Hello – my name is Robert. I started my crazy passion to become a photographer in 2000 when I discovered I had Parkinson’s disease. I began taking photography courses at Rice University, and now I am consumed by it. My wife and I love to travel to wild and beautiful places. We accelerated our travel schedule due to my Parkinson’s disease. Parkinson’s disease has helped me “slow down” to see this beauty and has given me the urgency to “hurry up” and capture as much as I can photographically while I still can. I love highly saturated pictures, full of color, full of life, with vibrant, surrealistic backgrounds. I enjoy using my camera and Photoshop to paint pictures of birds flying and bees buzzing and dragonflies basking in the sun. I hope you enjoy my pictures. Life is good!!!!!
Here is a video about me: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3df2Be7qVVc
Here is a recent newspaper article about me photographing the Night-Herons on West Boulevard in Houston (HOUSTON CHRONICLE MAY 13, 2012)
New self published book: "West Boulevard Night-Herons"
Self-Published Book - "Rice's Owls" - Purchase from the Rice University Department of Athletics
You can buy the book at Amazon.com as follows:
Blurb Published books ----
It is never too late to change your major. I spent 31 years in the oil service industry as an engineer and businessman. Parkinson's took that occupation away from me, but it gave me the gift of time. I took most of the courses offered at the Glasscock School of Continuing Education at Rice University in photography, and then in 2008 signed up for Arts 205, the beginning undergraduate course in photography at Rice University. There were 21 freshmen and sophomores in the class and me. It was a scream. We used a 4 x 5 view camera and developed our own film–all in black and white. I learned a lot in that class about photography, but more importantly I learned that it's never too late to learn new things. Four self-portraits I took in that course, including the one on this page, are now in the permanent collection of the Museum of Fine Arts Houston.
My main philosophy about life is to try and live it as much as possible in the present. Basically, I'm an existentialist. You can’t do much about the past or the future so it does not do a lot of good worrying about them. Some people seem to spend a lifetime feeling guilty or remorseful about things in the past. We need to relax and live each day to its fullest. Watch the sun come up, smell the flowers and give someone a hug. And don't be encumbered by the future either. It will happen. Do your best to be ready for it by encountering and accepting and nurturing and living the eternal now!
You don't have to go far to find beautiful things. In April, I sat in a field of bluebonnets in the Harris Gully on the Rice campus about 6 blocks from my house. In May and early June, I watched the sunrise on West Boulevard, again about 6 blocks from my house, with herons building nests and Hawks looking for food under the branches of huge Live Oak trees.
Healing Art - Art on the walls of a hospital makes you feel better. I had the good fortune of being chosen as the artist in 2011 to display “healing art” photographs in the Baylor College of Medicine Department of Neurology in Houston. This permanent display consists of 45 photographs printed in sizes ranging from 20x30 inches to 48x36 inches - half printed on canvas and the other half on aluminum. They are displayed in waiting areas, hallways, conference rooms and offices and examination rooms. By displaying my pictures in the clinic, it is hoped that patients will not only enjoy, but also understand for themselves, the healing benefits of art, I enjoyed creating this exhibit for people who, like me, are there seeking treatment for a neurological disorder, like my Parkinson's Disease, and for their families and care providers.
More than 200 large-format prints of my work are on permanent display in Houston at Rice University, (where I am an Adjunct Professor at the Jones Graduate School of Business Administration), the Katy Prairie Conservancy, Memorial Hermann Hospital, Methodist West Houston Hospital, LBJ General Hospital Pediatrics Department, the Neurology Department of the Baylor College of Medicine, Children’s Medical Center Dallas, Methodist Richardson Bush/Renner Expansion, FGS Geophysical, and Cameron International Corporation (where I was employed from 1973 to 2004). My photography is also on display in Wichita Falls, Texas at the House of Hope Alzheimer’s Center and in the Fort Belvoir (Va.) Community Hospital.
Running water does not freeze. Parkinson's disease makes you want to sit curled up in a ball and stop moving. If you let him win that is how they will find you when they cart your body off to the cemetery. As hard as it is we have to keep moving. I lift weights. It's one of the only things I can do to slow down progression of the disease.
A leaf falling from a tree in some ways mimics our lives on the planet Earth.
1st - Its time is very short lived. As Sir Francis Bacon once said, "Do what you want to do now. You're not living in eternity. There's only this moment, sparkling like a star in your hand, and melting like a snowflake.”
2nd - Its journey is not linear. As the English say it encounters swings and roundabouts. The leaf swirls and spins and stops and accelerates as the force of gravity inexorably pulls it to the ground, just as we are pulled inexorably to our death.
3rd - It has no control over the beginning or the end of its journey. It just "is falling. It starts falling, it falls and then it stops falling. During the fall it experiences an infinite number of what Paul Tillich called the "Eternal Now" moments in time.
4th - It is uniquely beautiful.
Life is good!!!