The Fine Art of Nature for the Holidays

November 26th, 2017

Greeting from Yosemite! It is that time of year when we start shopping for holiday gifts. I’ve provided you with a list of options that feature my photography. I hope that the holiday season is a happy and healthy one for you.

Happy Holidays,  Bill

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On the Williams Sonoma online store, my photograph “California Nautilus Shell” is available. At the moment, the price of this large archival photograph is seriously discounted.

Exclusively From Williams Sonoma:
CLICK TO PURCHASE

  • 50.25″L x 1″W x 28.75″H, overall.
  • Giclée print signed by the photographer.
  • Set behind Plexiglas and double-thick beveled mats.
  • Wood frame has a painted, high-gloss finish.
  • Ready to hang with D-rings at the back.

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On the Artful Home, my print “Agave” is available. For details, CLICK HERE. The photograph is handprinted by me here in my studio.

Image Dimensions:  16″H, 20″W
Overall Dimensions:  22″H, 24″W

 

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Original photographs are the highest representation of my art. For pricing information, please contact one of the galleries listed on my Gallery Representation page. Each gallery’s link below features a variety of prints from large format color landscapes to my Impressions of Light series.

The Ansel Adams Gallery
800-568-7398
E-mail: evan@anseladams.com

Susan Spiritus Gallery
714-754-1286
E-mail: susan@susanspiritusgallery.com

The Weston Gallery
831-624-4453
E-mail: info@westongallery.com

The Focus Gallery
781-383-0663
E-mail: vallinophoto@comcast.net

Paragone Gallery
Francie Kelley
310-659-0607
Email: mail@paragonegallery.com

Featured Portfolio and Interview in LensWork

November 16th, 2017

William Neill presents photographs that go far beyond mere “pretty pictures.” His work reminds us of our deep connection with the planet, inspires us to seek the beauty of nature for ourselves, and encourages us to see with greater intimacy the beauty that surrounds us wherever nature flourishes.    -Brooks Jensen, Lenswork Magazine

I am honored to be featured in LensWork’s November/December issue. The portfolio, entitled Sanctuary in Stone-Yosemite Winter, contains twenty photographs ranging from 4×5 exposures made in the early 1980s or digital captures made this year.

There are three versions of LensWork are available for purchase -the printed version, the tablet version and the computer version: http://shop.lenswork.com/LensWork-133-Tablet-Edition-33-mb_…

If you are not familiar with Brooks Jensen’s podcast, I highly recommend it: http://apple.co/2zz6i3V

BOOK UPDATE: For those of you that purchased my retrospective book, you may be wondering where it is! Well, the latest news is that, due to an unforeseen issue, the book should be shipping to you in early December. Thanks so much for your purchase, and for your patience. I am certain that the long wait will be worth it.

In parting, I’d like to share with you an endorsement for my book by my friend Dewitt Jones. I am honored and humbled by his kind words:

William Neill is one of the great landscape photographers of the last hundred years. His images – stunning, haunting, breathtaking, poetic – speak for themselves. There are no words necessary, just admiration. Through, in his own words, “observation and immersion” he has seen and recorded the beauty of the planet. But, more than that, he had captured its spirit. Again and again he shows us “the thread which holds all things together”. This book is an instant classic; truly one for the ages.   – Dewitt Jones

Below are a few sample photographs in the portfolio.  Enjoy!

New Web Site with New Work

September 10th, 2017

Greetings from the Sierra Nevada,

I am happy to share with you my new PhotoShelter web site. I have created many new portfolios, including many new images not shown online previously. In the menu bar on the left side, as you click through you will discover drop down menu options. I hope you will enjoy the new presentation. After 40 years of photography, I have set out to share the extensive range of places and subjects I’ve captured with film and digital cameras.

While you explore the portfolios, you can also find information on my book/ebook offerings, one-to-one workshops, galleries that sell my prints, signup forms for my eNewsletter, and several methods for searching my archive. Please send me feedback if you wish so I can improve my site and your experience.

Cheers,  Bill

 

 

 

The Ansel Adams Gallery’s upcoming exhibit: William Neill – A Retrospective

June 23rd, 2017

Half Dome and Clearing Spring Storm, Yosemite National Park, California 2013

 

William Neill — A Retrospective
July 9 – August 19, 2017
Exhibit Opening from 3-5PM on July 15

Mark your calendars! Upcoming Exhibition at @The Ansel Adams Gallery. I will be attending the exhibit opening from 3-5PM on Saturday July 15 and signing Yosemite: The Promise of Wildness books. I’m looking forward to meeting old and new friends at the gallery where I worked from May 1980 to September 1984! I will be showing several new pieces including the image shown here.

William Neill — A Retrospective
July 9 – August 19, 2017

My First Essay for Outdoor Photographer in 1997

April 2nd, 2017

 

Dawn, Lake Louise, Banff National Park, Canada 1995

 

NOTE: This article is reposted from the original essay in 2012…

Today, I had a request from my long-time friend and master photographer Michael Frye to post the essay in which I tell the story of making my favorite image, Dawn, Lake Louise, Banff National Park, Canada 1995. Here it is as sent to Outdoor Photographer for first my On Landscape column in 1997.  For more of my essays, see the OP site here.  Michael is mentioning this story is his upcoming blog post:   In the Moment: A Landscape Photography Blog

 

Landscapes for my Spirit
© 1997 William Neill

 

Welcome to Outdoor Photographer’s new column on landscape photography!  I look forward to sharing my thoughts with you on all aspects of the landscape genre.  I have been an avid reader of OP since its beginning and I hope that I can contribute to all the exciting ideas and images that are regularly offered here.

The best way that I can think of to launch this column is to put forth the underlying motivation and inspiration for my photography. Any future discussions on light, or composition, or equipment, or technique will be based on this foundation.  I am not one for learning an approach to creating images unless that route allows for a direct connection with the subject and helps me to communicate my own response to it.  In other words, I keep my approach very simple and pragmatic.  We, photographers as a group, tend to let the technique of photography get in the way.  Ansel Adams often complained of the overabundance of sharp photos with fuzzy concepts!

The beauty of nature is the foundation of which I speak; it motivates and inspires my photography.  When I stand before landscapes of silent rock, reflecting water, and parting cloud, I feel most connected to myself and to life itself.  Seeing and feeling this beauty is more vital to me than any resulting imagery.  Still, I am compelled to try to put on film some visual representation of the sense of wonder I feel, and I suspect that you know that feeling!

In my new book, Landscapes of the Spirit, I describe my evolution as a photographer, especially emphasizing my belief in the great value and need for the wildness and beauty of nature.  This belief emerged from personal experience— a death in my family when I was eighteen.  That summer I happened to be working in Glacier National Park.  My immersion in that landscape during a time of great personal distress opened my eyes to the restorative powers of nature, and led me to a life in photography.  At some deep level, the beauty of my surroundings seeped into my subconscious—the lush colors of a meadow dense with wildflowers, the energy of a lightning storm, the clarity of a mountain lake, the splendid perspective from the edge of a desert canyon.  In an effort to capture and convey these life-affirming discoveries, I began to photograph as I backpacked throughout Glacier.  Within a few years, all I wanted to do was make photographs!

Ansel Adams, in paraphrasing his mentor Alfred Stieglitz, used to remind his students that a great photograph was the emotional equivalent of the photographer’s response to his subject.  Such a lofty goal is rarely achieved.  We are all lucky if but two or three or four times a year we make an image where technique and emotion converge to create a transcendent photograph.  I don’t mean simply a technically excellent and beautiful image.  I mean a photograph that rises above your best and reveals a deeply personal and creative perspective.  In this regard, I am not so sure that pros can claim to have a better “batting average” than the amateur given their relatively different expectations of their work.  In any case, it is good to have reasonable expectations for your own progress.

Over the years, I have continued to search for imagery that, in the words of the great black and white photographer Paul Caponigro, can”… make visible the overtones of that dimension [of Nature] I sought. Dreamlike, these isolated images maintain a landscape of their own, produced through the agency of a place apart from myself. Mysteriously, and most often when I was not conscious of control, that magical and subtle force crept somehow into the image, offering back what I had sensed as well as what I saw.” I think that the photograph here, Dawn, Lake Louise, Banff National Park, Canada, 1995, is one of those photographs Caponigro describes.  Rising very early on a summer morning, I hoped for a dramatic and brilliant sunrise on Lake Louise and the glaciers above.  Perhaps it was the two weeks of photographing in rainy conditions that biased my hopes!  I waited patiently for sunrise, but my preconceived vision failed to appear as persistent clouds shrouded the mountains. It was a silent and mysterious dawn.  I simply sat and soaked in the scene.  Finally, I made two exposures, but expected little. I completely forgot about this session during the rest of my trip.  When I saw the film after returning, I was amazed.  I had to think hard about when and where I had made this photograph.  Unconsciously, but facilitated by my experience and instinct, the power and magic of that landscape, at that moment, had come through on film.

The Lake Louise photograph was made with my 4×5 view camera and a 150mm lens.  Due to the use of slow film, small aperture and low light, the exposure was about two minutes long.  Of the two exposures I made, one was horizontal, the other vertical.  The horizontal image looks much like the vertical, minus the rocks in the foreground.  I often like to remove clues and context that show depth or scale in my images, and the horizontal exposure fit my standard approach.  However, the vertical image has a stronger feeling of depth and somehow this subtle sense of scale adds an essential dimension to the composition.  Since the foreground rocks are underwater, and the long exposure also blurred their appearance, they add a little balance and mystery.

 

I had an idea of what I wanted to photograph at Lake Louise that morning, but when it did not materialize, I didn’t feel as if I had to make an image.  The landscape itself presented another idea.  When a concept for an image is forced onto film, creativity can be lost.  By not needing to make an image, I found one.  This lesson is encapsulated by my favorite quote from photographer Minor White,

Be still with yourself until the object of your attention affirms your presence.

So wait, watch and relax!    It is these magical convergences of light and land and camera that keep us coming back again and again!