Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Monte Stiles of http://www.montestilesphotography.com/Home/ lept every crevice, jumped on every overhang, scaled every vertical cliff, and exhausted everyone with him but one. Me. I enjoyed keeping up with him minus the extreme climbs and speed with which he gets to where he is going. He literally sprints to get as many shots of "the light" as he can from a variety of vantage points. I would catch up with him only to see him sprint to the next challenge. His energy is amazing and all done with a lot of weight in camera equipment. He is a federal prosecutor by trade and has seen so much negative in life that he turned to photography years ago in an attempt to capture the positive side. He has succeeded in changing his own life and the lives of many others with the power and redemptive influence of his camera. As a prosecutor he is inundated with the consequences of crime and the dysfunctional lives of criminals. Monte has seen the seedy underbelly of our society up close. His search for something good and worthwhile to counterbalance the daily toll of dealing with reprobates led him to photography. The week he spent in Moab Utah was filled with the wonder and beauty that God allows all of us to experience if not in person then through Monte's lens. He captures vistas that expand the soul and details that increase the appreciation of nature. I am a total amateur but followed him around for the week and learned many tricks of the trade regarding cameras and equipment etc.. He is a willing instructor only on the condition that you keep up with him. I doubt he has the patience to be a good teacher of photography as he would rather spend the time getting the shot than teaching someone how to get it. Now having said that, he is helpful in between shots, but most don't have the staying power to hike with him. We hiked to a lot of different points as a group and for every step the group took, I am sure he took 4 or 5. He explores every nook and cranny along the trail and still arrives first. A good friend. Everybody should be so lucky to have one such as he.