end. While I do not dispute this, I believe that the craft of producing a superior negative or transparency adds a clarity and presence that is lacking in many images. Attention to sharpness, rich color and presentation are critical to my work. I prefer the ilfochrome and supergloss Fuji printing methods for my color images, and the highest quality of custom printing on fiber based paper for my black and white images. I do all my own matting and framing, using only archival materials. I want my work to outlast me.

I currently live in Issaquah, WA (a suburb of Seattle) near my daughter Claire Lan Du (adopted by my former wife and I from Sichuan Province in China and 6 1/2 years old at the time of this writing). I grew up and attended grade school 30 minutes from where I now live--which adds to my sense of place in this region. I attended the University of Washington, receiving a Bachelors degree in Mechanical Engineering (1980) and a Masters in Applied Physics (1988). After working 20 years in the aerospace industry, I moved into computer networking. I am currently a Data Center Systems Adminstrator at Microsoft in Redmond, WA, which is what I do when I'm not out with my camera or a fly rod. The name "Sabalo Images" comes from the Spanish name for the tarpon. The tarpon (megalops atlanticus) is the largest member of the herring family of fishes and is native to shallow temperate habitats in the Atlantic and Carribean. It is my favorite fly rod gamefish, and in my opinion, one of the finest high points of God's creation. Those who have done battle with one on light tackle will understand why I would adopt it's name as a symbol for my celebration of God's finest work.