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Todd Vorenkamp

All images copyright Todd Vorenkamp. All rights reserved.

My name is Todd Vorenkamp and I am a photographic artist.

My first camera was my Grandmother’s handed-down Kodak 110 point-and-shoot. With that camera I produced few memorable photographs. Images from those years are best described as poorly composed snap shots of places I visited and experienced. Despite the fact that I was failing to produce iconic images, I still enjoyed the experience of taking photographs.

Years later, I accepted an appointment to the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) at Kings Point, New York. Students at Kings Point spend half of their second and third years at sea working on merchant vessels that steam and motor all over the world. Knowing I was about to embark on global journeys, I asked for a Nikon 6006 SLR as a high school graduation gift.

Before heading off to college, my father, an accomplished amateur photographer, showed me the basics of photography – shutter speed, aperture, focus, etc. For the next 16 years, those 20 minutes of photography instruction with my father comprised my entire formal photographic education.

Following graduation from USMMA, I joined the United States Navy and was sent to flight training. I received my Wings of Gold on 17 December 1999. From there I went on to be a helicopter pilot in the Navy and the Coast Guard, flying supply missions in the Iraq War and search and rescue in the mountains of Northwest Washington State and off the coast of Northern California.

Over the years, my photographs have consisted mostly of aviation and nautical subjects and my camera has served to record much of my worldwide travels. A large part of the pleasure of sailing and flying for me is the unique perspective it affords on the elemental dangers and beauty of the natural world and the imposing technology of our attempt to control and exploit it.

Encouraged by both the Navy and Coast Guard to pursue an advanced education, I decided that it was time to find a formal education in photography. I found the Academy of Art University through an Internet search and began the Master’s of Fine Arts program in the spring of 2008. I graduated from AAU with an MFA in Photography in December of 2011.

Now a formally trained photographer and artist, I enjoy engaging in self-generated photography projects that allow me to capture the beauty of the man-made world that surrounds us.

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