Hello, folks.

Late in 2023 I applied to attend the highly-regarded FotoFest 2024 Portfolio Review for photography in Houston, Texas. My application was accepted and I participated in this incredible event in March 2024, along with 101 other photographers from around the world.

The portfolio reviewers were all successful leading professionals in the photography world from the Americas, Europe, and Asia. They comprised museum and gallery curators, photo book publishers, magazine editors, and collectors.

Rialto Beach, Olympic National Park, Washington

My photo of the rushing tide at Rialto Beach (Olympic National Park, Washington coast) was among the reviewers’ favorites.


I took 25 prints from my collection entitled “Washington Water: Images of Abundance.” The goal was to receive critical feedback on this work in progress and to gain suggestions on how to effectively present it to the public. The photographs exalt water in its many forms from sea level to the mountain tops. Subjects range from ocean and bays to rivers and creeks, from lakes and waterfalls to snowfields and ice. They are presented in black and white, a medium I love for its feelings of timelessness and mystery.

After the first day, I narrowed the collection to 20 images. I sat for 19 reviews over four days and the collection tightened up to 17 photos. It became clear which images most resonated with people. Yet one reviewer’s favorite image was the image another reviewer immediately removed from the stack. Ultimately, it is up to the artist to decide!

The queue as the conference attendees await their next review.

The queue as the conference attendees await their next review.


It was exciting to receive many compliments on the work’s beauty, and on composition and print quality. It was alternatively sobering to be challenged by some reviewers to discover more of what my own unique story or voice is. The photography world is steeped in so many incredible black and white landscapes that came before me. One reviewer commented that it is currently impossible to have a conversation about water without including the human element, and that it is not a coincidence that I worked in the marine business for my career.

What path will I pursue? Gallery shows? A museum exhibition? A photo book? Selling prints at street and art fairs? A combination? Do I want the human element in my photographs, or not? So much has been stirred up and now I make space to discover clarity on the way forward.

A few days ago, I spent an hour photographing rollicking white water on Canyon Creek along the North Cascades Highway. Whatever happens, the camera and I will continue communing with water!

You may learn more about FotoFest, the Houston-based contemporary arts organization founded by photojournalists at www.fotofest.org.

Warm regards,