Photo credit - Anne Fink,

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From a young age I have loved the outdoors. It started with family vacations to northern Michigan and the American West, where I was introduced to road trips, hiking, skiing, and some incredible scenery. My interest in landscape photography came out of this. Photography gave me a way to preserve the memories of those trips and to re-live those experiences of being outdoors. Today, I continue to have a deep appreciation for the natural world, and use photography as a means of sharing that appreciation with others.

While in college at Purdue University, I took an additional interest in meteorology and storm chasing. This fit in perfectly with my love of travel and landscape photography. Some of my favorite subjects to photograph are thunderstorms over the Great Plains. The power of nature and the vastness of the Plains are awe-inspiring.

Since 2004 I have lived in the San Francisco Bay Area. While not exactly a hotbed of severe weather, living in California has given me access to some of the most beautiful scenery in North America. From the cliffs of Big Sur to the dramatic Sierra Nevada mountains to the redwood forests of the north, there is plenty to keep me busy as a photographer.

I have been shooting with a Pentax 645Z system since early 2015. Its 51-megapixel image sensor is 67% physically larger than a full-frame 35mm sensor, and produces some of the finest quality images available on the market today. Prior to that I shot with several Canon systems, including the 5D Mark II and 20D.  I also occasionally shoot with a Mamiya 645 film camera. While my workflow is predominantly digital, using a film camera is a great way to slow down and take in all aspects of a scene. All of my images are post-processed using Adobe Camera Raw and Photoshop CS6.

When I'm not behind the camera, I'm busy with my full-time job as a software engineer. I'm also an avid hiker, enjoy skiing and snowboarding, and try to squeeze in an occasional round of golf.

--Mike Kruze