Artist Statement - Transcendental Nature Photography

About Me

Its me in action at Seal Rock, Oregon! Photo Credit Candace Dyar

Artist Statement

As a photographer I am both a witness and interpreter of nature. My goal is to capture the essence of the landscape through the lens of my inner vision.  The canvas for my image is nature.  There is nothing that stands between me and nature and the starting point for my images is the direct experience of nature.  Taking the path less traveled does help in the creation of unique images, but even more important is bringing who I am as a person to my images.  This includes my emotions and thoughts, both at  the time of capture and also while processing the image.  Success in photography, finding my own vision, is the integration of my direct experience with nature with who I am as a person, my authentic self.  If the resulting images also resonate with others who share in my vision, then I have created photographic art.

Spirit Angels in the Forest

Where I Live

Julia and I and our 15 year old daughter Caroline live in Fairwood, Washington where the foothills of the cascades are literally right out our front door.   You will often find me hiking almost daily in what I consider my backyard, in the quiet forests of the cascade foothills, in the alpine meadows of the high cascade mountains, along the rolling green hills speckled with flowers of the Columbia Gorge, and along the wild coastline of Washington and Oregon.  This land is so much a part of me that I find it hard to separate myself from the land and it is only in the nature that surrounds me that I feel complete.

Revealed

My Beliefs

1.  The path to self awareness and  holistic health is through Nature.

2.  Access to Nature is everyone's birth right.

3.  We are all born with the potential to be creative.

4.  We can all learn to be creative.

5.  It is our sacred duty to protect and conserve nature.

6.  Leave no trace.

Foggy Trail

My Journey

I started my photographic journey at an early age with a simple goal to share my vision of the incredible landscapes I was witnessing on my many backpacking and hiking trips.  Early formative experiences included hikes in the Cascades with my Dad and working an entire summer at Mt. Rainier with the Youth Conservation Core restoring damaged meadows.  Being a good steward of the environment and protecting nature for future generations are lessons I learned from an early age.

I have no formal education in photography and the arts and I am largely self taught.  For most of my career I worked at Boeing as a Cost Analyst.  My forays into nature served as a necessary counterbalance to my role in the corporate world.   I have learned the art and craft of photography from many sources not the least of which is direct experience of nature.  Other indispensable sources include reading books, YouTube videos, tutorials, participation in photography club outings, photography workshops, studying the images of others, and    willingness to experiment and make mistakes.    My experience has taught me that we all have the capacity to be creative, and creativity is a skill that can be learned by anyone.

     

Rising from the Clouds

My Images

In all of my images I seek to balance an accurate representation of nature with compositional elements that also transport the viewer to the world of emotions and inspirational ideas.  One of my specialties is near far compositions, often working with wide angle lenses for a close and intimate perspective of the foreground with a visual path to the mid-ground and background creating a harmonious whole.  I also love working with the compressed perspective of telephoto lenses especially with forest scenes that include mist and fog.   Many of my images, however, do not rely upon dramatic representations of spacial relationships made possible through wide angle and telephoto perspectives.  For these images I use a standard zoom and look for extraordinary light and compostional elements that flow organically  from the scene to the point of capture.

Early Winter Magic

Writer, Speaker, Educator

I love writing in my blog about my adventures and all aspects of photography.  Some of my popular blog posts include (1) Transcendental Nature Photography: Creating Images with Lasting Impact, (2) Visiting and Photographing the Glacier Peak Area; and (3) Journey to Your Own Walden's Pond.    As a keynote speaker, I often make presentations at photography clubs and also have been a guest for a couple of podcasts, F-Stop Collaborate and Listen and the Understand Photography Show.  As an educator I conduct one on one workshops focusing on the individual needs of workshop participants to  help them along in pursing their own photographic vision.   I also partner with the Seattle Mountaineers leading photography oriented hikes.  I am also the primary curator for the Facebook page Destination Pacific Northwest, a collaborative effort of many excellent photographers from the Pacific Northwest.

Where the Angels Roam

Recognition

My work has been recognized by Nature's Best/Smithsonian (finalist and top 100 in the Wilderness Forever Contest), National Geographic (published), Outdoor Photographer (finalist in Nature's Colors Contest), Washington Wild (1st place in 2018) and Landscape Photographer Magazine.

Backpacking in the Enchantments, Photo Credit Jennifer Grand

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