My name is James Covello. I have always straddled the technical and the creative, which is why, I suppose, that I have degrees in both Engineering and in English.* Perhaps surprisingly, I would argue that Engineering is more about creativity and English is more about analysis, but that’s a debate for another time. For me, Engineering is about finding the easiest way to solve a difficult problem that will actually work. With Engineering you really need to get both the big picture and the details right, although it is a lot easier to delegate the second than the first. On the other hand, English—perhaps I should say literature—is about getting lost in someone else’s world. I enjoy most literature, even when the editor clearly died before removing a single unnecessary word from Moby Dick (It could have been so good.). Photography is a mix of all of these things: coming up with the big picture of a picture, executing the little details, and tempting the viewer into another world.
I bought my first camera (a Nikon FM2) in 1981 after my freshman year of high school. Rather than buy it with the obligatory “kit” 50mm lens, I bought a 105mm f/2.5, a very defensible choice in my mind. The switch to digital came in 2006, when my parents gave me a Nikon D200 as a PhD graduation gift. The slides have gathered dust ever since.
I will photograph almost anything, but my primary subjects are landscapes and nature. I enjoy portraits and sports, but don’t get the chance to do much of either, unfortunately.
My wife, Susan, and I met at Stanford as freshmen and have been married since 1990. We have three daughters and one son, ages 18 through 24, and have lived in Tucson, Arizona, since 1994.
After visiting the Dakotas this year, I have been to 48 states (all but Michigan and Delaware…how I am ever going to find myself in Delaware I have no idea.). While I have yet to fly in a helicopter or hot air balloon, I have flown on the Goodyear blimp and in the back of an F-16.
*B.S. and M.S. Mechanical Engineering, Stanford; B.A. English, Stanford; PhD Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Arizona.