As a highly respected and well sought after photographic artist Mr. Titus has his work displayed around the world. Most notably his work is a part of the permanent collection at the renowned, “Gallerie 1800” in Paris. His works explore the microcosms and a somewhat minimalist approach to landscapes on all seven continents. With almost fifty years behind the lens, Michael continues to stretch the reaches of his imagination and creative expression as an artist and instructor.
After more than 25 years as a photojournalist working for premiere publications like US News & World Report, National Geographic, and Conde Nast Traveller as well as a distinguished career in radio, television & film with the BBC, Michael discovered a love for photographic instruction as a professor at Southern Utah University. During his tenure at SUU he taught photography, photojournalism, and journalism. In his first semester teaching he was voted the most popular professor among his students and his classes had a waiting list from that time forward. Michael has served as a National Park Service Artist in Residence at Zion National Park as well as being a contributing artist at the Southern Utah Museum of Art (SUMA). His works are shown at galleries throughout the world including “The Photographer’s Gallery”, in London, the “Bergamont”, in Santa Monica, and the “Museum of Contemporary Photography”, in Chicago.
IN MICHAEL’S OWN WORDS – IN SEARCH OF BEAUTIFUL AIR
“During much of my career as a photojournalist I covered global politics and conflicts on the African continent and the Middle East. War is filled with day in day out atrocities and inhumanities and it was my job to document it impartially to the best of my ability. It doesn’t matter how much you try to divorce yourself from that which is going on around you, it exacts a price from your spirit. To ward off the detritus of my job I began to seek and appreciate beauty wherever I found it. Having studied photography and been mentored by renowned photographer, Pete Turner, I was instilled from my beginnings with an unquenchable love for colour. It was during one outing with Pete that I first heard the term “Beautiful Air”. We had been shooting together in the Catskills on a drizzly kind of day. Most of it had been washed in pastels and gentle hues (not the vibrance that Turner was so well known for). As we were about to call it a day, the sunset found a break in the cloud cover and began to illuminate the entire world around us. We didn’t shoot a single frame. We couldn’t! Standing there in awe, drinking in that presence of light, we watched the show until it was over. It was Pete that broke our silent reverie. With one simple phrase he set the course of my life. ‘Now that was beautiful air’. The oddness of that statement has stuck with me, but it best sums up that which I have sought to capture through the camera eye ever since.
Photography has always been the way that I best relate to my little universe. There is this inner dialog that goes with me wherever I am or whatever I am doing. I have learned to pay attention to that conversation and it has become a key part of my work as an artist. It is the thing that keeps photography alive and fresh for me. Anymore, the mechanics of making an image are very much second nature to me. Instinctual! If this was all there was to my work I am certain that I would have become bored with it long ago. Photojournalist endeavor to tell the story with their images and it seems only natural that my art would do that as well. The difference being that it is my story that I am telling. My friend Bob Killen calls it a thematic approach (which it is), but I love to call it telling the story of my experience in the moment.
As a result of being a part of the conversation of my life, I am intimately familiar with the processes and approaches I have used to create my work. When I began to teach photography I took great care to examine those steps in the smallest detail. Writing them down in most cases to become a part of my syllabus. I was profoundly amazed when I met Bob Killen that our ideas about photography and teaching methods were so very much in-sync. I am extremely confident that NPPE’s workshops can give their students tremendous avenues of expression, and the tools to do it with. It is the path that has successfully worked for me, and I know it will work for you as well. These avenues of discovery not only improve a person as an artist, they expound upon the very thing that makes you… you. Each person is unique. Each one has a path. No two people will come away from a place or an experience with the same interpretation. Bob and I both celebrate that diversity and work with individuals to support that in their work. Quite frankly, we are not trying produce clones. We desire most of all to help you find your own voice and give you the tools to speak your words. One of my students from SUU reached out to me not long ago (she works as a social media influencer for an outdoor and adventure company), to express her thanks for helping her find her own voice. She still remembered my story about “Beautiful Air”. In her first words to me on the phone she asked, ‘Are you still searching for beautiful air, because I keep finding it’.”
Michael is a Nikon Certified Professional, a lifetime member of the Documentary Filmmakers Association of South Africa, and emeritus member of the Society of Professional Journalist and the National Association of Broadcasters. He graduated with a Masters Degree from Cambridge University, St. John’s College after obtaining his bachelors degree from the University of Arkansas. Respected as an inspirational speaker, and instructor he has been frequently sought out as a keynote and a workshop instructor. He is a member of the artist counsel for the Southern Utah Museum of Art (SUMA) as well as a contributing artist. He has the distinction of having published photography from all seven continents, and is the only person to have twice received the Royal Society of Photographers Award for Excellence in Photojournalistic Works.