At the beginning of my 20’s, I was aimlessly working through an art transfer degree at a local (NorCal) community college. Did get to use some fancy Wacom tablets, though!
But then things changed. Moved 2000 miles away to study architecture at Andrews University in SW Michigan.
The campus was new and strange, but also beautiful.
I saw Lake Michigan for the first time. An “inland ocean,” as it had been described to me. Which is true.
I casually asked some friends and acquaintances to “model” for me when I started to get interested in photography.
All the while, I was learning architectural design basics. And there was lots of drafting.
But then—surprise! My gallbladder failed, and had to be surgically-removed. Good times…
All the while, more drafting continued…
During a summer break, my family visited relatives in Utah. I got to play with this old, well-loved Pentax 645. I didn’t know that, years later, I’d own one just like it.
Lots of hiking in Utah. Saw some gorgeous vistas—like this waterfall.
Back at school, I started to get more and more interested/invested in shooting film. Shot my first “real” film session with an old Bronica.
Behind every photographer is/are their support crew. Natural light photography just doesn’t work without someone wrangling reflectors and/or diffusers.
I dipped my toes into doing renders of my ongoing studio projects. I believe this one was based on a SketchUp model.
I got to visit Chicago for the first time. First “big city” I’d ever been to. Blew my mind. I’d end up visiting a lot more in years to come.
Shooting film at a school with processing and scanning equipment means free use of super-expensive scanners—like this Imacon. Slow, but stunning quality.
Saw a lot of the (newly-renovated) Sacramento International Airport whenever I’d visit home.
During this time, I first got into “good” coffee, and bought this Bonavita machine. Still have it to this day, and use it daily.
As time went on, I started shooting more and more film, and even getting prints made—and shared with other people.
I served as an officer in my school’s AIAS chapter for two years. We ran a student supply store in the architecture building. We went through a LOT of snacks.
Being SW Michigan, I experienced a lot of cold, long walks back from the architecture building to my dorm.
But the snow could also be incredibly beautiful.
Between my third and fourth years, I had summer courses in Europe. Pienza was pretty okay. I guess.
In the middle of Paris, some classmates and I found a genuine American diner. Run by American expats. Best damn burger I had that whole summer.
Got to see amazing buildings that typical tourists would never think to visit. Like this library.
..And, most impressively, this. Note the classmates for scale.
The famous London skyline. All of those under-construction skyscrapers are complete nowadays.
I fell in love with Stockholm. Also, this photo was taken in the middle of the night. Oh, the fun of cities in the far north!
I was deeply humbled by walking through, and experiencing, Skogskyrkogården. Also my first UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Last part of that summer abroad was a Waldensian course in the Cottian Alps. During extreme oppression by the Catholic Church, early Protestants worshiped in this cave.