Art in Nature and Place_based Photography

greetings & WelCOme

I seek to uncover the beauty found around me in nature. My journey of discovery involves hiking and paddling into remote, wild landscapes in Maine, some in Canada. From time to time I leave the confinement of deep forests, put my boots on new ground, and open my lens up to the wide open spaces of Wyoming, Colorado and Utah.  

What taps my artistic energies for any landscape large or small? For the most part I'm not a point-and-shooter, standing at the turnout on I-95. I'm this off-trail elder, deep in the woods and waters, finding my way by map and compass, aerial photographs and well-seasoned instincts from years in the Maine Woods as a forester and adventure educator. This is what connects me with unique, remote place-based locations.      

Artistic. This word barely captures my experience with creativity, let alone art... On location, the art I discover emerges from moment-by-moment tracks through the flow and mix and wash of sunlight and shadow, as well as my being present with color splashing around me one minute - then buried in deep shadow five seconds later. To my way of seeing, this bathes and enhances the minutiae of small things, as well as the reach of deep, vast landscapes.

When I discover a unique, beautiful subject, it connects with my eye-scan and I may feel a sense of possibility or illumination inside/out. When capturing and editing compelling subjects, this deeper immersion tends to exhaust me by the time the subject-of-the-moment is done with me. As the late Galen Rowell commented, "if you're not feeling emotionally engaged with whatever is before you, don't take your camera out of the case until you feel some kind of emotional connection with the subject at hand."   

At other times, my creative work is not so esoteric. Instinctively, even thoughtlessly, I point - I shoot - I get it right against all odds. Whether it's light beams on icy leaves in the forest, or light and shadow sweeping across a deciduous slope, I've never had a wealth of time to think, consider and reset all of this or that when capturing a quality image.

A local critic once remarked, "you must have wore out many pairs of boots capturing images of interesting subjects in fleeting moments of time."  


natureartplace

Inspiration

Some notable luminaries who inspire me...

Galen Rowell

Eliot Porter

Jim Brandenburg

Guy Tal

Thomas Merton

National Geographic


Techniques

Pack light and dry, bring resources for a diversity of photographic and back country conditions. Tack sharp quality matters! Remember, it's not about having a three thousand dollar camera-lens. What matters most is that which engages your attention and emotions, as well as how you come to see - what you see, which you will eventually render creatively and technically in the camera... 

Before your boots hit the ground, do research on locations via guide books, USGS Maps and Goggle Earth, historical societies, environmental groups. Always anticipate the influences and impacts that weather and season will have on you and the lighting in any place-based location...

Learn the basics, and add lifelong learning experiences on top of that. It isn't over until the last scene is framed, and the last shutter is released at your very last breath...




career highlights

1965-2021:   Forester and Environmental Educator

1980-2021: Photographer - Nature, Landscapes, Forests and Rural Life 

1989-2000:  Railroads in the Maine Woods

1989:  Maine Bureau of Public Lands, Multiple-Use Forest Management Documentation Project 

1994: Penobscot Riverkeepers, Source-to-Sea Expedition (200 miles), River and Watershed Documentation

1995-present: Place-based photography assignments for local, regional and state tourism and economic development entities. 

2017-2021: Environmental Impact documentation concerning New England Clean Energy Connect Project. My field-based images were noted as being highly  influential in expanding public awareness about the scope of impacts from NECEC's 54 mile long power-line through the last remote, wild section of the Maine Woods. 

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