National Park Photography Expedition Retrospective – Part 1

In 2021, many of our NPPE Alumni created expression-filled photography that attracted the attention of art professionals and collectors. The NPPE staff decided to shout out their achievements with several retrospective groups to inspire other National Park Photography Expedition Alumni, future Alumni, and creative photographers everywhere.  Without their personal aesthetics, their computers and cameras would be mindless machines producing effects without substance, forms minus relevance, and narration without meaning. For all of them, their art photography fills a large part of their lives and the lives of those who appreciate their work.   

The Art d’ Fair Artists Group

The Laguna Beach Art A’ Fair selected these NPPE art photographers from hundreds of submissions, and each of them presented their work and developed sales and new collector relationships. In addition, these alumni continued to expand their work through advanced postproduction training and extended their audience reach through other art marketing avenues. 

Art Photographer Ted Rigoni—

Ted began creating art photography with NPPE in 2016 and has attended every First Horizon and Masterclass. He is a member of the mentor program and serves as an NPPE associate instructor. His work focuses on isolated areas of western American, notably the Mojave Desert, the loss of dreams and ambitions in this harsh environment, and how previous settlers left behind pieces of themselves that Ted captures and reexamines as art. He has and continues to pursue other environmental abandonment issues, intimate, sometimes ghostly landscapes with a soft detachment that drives them towards an unspoken profundity.

“In 2021, I exhibited my ‘Oxidized,’ and ‘Atmospherics’ images at Laguna Beach’s Art A Fair—oh what a wonderful and educational event that proved to be, and I was able to develop collector relationships. Other 2021 achievements include a second “Oxidized” solo show for the city of Auburn, Washington. See: Link, an honorable mention at Arizona’s Tubac Center for the Arts, ‘Starry, Starry Night’ Dark Sky competition, and my image of the Yaquina Bay Bridge in Newport, Oregon, is featured for May 2022, in the American Society of Civil Engineers’ annual bridge Calendar.

I was one of two featured artists on Chafee Community Museum of Art’s December 2021 First Artist Zoom interview and discussion of ten of my current artworks, including “Illuminating.’I exhibited work at the Irvine Fine Art Center, Seattle’s ‘Shoreline Arts Festival,’ Tustin’s Chemers Gallery, Lake Oswego’s ‘Abandoned,’ Ontario’s one day Festival of the Arts, Boulder Colorado’s R G Gallery, Los Angeles Art Association’s ‘Fat City,’ and ‘Ready, Go!’ and I plan to return to the Laguna Beach Art A Fair in 2022.

Art Photographer Martha Hernandez—

Capturing documentary images has been an integral part of Martha Hernandez’s adult life. However, things changed after exploring landscape photography as an art form with the Kings Canyon NPPE Masterclass workshop and learned the essence of narration, navigation, and the delicate interpretations available with impressionism and abstraction.  Martha’s current focus on intentional camera movement images explores an inner perspective. This emotional range plays a vital role in her work, and because of her unique and inventive approach to this technique, it has become a signature style.

Since 2018 Martha has successfully exhibited art photography in the world-renowned Laguna Beach Festival of Arts. Her work was juried into the Laguna Beach Art a Fair (an international juried show), and she has developed devoted collectors. Her work illustrates subjects on the National Park Photography Expeditions (NPPE) website, the 2020 Lassen Alumni photo book (now in print) at Samy’s Camera Store, and the Frame by Frame photography blog. Martha is also an associate instructor for NPPE First Horizon’s workshops, and in 2022, she will expand her portfolio of ICM work with imagery from U.S. National Parks.

“I was introduced to Intentional camera movement (ICM) in 2019, which changed my focus in art photography from creating descriptive photos to expanding to creating subjective images with texture and movement. I focus on nature’s unique regional color palettes and carefully explore light, shadows, and compositional elements to engage viewers with visual conversations.”

“Abstraction is a language that allows me to interpret subjects from historical buildings, geothermal waters, Giant Sequoia trees, and other natural settings with my personal, subjective vision. Movement techniques, refining camera settings, and post-processing tools are how I create statements about color, nature, and manmade creations.

Art Photographer Jerry Ganis—

Jerry Ganis chose NPPE Masterclasses and Advanced Post-production Development Programs to expand and refine his landscape art. He transitioned from professional portrait and fashion photography and is a full immersion alumnus who explored many of our western national parks to create work that is a vision beyond documentation. He was juried into the Laguna Art d Affair in 2021 and exhibited his masterclass images, many of which found homes with collectors’ seasonal purchases.

Jerry’s landscape art is emerging and has shifted from suburban saturation to a visual/anthropological view of our national parks. He lines up his subjects with colors and contemporary compositions with a vision beyond the lens. Seen from that perspective, his work displays more than defining moments, but moments of contemporary irony and traditional aestheticism.

NPPE has licensed work from Jerry, and he is at work with other alumni on a new NPPE/NPS publication featuring imagery from Capitol Reef National Parks. He will be exhibited in the 2022 Laguna Art d’ Affair with work from his Masterclasses and other assignments. 

“I have spent the majority of my life, passionately and creatively photographing both people and landscapes. As a professional portrait and fashion photographer, I shoot in an unobtrusive way, capturing the realness of the photoshoot, true to the memory of the candid experience.  

 As a landscape photographer, what motivates me the most is to create a photograph with a “caught in the moment” style that captures the tangible and involves “the viewer” in the image. My current work, captured in several National Parks in Utah and Wyoming, grew from a profound appreciation of the artistic beauty in all of nature’s forms. The exciting elements of any landscape are often hiding within a gray exterior of rock and terrain; it isn’t until I work with bringing out the elements from this matrix, through the art of composition and editing, that their true brilliance can shine. 

During the summer of 2021, I exhibited and sold my photography at the Laguna Art-A-Fair in Laguna Beach, California. I’m anticipating even greater excitement showing my work at Art-A-Fair 2022, since it will include unique images from my upcoming trips to Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park in Utah and Glacier National Park in Montana. 

I see 2022 as an opportunity to expand my work even further, revealing the grandeur of nature that people have never seen before and feeling swept away by its beauty and mystery. I’m proud that my photographs have received awards and have been published in Venice, Italy. In addition, I have licensed and sold images to NPPE /National Park Services. Visit my website at https://www.jerrygphotography.com, and Instagram at creative_art_by_jerry.”

About Author

Bob Killen is a nationally recognized Fine Art Photographer, Landscape Photography instructor, and artist. He is the Director of the National Park Photography Expeditions, President of the Mojave National Preserve Artists Foundation, a National Park Service Friends Group, a national speaker on landscape photography and an Adobe Certified Instructor. His thematic work explores Western Americana landscapes with a focus on man’s obsession to abandon structures, places, and things across a shared American landscape. His work is owned by collectors in 20 countries.

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