In 1985 my Grandfather, a professional film photographer and woodworker by vocation, called me “Maddog Murph” and I was furious, I was about four years old, and turned into this “Maddog” as I resented being called something akin to a mutt. He continued to do this to get a rise out of me, until I started to pretend to gain his attention. He passed away when I was 8 years old from skin cancer; he had always dreamed of doing the Pacific Crest Trail, a 2,660 mile trail from Mexico to Canada that I completed in 2012 partially to honor him.
What I learned on this trip was that with a goal the mind and body can accomplish anything, and I also discovered a passion for photography. With an inadequate camera I produced images that I am proud of to this day. I pushed my small Pentax WG-3 to its limits. I learned a valuable lesson in photography that trip, bring an adequate tool, but also even an inadequate tool can produce great things. As an ultra-light through hiker weight has historically been a primary concern for me, as such my quest for Image Quality has been mired by my desire to keep the weight low. I was to purchase a RX-100 and push this camera to its limits next, and after coming back dissatisfied with its results would then purchase a Fuji XT-1 and push this camera to its limits, thrilled with the capabilities but dissatisfied with the resolution. Today I mainly work with a Nikon D850.
I’ve always dreamed about traveling into the most remote locations of the world. While traveling in the more remote areas of the Pacific Crest Trail it occurred to me that many people would never have the privilege of experiencing remote wilderness travel and it would be extremely selfish to keep this for myself. My calling is simply to share the beauty of the world with the people of the world and thus the photographer in me was born. This has morphed in a multi-faceted view, as there is beauty in so many different people, places, & things as well as environmental considerations.