Robert Turner

Robert Turner




In my photography I strive to create works of enduring beauty---images that will inform the soul and convey my deep belief in the value of wild places.


In the doing, the struggle is to distill the everywhere-you-look splendor of a place like the Utah canyonlands, or Yosemite Valley, or the North Coast redwoods into an essence which fits within the confines of a rectangle.  When it works, it is often because I've managed to capture a fleeting moment of light, color, motion, or stillness that gives the image a sense of heightened reality.  I'm left feeling that I have witnessed something that has transcended the realm of ordinary experience.  When it is the sun shafting through a storm ten miles out over a canyon, then the moment can be grand, the mood one of  awe.  When the camera isolates a quiet coming together of nearby shapes and textures then the feeling may be one of profound serenity.


As I travel, I seek out forms and contours in nature which will give graphic structure to my pictures.  In the broad views there is often a palpable foreground that yields to lines curving back---rivers, coastlines, canyons---to pull in the distant landscape.  In the closer views it is more likely to be a matter of layers, or diagonals, or elements which work across the plane.  I am happy when the result creates depth and dimensionality. 


In the search for images I am also drawn inexorably to color, especially when it is reinforced by atmosphere---mist, rain, storm clouds, the afterglow of sunset.  They work together, like the interplay of harmony and melody in music, to create moods.


Ultimately, I am satisfied that my work is successful when the viewer is struck by a sense of place.  It may be a very specific connection to the landscape.  But it may also be a sudden wave of nostalgia, or a longing to get back out on the land.  It is successful when it serves as a tangible reminder in the everyday urban world of the intangible meaning to be found in the natural world outside our own creation.


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