About Floris: biography

My inaugural experience in the outdoors was a trip to the Grand Canyon at a few months old, where my parents 'baptized' me as a son of nature under the sprinkling Ribbon Falls. They may have gotten more than they bargained for. It wasn't until two decades later, however, that my love for nature culminated in me picking up a camera. Today I cannot imagine a more fulfilling experience than standing atop a wilderness mountain peak at the break of dawn, watching the stars melt into pastels that soon transform into the warm rays of the rising sun. I find unparalleled exhilaration and inspiration, a sense of awe and discovery, and a healing calmness in the outdoors, and I hope my images allow you to feel the same. In truth, a photograph is only part of the story, and until you have felt the desert sun and sand between your toes, smelled the damp moss after a fresh rain, and heard the American Dippers chirping alongside babbling brooks, you will always be missing something. I hope that seeing my images compels you to explore your own local ranges to complete the experience. Nature is good for the soul. The human species evolved in the natural world, and thus our brains are programmed to glean satisfaction, motivation, and inspiration from it. I find my images can transport me back to those times, keeping me at ease even when I am trapped in a world of asphalt and automobiles. Perhaps they can do the same for you.

Art has always been a large part of my life, and I can confidently say that in addition to the countless hours I have spent out in the woods, my photographic style has been largely influenced by my experience in painting, jazz guitar, and engineering. Eventually, I settled on nature photography for my creative outlet as it combines my passions for the natural world, discovery, innovation, excitement, and inner peace. In a single outing I can experience the thrill of a close encounter with a bear, dream up new ways of capturing light and form, and relax beside an alpine tarn - no other activity provides me with the diversity of experience that nature photography does. I started with bird photography, a result of my interest in painting birds, but quickly progressed to incorporate the rest of the natural world into my photographic vision. I now spend as much time as possible photographing on backroads and in the backcountry, exploring places far from tourists and crowds, free to create my art at my own pace. I wish I could say I did photography for some good reason like environmental awareness, but in truth the driving force behind my photography is simply a passion for the natural world and an expression of my creativity. My hope is that these images, created from the heart, will touch and inspire others to appreciate, and care for, the world around them.

I was born and raised in the bay area of California, and have spent much of my time photographing that wonderful state. Unfortunately I had to abandon the warm California sunshine and move to the evergreen state, Washington, for my work. I now make my home in Seattle, WA, a place largely devoid of nature and saturated with cement, people, and cars. But, I live just hours away from some of the most spectacular scenery in America including the quietist, freshest, and greenest place in the continental US: Olympic National Park. When I am not out exploring and photographing, you can find me in the lab, studying how insects use sensory information such as visual and olfactory cues to control their flight behavior using high speed videography and realtime 3D multi-target computer vision based tracking.