If there’s any one way I’d love to describe myself, it’s as a professional amateur. At first glance, it might seem strange to put those two words together as they are commonly used as antonyms. Some even see the word amateur as derogatory. Dig into its Latin roots, however, and you’ll find that one of the meanings of the word amateur is to do something for love. I don’t think there’s anything better. I don’t ever plan to stop adapting so that I can continue to work on things that I find important, satisfying, and fun with people I cherish.

What something a bit more precise? OK. I’m photographer and software developer. At least that’s the quickest way to describe me. I photograph for TED Conferences—check out a small sampling of that work—and have covered events for O’Reilly Media, Apple, GigaOM, and more.

I’m co-founder and partner in Luma Labs, a maker of high quality camera straps based in Portland, Oregon. 

And, always attracted to the inner mysteries of HTML, CSS, Ruby, and Objective-C, I still find time to work on software and web design, including some client work and consulting from time to time.

 While a software engineer at Sun Microsystems, I created Tomcat, a Java-based web server and servlet container. I also created Ant, a Java-based build system.  Both have grown incredible user communities and been significantly revised many times. I’m proud to have started them and so very happy to have fought to get them donated to the Apache Software Foundation.

I’ve also authored or co-authored several books on both using and writing software, including Learning Cocoa with Objective-C, Cocoa in a Nutshell, Running Mac OS X Panther, and Mac OS Panther Hacks, all published by O’Reilly Media. I also contributed to Agile Web Development with Rails, published by the Pragmatic Programmers.  

Photo ©2013 David Hobby

Photo ©2013 David Hobby


Duncan Davidson: Beauty is in the Detail 
Yatzer, 2013/10/21


I’m currently available for event and assignment photography work. I’ve travelled all over the world setting foot on almost every continent, flown over oil spills in float planes, strapped cameras to vehicles crashing down sand dunes, worked with lighting and film directors to put together sets, and can handle getting into and out of most any situation. I’m always up for interesting work, so please do get in touch.

Note: I limit the number of events I photograph per year in order to be able to be at my best for the ones I do cover. If I’m not able to cover yours, I’ll be happy to put you in touch with somebody who can.



1410 NW Kearney Ave #613
Portland OR 97209