Posts Tagged ‘4×5’

Featured Portfolio and Interview in LensWork

Thursday, 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!

My First Essay for Outdoor Photographer in 1997

Sunday, 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!

William Neill Photography from 1996

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

We have now moved on to 1996 in Celebrating 30 Years of my business.  1995 is a hard year to top, but here we go anyway!

To read my full post, see my 7 images selected and add your comments, please visit:
http://www.williamneill.com/blog/index.php/2014/09/celebrating-30-years-1996/

The photographs here reflect my travels that year, including a spring trip to New England to work on a New England book of my landscape photography.  Sadly, the publisher pulled my contract before I could finish.  I also photographed a major assignment for Canon USA’s corporate calendar for 1997 with the theme on national parks which took me to Texas, Kentucky, Florida and Colorado besides California locations.

Enjoy, and please Share if you Like!  All photographs created with a Wista 4×5 field camera, and 4×5 inch transparency film.

#landscapephotography #nationalpark #largeformatphotography


Half Dome and Tenaya Canyon at sunset from Washburn Point, Yosemite National Park, California 1996
Copyright © 1996 William Neill

 


Mt. Dana and Mt. Gibbs reflected in the Tuolumne River at sunset, Yosemite National Park, California 1996
Copyright © 1996 William Neill

 


Kelp, MacKerricher State Beach, California, 1996
Copyright © 1996 William Neill

 


Clearing storm at dawn, Santa Rosa Island, Gulf Islands National Seashore, Florida 1996
Copyright © 1996 William Neill

 


Birches and mist, White Mountains, New Hampshire 1996
Copyright © 1996 William Neill

 


Veratrum, Granville Gulf State Park, Green Mountains, Vermont
Copyright © 1996 William Neill

 

Incense cedars with snow, Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, California  1996
Copyright © 1996 William Neill

 

Celebrating 30 Years – 1995

Monday, September 15th, 2014

My “Celebrating 30 Years” project moves on to the year 1995.  A few days after Labor Day in 1984, I quit my job as Photographer at The Ansel Adams Gallery, making the leap of faith to start my own business William Neill Photography.  In the process of posting a few images from each year, I am gaining a tremendous perspective on my efforts and successes as my work evolved.  The excitement has built up each time I have searched my massive Lightroom catalog for the next year’s selection.  Below, I have posted eleven images from 1995, and as I do so, I wonder if I will ever have such a spectacular year again!  I was 41, happily married, had been published in four books featuring my work and traveling often to teach workshops.  I was also working on a second book for the Exploratorium Museum and Chronicle Books called The Color of Nature.  My wife and I took to extended camping trips to the deserts of Utah, and to the Canadian Rockies and Glacier National Park as you can see in the images below.  We also traveled to the east coast, shown by two photographs below taken in Maine.

My favorite photograph, and happily my best-selling fine print is the first image shown below:  Dawn, Lake Louise, Banff National Park, Canada 1995.  Only 15 prints remain in the Limited Edition of 150.

Enjoy, and please add your comments below.  All photographs created with a Wista 4×5 field camera, and 4×5 inch transparency film.

Thanks,  Bill

William Neill Books
http://www.williamneill.com/store/books/index.html

 

 


Dawn, Lake Louise, Banff National Park, Canada 1995

 


Sunrise storm clouds, St. Mary Lake, Glacier National Park, Montana 1995

 


Rock formations and surf at twilight, Big Sur, California 1995

 


Trees growing on moss-covered boulders, Baxter State Park, Maine 1995

 


Autumn Forest, Baxter State Park, Maine

 


Striated wall of an ice cave, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada 1995

 


Tangle Falls, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

 


Pine tree and sandstone cliff, Zion National Park, Utah 1995

 


Eroded sandstone, Capitol Gorge, Capitol Reef National Park, Utah

 


Buttes and storm clouds over the Green River, Canyonlands National Park, Utah 1995

 


Cliffs at Convict Lake, winter, Inyo National Forest, California 1995

 

 

Celebrating 30 Years of William Neill Photography

Monday, September 8th, 2014

For those of you who don’t follow my Facebook page, last week I stared a series of posts called  Celebrating 30 Years of William Neill Photography.  The idea was to post one image from each of those 30 years of photographs.  I pride myself in being a tough editor of my own work, so that only my strongest work is “released” into the world.  When seeing several equally favorite photographs in one year, I’ve opened up my editing to share a few more images from each year.

The series here were all made with my Wista 4×5 metal field camera, with 4×5 inch color transparency film in 1991.  I have never organized my large format work by year before, and I must say it has been very rewarding to see as a reward for three decades of dedication, hard work and the joy of reconnecting to my visual discoveries!

Enjoy and please share with your friends.

Stay tuned for more, and please feel free to add comments below.

Kind regards,  Bill


Redbud and dogwood, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee 1991
Copyright © 2009 William Neill

 


Redbud in fog, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, North Carolina 1991
Copyright © 2014 William Neill

 


Forest leafing out in early spring, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee 1991
Copyright © 2012 William Neill

 


Agave parryi, Huntington Botanical Gardens, San Marino, California 1991
Copyright © 2014 William Neill

 


Twilight surf, Big Sur Coast, California 1991
Copyright © 2014 William Neill

 


Mammoth Peak and Kuna Crest from Tioga Tarns, Yosemite National Park, California 1991
Copyright © 2014 William Neill

 


Spruce forest in fog, Green Mountain National Forest, Vermont  1991
Copyright © 2014 William Neill

 


King’s Pond with morning mist, Green Mountain National Forest, Vermont 1991
Copyright © 2014 William Neill