Lewis Kemper: Split Personalities

Photographer Lewis Kemper has photographed the natural beauty of North America and its parklands for more than three decades. In travels around the world, he hones an ongoing love affair with light, harkening back to the words of the famed naturalist, John Muir, who, over a hundred years ago, said “Light, I know not a singular word fine enough for Light… holy, beamless, bodiless, inaudible floods of Light.” Kemper believes those words have summed up his life as a photographer. “Light is still important to me whether I am photographing nature or working on one of my “Photo Etchings,” a style I developed with digital techniques.”

Referring to the photographs in the show, Kemper says: “Notice the importance of the light in these images. Whether in landscapes such as Sunrise #2, Icebergs, Jokulsarlon, Iceland; the backlighting in Lava Fountain, Waikupanaha, Big Island, Hawaii; or the pre-sunrise glow in the panorama Dawn, Pang La, Tibet; in the Photo Etchings of natural light in the Garden Pavilion, Filoli Gardens, Woodside, California or the mix of ambient and natural light in the image Great Lounge, Ahwahnee Hotel, Yosemite National Park, California, the light defines the image!”

Kemper earned a B.A. in photography at George Washington University and is one of the Canon Explorers of Light, an elite group of 62 influential photographers. He gives lectures and teaches all over the United States. He is the author of The Yosemite Photographer’s Handbook, and The Yellowstone Photographer’s Handbook. His monograph, Capturing the Light, won the People’s Choice Awards in Fine Art in the 2009 Photography.Book.Now competition. His latest publication Photographing Yosemite Digital Field Guide was voted in the top 20 field guides. And he produces the acclaimed training DVDs The Photographer’s Toolbox for Photoshop and The Photographer's Toolbox for Lightroom. Currently Lewis is a contributing editor to Outdoor Photographer and Digital Photo magazines and NANPA Currents magazine.

Kemper acknowledges that “There have been many changes in color photography since I began taking pictures. Technology has brought digital cameras and printing processes. Many people eschew new technologies and claim they are diluting the craft of photography. I think new technologies are expanding the photographic choices. I have never shied away from technology and have been an early adapter of most! I believe digital photography and all its different aspects allow me to be more of an artist than before. I can do ‘straight’ and experimental photography with a quality that was unavailable before digital.”

“I have made my living as a nature photographer.” Kemper adds “but have always done experimental and artistic photography too. I can’t decide which is more fun! I love it all and hope that I will always feel free to create new images to share with the world and that people will care to view them!”

You can learn more about Kemper's work at his web site, www.lewiskemper.com.

 

Sunrise #2, Icebergs, Jokulsarlon, Iceland

 

Lava Fountain #1, Waikupanaha, Big Island, Hawaii

 

Aerial #4, Cook Inlet, Anchorage, Alaska

 

Great Lounge, Ahwahnee Hotel, Yosemite National Park, California

 

 

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