Dan Shepherd is a Seattle fine arts photographer with a background in environmental science and plant conservation. His work has been widely exhibited in galleries as well as published in books and magazines. The balance between urban living and love of nature is an ongoing pursuit for him and a universal human theme that drives his artistic practice. His approach to photography combines his love of drawing, painting, science and nature. He currently splits his time between the visual arts and working for conservation organizations.
Capture colors, shapes and textures of trees through abstraction.
"This is a multiple exposure image from a grove of trees in Alaska done in the camera. The technique is a good way to photographically achieve an abstract approach to image making. I traveled to Alaska where only a handful of tree species are native before you get to the tundra where it is too cold for trees to grow. There I hunted for great examples of particular types of trees in order to create abstract portraits of them and the landscape."
"The image consists of three exposures with the camera held horizontally, vertically and upside down. Each image was framed to include a smaller portion of trees and a bigger portion of white fluffy clouds that overlapped each section of trees. I had a preconceived concept of how I wanted to paint on the pillowy cumulus clouds to add depth and softness and let the blue of the sky dominate the image. The final image has a mysterious tranquility to it."
"The heavy lifting of the abstraction is all done in-camera. I shoot with a Nikon DSLR, which has a great multiple exposure feature that will blend several exposures into one image file as I shoot them. My post-production is minimal with some color correction and cropping to fine-tune the image for print."
As a fine art photographer, how the final print looks is paramount. I like how my “Blinded by Science” series looks on an exhibition quality matte paper that is brighter than the natural tones with a bit of texture, such as the 64lb. Aurora Art White paper. As a conservationist, the environment is also important to me. For other projects, I have made exhibition prints on Polar Gloss Metallic 255 (formerly 66lb. Polar Pearl Metallic) and San Gabriel Baryta SemiGloss 2.0 which are fantastic papers and a good value.