Any photographer who has ever undertaken the task of creating outdoor adventure photographs knows that good images rarely just happen. In fact to consistently score quality photos can be a complex and sometimes frustrating process. In addition to the basic technical challenges of lighting, exposure and composition a photographer must also be able to convey the experience or feeling of being there to his or her viewers. A photograph that conveys a sense of adventure within the outdoor context where it takes place requires a detailed mental process. What action do I want to capture? How will I frame my subject in relation to the background? Do I want this to be a “hero” shot where the model/athlete is my main focus or am I looking for a shot in which I hope to contrast the diminutive size of the model in relation to the expansive surroundings? These issues are just a few of the many questions photographers ask themselves during the creative process. Once the quality images have been captured the photographer may also be tasked with focusing on just who the photographs may appeal to and why.
During the summer of 2013 I began to entertain the idea of creating a gallery show to showcase some of my work. For this project I knew I needed a concise theme to build the display around and then a worthy venue to host the show. Since I have been based in southern Idaho for over thirty years a lot of my photography revolves around the outdoor recreation opportunities provided within the state. In addition my work regularly appears in publications like the Official Idaho State Travel Guide and regional magazines such as Idaho Magazine and Sun Valley Guide. The theme I settled on would be “Adventure Idaho” a photographic collection showcasing the human powered outdoor recreational opportunities within the state. I figured this would be a display that could generate a wide appeal for viewers from around the state and beyond.
The College Of Southern Idaho is located in my home town the city of Twin Falls. On the CSI campus is the Herrett Center for Arts and Science. The Herrett Center is a diverse entity offering a research grade telescope and observatory, a state of the art Planetarium and a varied collection of art galleries, cultural artifacts and natural history displays. I knew this would be an excellent venue for a photographic display of this type.
I proposed my idea to the Herrett Center Exhibits Director and after a few meetings to iron out the details I went to work to choose just the right images to populate the show. I knew I had to choose photographs that would appeal to a wide range of individuals and interests while profiling the most iconic and well known locations around the state. These criteria demanded that I choose images that had a broad appeal rather than maybe just some of my favorite shots. Since I have been a climber and involved in adventure sports for nearly forty years now I tend to enjoy photos that show perspectives that experienced climbers and adventures might relate to easily. Photos that often require some technical knowledge to interpret. But in this case I knew the images would be seen not only by hard core outdoor people but also the general public and to stay true to the theme I had to show some of Idaho’s best and most recognizable places. With those interests in mind I poured through hundreds of images from around the state. Photos of rock climbing, BASE jumping, mountain biking, snowshoeing, ice climbing, whitewater kayaking, alpine climbing, standup paddle boarding, and kayak touring to name just a few. Eventually I boiled the selection down to just a dozen representative photographs. While capturing good adventure photos requires a diverse quiver of talents and techniques learning to edit with purpose also challenges photographers to find meaning in their work.
For more information about Mark Weber visit: www.markweberphoto.com
The photography show “Adventure Idaho” will be on display at the Herrett Center for Arts and Science through March 2014. For information cntact: http://herrett.csi.edu/