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My name is Jeff, but my friends call me "Jeffro" or "Fro" for short. The nickname comes from a job I had when I was 18, and my boss used to call me "Jeffro Tull." For some crazy reason, it stuck and has been carried on by friends both new and old... and now with all of you.
Around the same time I was given the nickname Jeffro, I also went on my first backpacking trip to climb Pyramid Peak. Pyramid Peak is one of the tallest mountains in the Lake Tahoe Region and growing up in the Sacramento and Placerville area; it dominates the skyline when you look East. As a result, I always dreamed of standing on top of it.
While growing up, my parents took my brother and me camping every summer to the mountains and coastline of California, Oregon, and Washington, along with some trips back to Wyoming to visit Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons. My love for the outdoors grew with each trip... and when I turned 18 and started planning my outdoor activities, backpacking was near the top of that list, along with skiing. The more time I spent in the mountains... the more they called to me when I was away... and the more I wanted to return.
I have also always had an "artistic" side or some creative outlet. In Junior High School and High School, it was drawing and art. In college and for many years after that it became playing, producing, and writing music. Playing and recording music led to an opportunity to play in a local rock band which consumed most of my time for exploring the outdoors. In my mid 30's I began skiing and backpacking again. That was all it took to rekindle my addiction to the outdoors. The one difference was that now I had a compact camera and was taking pictures of all my outdoor adventures. Little did I know at the time that this would become my next creative outlet...
About My Photos...
So, here I was running around in nature trying to capture the beauty from each new ridge, valley, or bend in the trail. I wasn't only trying to capture what I saw, but also what I felt. The outdoors always give me such a feeling of peace and tranquility. It's one of the few places where everything in life starts to make so much sense, and it gets stripped back to its most simple core. John Muir said it best,
"Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares drop off like mountain leaves."
If John Muir's quotes said it the best, then Ansel Adams was the one photographer I believe best captured those feelings. His black and white images capture the dramatic and peaceful feeling that I get when in the mountains.
Now, I'm sure that anyone who has bought their first DSLR camera has found out when you get back home and look at your pictures they often don't give you the same feeling as being there in person. This was exactly what I found when I would come home and review my photos. I kept asking myself the question, "How can I take better pictures that capture not only the scene's beauty but also the feeling of being there?"
I started reading and learning more about taking better photos and along the way learned that in the modern, digital era of photos, almost every picture requires some level of post-processing or editing. Researching post-processing techniques is when I stumbled upon the HDR work that Trey Ratcliff is doing on his website, www.stuckincustoms.com. As soon as I saw his images I felt like I was in a dream world. His images were so artistic, dramatic, beautiful, and had so much feeling. It reminded me of the first time I saw an Ansel Adams photo, only in color. I had to know more about how he created these images. Were they photos or paintings?
The truth is that they were photos, but shot and edited using a technique called HDR. I won't bore you with too many details, but let's just say that learning about HDR changed how I thought about shooting and editing photos. Basically, with HDR images you are taking multiple shots of the same scene with different exposures and then using post-processing to combine them into one image.
Learning about HDR images was the next major step for me, my art, and my photos. Today, some of the images on Fro's World are shot using this technique and others are shot using only one exposure. All of my images are edited using various post-processing techniques and software. My goal in editing photos is not to make them always look real, but to generate the same "WOW" responses that I had when I was there in person. Yes, they may not always look "real" but do our memories seem real? What's wrong with creating images that look more like our dreams? If you ask me, nothing.
For more info, feel free to email me or check out some of the tutorials on my tutorials page.
What is Fro's World?
That's a great question??? Keep checking back and watch it unfold.
For now, I am hoping that it is a place where outdoor, adventure, and photography enthusiasts can come together for inspiration, ideas, etc. I also hope that it can provide information on places to go where you can explore the beauty of nature and/or take some incredible photos and have some amazing experiences. Last, I hope that I can, at least, provide you with a small idea of what these places feel like and inspire you to experience them for yourself.
P.S. In the wake of all the recent acts of human stupidity in wild areas, please leave the wild as you found it and without any sort of human disturbance. Otherwise, we run the risk of it no longer being wild.
*** In full disclosure, I receive compensation in exchange for advertising for some of my favorite gear. However, I only comment and advertise for products that I have used extensively, believe in, and continue to use. The opinions expressed here about my favorite gear are my own and have been determined through my own personal experiences with the product.