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.