Larry Brenden: Finding the Spirit

Exhibit Dates: 
Tuesday, Jan. 8 to Saturday, Feb. 2
Artist Reception: 
Friday, Jan. 11 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm
2nd Saturday Opening: 
Saturday, Jan. 12 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm


With each snap of the shutter Larry Brenden allows the world to see his love of nature and the natural world. Larry works to promote emotion in his photographic work...wonder, love, pain, peace and joy. Larry also brings a sense of adventure to his photographs by not documenting iconic sites but by allowing color and light guide him to photographs off the beaten track. “Finding the Spirit” was born from his sense of adventure and the draw of wild places. This series has been created using two types of photographic style; the more traditional style of landscape photography which utilizes a camera on a tripod with tack sharp precision, and a non-traditional style that involves movement of the camera in brush type strokes much like a painter with a canvas.

With today’s world of a constant cacophony of confusing stimulation, Larry finds harmony and peace visiting untamed locations.  The process of finding photographs can be spiritual or meditative with a “letting go” and surrendering to his surroundings. He many times finds his best photographs by becoming one with the energy of wild places.  Being drawn to the quality of light and color, Larry allows the composition to unfold and lets the spirit of his surroundings and his love of nature create the composition.  “Finding the Spirit” images have been captured in such faraway places as Iceland or New Zealand and locally such as literally in his back yard in Lincoln, California.

The more impressionistic photographs were spawned from a realization that an “inner artist” was waiting to express itself.  When exploring this new artistic path the “inner artist” was drawn to bright colors and a non-literal interpretation of a scene. With much trial and error his vision starting evolving.  The photographs that came to life give a loose impressionistic, often emotional, rendition of nature which leaves many of the details to the viewers imagination.  Larry discovered that these photographs are fun to create! The effects are created in camera utilizing techniques such as intentional camera movement, multiple exposures, zooming, special lenses, and combination of techniques.  The end product is a photograph that is a bright and playful celebration of nature in her glory.

Larry finds great joy in personally printing his photographs. The process of bringing out the nuances and charm of an image is both challenging and rewarding. The end goal of each photograph is for it to replicate the feelings and the spirit of each individual place when the photograph was captured.

Larry’s photographic education includes the Rocky Mountain’s School of Photography’s four month Summer and Digital Intensive.  He has also studied with master photographers and printers such as Charles Cramer, Robert Glenn Ketchum, John Sexton, Galen Rowell, John Paul Caponigro, Jack Dykinga, Mac Holbert and many others. Larry currently photographs with Pentax medium format and Canon digital cameras. He prints on a Canon ImageProGraf P4000 44” pigment ink printer.

Larry Brenden is a multi-faceted and talented man with diverse passions.  They have included: designing computer hardware; traveling to exotic, often remote places around the globe; teaching school-aged children about nature and Native American culture; driving sports cars on the country’s race tracks, and racing sailboats in San Francisco Bay.

Now, however, photography is his primary compulsion. “I am driven to photograph nature” he says, “It is a need as basic as breathing, and it is unrelenting.  I want to capture the natural world in all its moods and seek out its symmetry and grandeur.”

For the two decades, Larry has dedicated himself to doing just that, and is considered a disciplined, fine art photographer.   Mr. Brenden tamps through forested mountains, streams and deserts to capture images of nature’s fleeting, wild, or intrinsically powerful places.  His photographs include the majesty of the Sierra Nevada, the haunting light of Antarctica ice floes, and the dry, sandstone cliffs of America’s South West deserts, and other wild places around the globe.  

Born and raised in the western part of Washington State, he developed a life-long love and curiosity of the outdoors. Often, during those formative years, he explored the woods and lakes of his environs which deepened his understanding of the natural world. 

As a young man, and for the first time, Larry experienced profound reverence and awe for untouched wilderness while rafting the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon.  This life changing event left him with a hunger to see other remote, and primeval lands, and from that time on he sought out the wilds.  He worked with a camera, trying to reproduce the splendor of the areas he explored, but the photos didn’t truly convey the magic of those places. 

It was only after Larry took an early retirement that he became serious about photography as an art form. He saw an exhibit of Robert Glenn Ketchum’s photographs that made a deep and lasting impression. He became one of the exhibit’s docents.   The impact of those images led Larry to take Ketchum’s workshops at the Albion River Inn in Albion, California.  Ketchum’s influence and instruction helped transform Brenden’s way of seeing.  “It opened it up” says Larry.  “The workshops taught me to see different qualities in light, form and color. Even now, I’m continually expanding  my way of seeing.”   

Seeking to refine his talents even more, Larry attended the Rocky Mountain School of Photography’s Summer and Digital Intensive program; a stringent four-month, twenty-four-hour a day, seven-day a week course. That course of study taught Larry technical knowledge which further honed his skills.

As a former design engineer in the computer industry, Larry was able to appreciate first, the intricacies of a medium-format film camera and later the particularities of digital cameras and image reproduction. Later, his drive for perfection and patience with precise detail were assets as he refined image composition, and refined digital printing. As his knowledge of photography in all its nuances deepened, he never forgot that his uppermost aim was to be true to the image he first saw. 

Just as Robert Ketchum help transformed Larry’s way of seeing, a distinguished group of artists and teachers helped refined Larry’s way of printing.  “I was never satisfied with the way others did my printing” Says Mr. Brenden. “So I took classes and workshops from men such as Charles Cramer, John Paul Caponigro, Mack Holbert, Bill Atkinson, and Galen Rowell. The amount of knowledge I was exposed to by these men was phenomenal.”

Larry continues to refine and polish methods of fine art digital printing.  Now, with the revolution in inkjet printer technology, which includes a large color gamut, archival paper and inks Larry is able to create compelling fine photographs in his own digital printing lab that are far better than the wet darkroom process previously used.

Today, Larry is considered a serious and well received Landscape Photographer.  Mr. Brenden’s incredible images have earned critical acclaim and are shown in numerous fine art galleries including: Mountain Light, Bishop, CA; Appell Gallery, Sacramento, CA; View Point Gallery, Sacramento, CA; Filoli, Woodside, CA; Old Town Gallery, Auburn, CA; The Albion River Inn, Albion, CA; and in a permanent display in the offices of the California State Fair, Sacramento, CA.   His work can be found in many private and public collections. 


Thank you to our sponsors!

Kenneth Meyers
Meyers Investment Group of Baird

Platinum Sponsor


Viewpoint Photographic Art Center is the proud recipient of a SMAC Cultural Arts Award grant.

Individual Sponsorships
(Luminance Level & Above)

Diane Tempest

J.B. Jones

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