|There are so many forms of participating in the "Definition of Art". Art would not have
its impact and importance in our society without its network of people who;
practice it, contribute to it, inspire it, appreciate it, sell it, produce it, and display it.
Clicking on the following links will take you to those
who have a place in the PhotoStrokes Art network.
Bill Hill is the former Fire Chief for Carmel City. A longtime birder, he and Chris would show up on incidents and
discuss the local rarities. Now retired, he focuses on his photography and we often run into him trying to
photograph the same reported rare bird. He also manages the Monterey Rare Bird Alert (831) 626-6605. Bill has been
a good friend and helped greatly in answering questions that led to Chris starting PhotoStrokes.
In today's world, digital SLR's have become so affordable anyone can pick one up and carry it around snapping the
everyday shot. Additionally, software makes it easy to make a poor or average photographer good. But to pick up a
camera and capture images with true settings and a keen "photographer's eye" shows a true talent. Tom started his
digital photography in 2003 and has shown an amazing ability to "know the camera and subject" in an extremely
short time. His shots just a year or two after picking up his first digital SLR were performed at miraculous settings
that you'd see with 10 years of experience. Tom's photography inspired Chris to research more about photography
and have a desire to master the settings of a camera.
Chris first met Tom back in the early 90's when they were on the Sheriffs Rescue Team together. After Chris left
the team in 2000, other than seeing him occasionally on the same rescue incident, he did not see Tom again until
2007 when he surprisingly came across him during a hike. Tom and Chris found they had a common interest of
Nature photography and have been in touch since. Tom is another "artist of the camera" with an eye that captures
the color and lines of nature like few others. Tom's work had Chris looking around him at the photography of
outdoor landscapes more and trying to photographically "view" from new perspectives. Tom helped Chris further
with a referral to his brother, David, who owns the Sea Harvest Fish Market and Restaurant in the Crossroads of
Carmel. David's restaurant is one of the first 'showings' locations for PhotoStrokes.
Gypsy is relatively new to the birding and photographic community. She is another person who has picked up a
camera and in a very short time learned how to communicate with both the camera and her subjects. Her eye for
capturing life and color is astounding for the years of photographic experience. Her images can inspire anyone to
walk down any normal path and find splendor in the commonly seen creature. On any given day a hundred birders
will walk past a Blue Heron and not give it a second glance due to their abundance. Yet Gypsy will find that
amazing shot that brings the wonder back into seeing one. Viewing her images gives a sense of demand to pay
attention to the common things around us. Chris and Ame often look at her images and will then result in finding
new ways to look at birds previously taken for granted.
Jeff is another local birder/photographer. He photographs birds and nature as well as marine mammals but has a
focus on more of the pelagic birds and mammals. Jeff is another "master of settings". His shots often show crisp and
clear results with incredible settings. He is quick on the draw and always prepared and is one of the best action bird
photographers we have met.
Clay is an avid local birder and another great action photographer. He captures wildlife in action with ease and is
another quick on the draw and well prepared photographer like Jeff. He is often going on Pelagic Boat trips where
we look forward to his postings. His most notable shots are three images that are the only photographed moments of
an Orca attacking a Dolphin
Erin is the wife of Elliot, who attended high school with Chris and is now assigned at the same Fire Station. Erin's
artwork is crisp and clear and portrays detail like few other artists. Scanning through her images requires a
constant reminder that all of them are by the same person. Her ability to transpose images in different mediums
and with different styles demonstrates her great artistic ability.
Carole and her husband Larry are avid local birders. Carole is not only an important employee at the Wild Bird
Center in Monterey, but also a notable artist. She has a gift of capturing the warmth and color of birds and then
translates them into beautiful watercolor paintings that are always pleasing and catching to the eye.
Carolyn is an incredible resource. She can turn any image into a fantastic canvas work of art. If it was not for people
like her, artists would never be able to clearly communicate our imagination to the viewer. Her work is high
quality, thorough, and she pays very close attention to detail. Her customer service is friendly and she truly works
to please her clients. We had tried other places for transposing our images to canvas, but none came close to the
quality and care that Carolyn has.
Jill owns one of the greatest local resources for local wildlife enthusiasts. Her small store with a great inventory of
books, feeders, and bird memorabilia is a breath of fresh air from corporate businesses. She not only provides a full
spectrum of services from offering great products and support, but works well with local birders to organize bird
walks. Jill has been an important player in the history of PhotoStrokes. Offering honest opinions to help direct us as
well as providing a place to display and show our work, Jill shows true support for her local community to not just
us, but many local artists and birders.
The VWS is a key player both locally and nationally. Their organization is responsible for the return to the wild of
the California Condor. They are a non-profit based organization for which the survival of the Condors depends
heavily on donations and volunteer hours. Their tasks are tremendous and their efforts have resulted in the
ongoing success of bringing back a species that was destined for extinction. To drive down Highway 1 and see these
huge majestic birds fly over head, sometimes by only a couple feet, is solely possible due to this organization.
Additionally, their banding projects help with research as well as educational opportunities.
Don is the resident "bird expert". For being an attorney, he somehow has way too much spare time it seems. He
must spend many hours on his website as it is extremely extensive and constantly updated. It is good for travelers
and locals as his website is a major resource for the area. Additionally, he is a good resource for bird records and has
several books published that are used extensively by the locals.
Bob and Lisa run WBA out of Alaska. Their company is committed to quality birding trips in the back country.
Their guides are extremely knowledgeable and their trips are as small and specific or as broad and expansive as you
need. It is a family run business and you can be assured to come away with top of the line customer care and a great
list and good adventure.
This club is a valuable resource to locals. It not only provides field trips but also provides lectures and forums on
different topics. Additionally, there is a ListServer that is an incredible tool. Posting to the listserver distributes
your email to all those who subscribe. This allows for wide dissemination of information related to questions or
discussions on bird identification, rare bird sightings, and upcoming events.
Hoopoe Safaris provides excellent service and safaris in East Africa. Our trip in Tanzania was successful because of
their extremely knowledgeable driver. Their accommodations and itinerary made our trip extremely memorable.
Tropical Birding was an incredible company to go with in Ecuador. They worked hard to plan our itinerary to suit
our needs and budget. Their guides were the best at knowing where to look, where to go, and how to call in all the
This wildlife center in the Amazon Basin of Ecuador was one of the highlights of our adventures. The local tribal
run eco-tourist lodging and guiding location is not only owned and operated by the local tribe, but 100% of all funds
go back into supporting the local community. Their location provided for truly experiencing the wild of the Amazon.
Lawrence has built a great company for experiencing shark diving. His trips and guides, along with reasonable
prices, allow a broad spectrum of shark adventures. From a single day with Great Whites in San Francisco to a week
long with Whites off Mexico, you can be assured you will get a quality adventure of a lifetime.
If you are looking for a Bald Eagle adventure in Haines, Alaska, then Alaska Nature Tours will meet your needs.
Taking you away from the commercially hyped up locations, you will get close looks at Eagles in the true wild.
Their staff are friendly and helpful and extremely knowledgeable in the flora and fauna and best places to go.
This is one of our favorite places to go. A non-profit donation based organization located near Grants Pass, Oregon,
they specialize in the treatment of sick, injured, and orphaned wildlife as well as offer educational programs on
wildlife, conservation, and the environment. Most rescued animals are rehabilitated and returned to the wild. They
offer tours to the public as well as private photographic opportunities.
Great Cats is another personally owned endeavor to help protect wildlife and educate the public. Located in South
Western Oregon, Great Cats houses over a dozen different types of cats, from Snow Leopards to Fishing Cats to
Ocelots. They are another center that relies very heavily on donations and volunteer hours. In addition to their
public education program, they also provide private photo shoots in the wild. This is a must-visit place.
On April 7, 2007, Jared with the Golden State Theatre, hosted one of our most unique "art pieces" to date. It was our
elaborate wedding ceremony conducted on stage in person in simultaneous viewing with our video ceremony on top
of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Jared and the Theatre worked hard to provide us with a fabulous setting. Starting in 1925, the
Golden State Theatre was on the cinematic cutting edge and has been an integral part of the history of performing
arts in Monterey. In 2004 the Theatre was reclaimed from corporate cinema and restored to its previous elegance.
Jared works hard in keeping the Theatre a historical place while still providing for today's modern arts and cinema,
and it is a place that should be visited for either seeing an old cult classic on screen or viewing a live
performance...or even planning a crazy wedding!
After such success with Great White Adventures off the U.S. West Coast, Lawrence expanded to shark diving trips
worldwide. He now operates both GWA and SDI, offering fantastic trips around the world with over a dozen species
of sharks located in over a dozen fantastic dive locations.
During our dive trip in the Galapagos, two of the other divers, Joe Romeiro and Jim Abernathy, went to the shark
finning capital of the world and filmed over a hundred sharks finned in under an hour. These sharks were
lucky...they were killed and then stripped of their fins. Others are discarded in the ocean alive without any fins. All
of this is done for "soup". Shark fin soup is highly desirable in Asian markets and despite all research showing there
are no benefits to ingesting shark fin soup, it is still being consumed. In the amount of time that it takes you to read
this, over a hundred sharks will have been killed. By the time you go to sleep tonight, almost 1,000. And by the
time you will be celebrating your birthday each year, over 250,000 sharks will have been killed...for soup.
Lisa is one of Chris' good friends from his motorcycle racing days. Chris and Lisa have been good friends for many
years although her move out of state has reduced their contact. Lisa and her husband Mike now live in Okachobee,
Florida where she pursues doing her artwork in her spare time. Her art represents great color and simple lines that
captures the eye's attention. In addition, she has a unique medium of using woods, including plywood, as a form of
transposing her images into art.
Tiki Twins is a comic book created by a long time friend, Mike Erkiletian. The most common form of 'art' found
today is actually in the form of comic books. This basic art work with stories is the foundation for the cinematic
industry today. Spiderman, Superman, and Batman are just a few of these great movies that started with 1 person
sketching simple artwork in their basement. Today, the comic book is widespread in its popularity as well as its
quality and now the best comics are managed at a corporate level. With little money and also raising a family, he
spends his spare time gathering the help of his friends, to accomplish his vision of a cinematic movie based on a
comic book he has created. Mike and his friends have spent many hours imagining, creating, and producing their
own comic book and they all embody the definition of a true homegrown artist.