I do not like talking about myself so this will be quick. My name is Erik Hummel and I live in the Baltimore, MD area. I love my wife Cathy (who you will see in these pictures). I have a dog and three cats and a handful of hobbies. I love photography (hence this site), gardening, cooking and road-trips.
I believe my grandfather on my mother's side gave me the photography bug. He always had his 35mm camera with him snapping away. I only had one 35mm before I moved into Digital. I started with a Canon point-and-shoot pocket camera (Powershot S110) that lasted me through college (imagine it being dropped and having beer spilt on it a lot) After college, I upgraded to a Nikon DSLR (D200) and got a few lenses and a tripod. That was the true beginning of the bug. I learned how a tripod allowed longer shutter speeds for low light timeframes and that is where I became enamored with landscape photography. I must have 50 books of my idols (Ansel & Galen especially). I have not yet totally understood my own style, mostly because I do not practice enough to gain one. Yet when my camera is in my hands, I go into my own world, and I love it.
I love to cook, but am not sure where I got that love from. I believe one of the reasons is that I am allergic to shellfish and some nuts, so eating out usually gets me very anxious and cooking for myself is calming comparably. This is doubly so in the Maryland area where every place serves crabs and shares prep-space etc. So I do my best to cook my own meals. Not only is it cheaper, it is (hopefully) healthier too. In 2010, I cooked summer and fall with a bunch of locally grown vegetables (my backyard garden) to make the flavors even better. My favorite cooking style is to grill (gas, charcoal, smoker... it doesn't matter I have one of each). But the winter of 2009 I got into cooking on the stove and using the oven to make some great meals. I have extended this to be a good home cook even in the winter months when cooking on the grill means shivering.
My love of road-trips started when I was young. While I am a Generation X'er, my family did not have much money, so all vacations entailed driving in the car, not flying like many friends I had. So we would drive to go camping in Rhode Island and New Jersey. We would drive to roller coaster parks up and down the east coast. It was great. When I got my own car, I followed in those footsteps. I drove to Florida three times, Myrtle Beach twice and Georgia once and this was by the time I was 20. Once I graduated college, I got a decent job that allowed me to fly places, but the love of the road-trip never left me. It was so strong and I was so convinced it was the best way to see America that I convinced Cathy that our honeymoon should be one. Over 3+ weeks, we did a great loop of America. From our home in the Baltimore area we drove out to St. Louis, Kansas City, Denver, Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks, Mt. Rushmore and Chicago. While our butts were sore, we never regretted a minute of the trip, it was fantastic.