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Stephen L. Kapp biography

My grandfather once let me borrow his old Rolleiflex double lens reflex camera, and I have been intrigued with cameras ever since. Having the opportunity to enjoy many vacations with my parents across the United States and in the mountains when I was young, I gained an appreciation for nature, landscapes and travel.  Later I used a Kodak Instamatic 110mm then 126mm film camera to begin "capturing" these memories in print form.  By the time I got serious into backpacking in the High Sierras, I was now using a Pentax K1000 for black & white film and a Pentax MX for color film or slides. My first instruction in photography came in a junior high class, then a community college class where we also developed black & white prints (where I attempted to emulate Ansel Adams work).

Over time, my activity level for photography tapered off and I did not do much until about 2005 when I got a Kodak EasyShare CX7530 camera. It took fairly good pictures as a bulky pocket zoom, and was used reliably on many of our travels and events. However, I re-engaged in a serious way when I got my Nikon D5000 prior to our Alaska trip in 2010, and have been avidly photographing when I can between work and family thereafter. Earlier in 2013, I added a Nikon D800 and a couple more lenses to my gear, and this has opened up new vista's in my amateur work.

My original "inspirational" photographer role models were (and still are) Ansel Adams for B&W, and Galen Rowell for color.  Although there are many fine outdoor photographers who I have admired, those that are most influential to me at this time are:  Michael Frye, Bruce W. Heinemann, Martin Bailey, Anthony "Anto" Galot (A.G. Photographe), Paul Simon Wheeler, Guy Tal, Guy Edwardes and Adam Woodworth (the latter as inspiration and training for my future effort in astro-photography)..

I used to live next to a place called Hidden Valley in Soquel, (northern) California, and coined my first company "Hidden Valley Woodworks" where I designed and built custom cabinetry and furniture.  So this is now my chance to re-purpose this theme, modified as "Hidden Valley Photoworks."  My area of focus is outdoor photography: landscapes, urbanscapes, nature, and wildlife.  My subtitle of "Sharing Visual Experiences" represents my intent to share the images I have made and to present them in final form as I originally recalled these scenes.

A collection of my Sierra Nevada and Yosemite National Park color prints were on display for a few months in the Western Mountaineering store in Santa Cruz, CA; I placed in the B&W Architecture category at the Santa Cruz County Fair; and in 2010, a photo of mine was printed in the Sunday edition of the Travel Section of the San Diego Union Tribune newspaper.  After deciding to enter the San Diego County Fair's "Exhibition of Photography" for the first time in 2015, they chose to display one of my architectural images, and likewise they featured 5 of my architectural images in 2016 (4 can be found here) and a couple in 2017.  My work can also be viewed in selected Contests and Assignments on Outdoor Photographer., including "Photo of the Day" (Alaska) and again "Photo of the Day-2" (Canada) recently.  My first (Alaska), second (Yosemite) and third (Big Sur) PhotoBook Projects can be viewed here (full screen mode recommended, then click < 1 page to view Cover).  My Instagram account can be found here.  Finally, my photos posted at National Geographic's Community can be seen here.

Photographer Statement:

"Hopefully my photos tell a common story of capturing the numerous beautiful landscapes our country offers those who get out and explore it, combined with that critical mix of ideal subject matter, light, composition and timing. The special ingredient is that rare emotional impact of the photograph to the viewer. We endeavor to freeze these special moments in time for ourselves and to share our unique experiences with others. The artistic craft of outdoor photography causes us to see and feel these wonderful scenes in a new and more meaningful way and prods us toward our next photo adventure."

Source: Excerpt from "The American Landscape Contest," 2013, in a Featured Contender article by Outdoor Photographer where two of my images were showcased.

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