September 2nd, 2019
Many see fog, clouds, and mist as kind of depressing or cold. For me not only does it lend depth but also feelings of calm and quiet. There is a trail in the forest below where one can make silent steps on soft needles under huge old-growth trees. This is a true old-growth forest with an ecosystem all its own in the tip of Idaho near Canada.
August 25th, 2019
This is an area of historical significance in the Clearwater National Forest of northern Idaho. It’s a section of the Lewis and Clark route and the place were later 350 soldiers led by General Howard suffered from lack of experience in rugged mountain travel while chasing 750 Native Americans. Being much more accustomed to mountain travel, the Nez Perce outran Howard and his crew by 5 days, anyway, this is one historical timeline. What seems to be clear is Howard didn’t catch them in this country and the suffering of his group becomes apparent upon observing some of the older trees still showing the scars of stripped bark, the only thing they had to feed their horses. Unfortunately, after running for survival and making it through the mountains, the Nez Perce were slaughtered in the area now called Battle of the Bighorn by a different calvary group. This, in general, seems to be the course of events, details are sometimes debated similar to fine details regarding the Lewis and Clark expedition through this region. My work consisted of watching and trying to capture a sunrise over a vast dense forest, mountain layers, and steep canyons.
August 7th, 2019
In landscape art, hopefully, an image has something to say about an environment or maybe it reflects an emotional reaction to a scene. Regardless, the sensor (or film as the case may be) is the canvas and light is the brush.
August 5th, 2019
Some say Jarbidge Nevada is the most remote town in the lower 48 states however, this isn’t the only claim to fame. It might be where the last stagecoach robbery in the US took place. The speed limit is 10 MPH on the dirt road through the town which you might expect is called Main. Apparently, a few dozen year-round residents keep the place in check. There are some tiny art and gift shops and the people I encountered offered a friendly wave.
April 12th, 2018
Thousand Creek Gorge, northern Nevada. Hiking in the gorge requires some painful brush busting through head high rose bushes with needle-like thorns and some avoidance of poisonous plants. So overall a good experience with a few small wounds that will heal. Shorts and sandals are out of the question. Some narrow sections are boulder choked resulting in a few murky cascades and pools. Making this water drinkable would necessitate some serious settling and filtering — still questionable in my view so an overnight stay would be hard. Wildlife includes pigeons and raptors so it isn’t always silent as their utterances resonate off the cliffs. A shuttle could be arranged and it can be hiked from either direction. If raining, the roads to the canyon entrances are likely to be wicked mud.
April 1st, 2018
Another great thing about this work is the potential for a legacy. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in Idaho used my photographs to raise over 33 million in donations for land preservation along the Snake River. At fundraising events the BLM presented slide shows of my work highlighting the largest riparian cottonwood forest in the west; and sixty miles of the South Fork of the Snake River, one of the most unique and diverse ecosystems in Idaho.
This is a good example of the power of photographic art. History shows that artists like Ansel Adams were instrumental in developing an awareness that led to the preservation of national treasures like Yosemite, Teton, Glacier and Yellowstone National Parks. Millions of acres in the USA, and globally, have been preserved following awareness campaigns that included fine art photography.
When I first began to get serious about making images of nature, I had no way of knowing how many lives I would have a positive effect on. It feels good knowing that prints of my work hang in thousands of homes and offices and are serving as a calming reminder of the beauty of wild places. This story continues through the books, all of the other printed matter and anywhere else it has been reproduced or featured.
April 1st, 2018
The term for what I specialize in is generally referred to as fine art nature photography. When I'm ask how I got started doing this, I can't pronounce momentous events, sudden inspirations or a mentor experience. I'm not even sure when it was that I first picked up a camera. For me, this experience has been more like a lifetime of learning with dedication and practice. Similar to the commitment required for becoming an accomplished musician, painter, sculpture or a professional in other chosen mediums.
April 1st, 2018
Image of Leland Howard with Wisner 4x5 view camera. Even though a camera is just the tool used in this trade, the question most often asked is "what camera do you use"? So here goes, I've used a lot of different equipment over the years and one of my favorites was a Wisner 4x5 Technical Field. I lugged it around coupled with a wooden Reis tripod for about 15 years. When Hasselblad introduced their medium format D series I made the switch but I don't care much if someone uses an 11x14 view camera or an iPhone, what's important to me is the work. I just choose equipment to fit my style.
March 28th, 2018
Black Magic Canyon in south central Idaho. Sad to say some of the formations are now showing signs of graffiti and vandalism. I wonder sometimes if it would have been better to not show any photographs of this unique and amazing place but for the most part - as usual, awareness wins that debate for obvious reasons.
I spent more time in a deeper section during this last trip and became aware of something I hadn't fully realized before. Although the dominant colors in the carved basalt are of course black, gloss black and gray, light reflected off adjacent rock reveals different color hues ranging from light blue, to tan and sometimes varying shades of purple. It would take a much better writer than I to adequately describe the color changes depending on the angles of reflected light in this canyon that is an exquisite example of art in nature.
Over a period of about ten thousand years, the Big Wood River carved these sculpted forms in the hard basalt. So, someone in this time comes along and chisels their name and some verbal garbage - I would suggest not doing that.
Very Important information if you plan a visit: The water is now controlled by the Big Wood Canal Co. in Shoshone and the canyon is full during the irrigation season so early spring and fall are clearly the best times to visit. If you plan a visit you must call the canal company first. If you are in the canyon when they release water from the dam, it would be like a southwest flash flood in a slot canyon and there would no escaping. The number to call is 1-208-886-233.
March 28th, 2018
Montana, east, The famous wild horse, known as Cloud in the Pryor Mountains. This wild horse, given the name Cloud as a newborn colt by Ginger Kathrens when she did the PBS Nature series, has become kind of famous and his likeness is painted on the walls of buildings in the small towns beneath the Pryor Mountains. He was still an impressive and strong horse in 2012 when I made this image of him. He got very comfortable with my presence in a short time, which surprised me a little. I suspect the legend will live on for quite some time.