About MeMy environmental photography emphasizes the natural beauty, intense colors, and strong geology of our local wildlife and state parks in central New York and Coastal Maine. Although my images depict the timeless beauty of nature, there has never been a more important time to capture these images. Due to severe budget and deficit concerns, the NY State government recently threatened to shut down many of our parks. Upon hearing this news, I immediately went to the New York State Parks website to research the parks on the list. It was disheartening to see the lifeless, cold, and emotionless images of each park on the website. If one were to form an impression of the vitality and grandeur of the parks based on these pictures, then the state of New York may have validity in their recommendations to close the parks.
There began my motivational journey to reveal the true beauty of the parks and to elevate awareness of what was at risk. This risk is not limited to simply losing access to the parks and the wildlife that live there. The climate and environment that we live in changes, and so is our relationship to wildlife and nature. How often do we associate wildlife and the landscape with conservation, preservation, and management? Are we so afraid to harm anything that we do not go outside to become a part of our environment? Why have we become so obsessed with what we have lost and not what we have? The responsibility now is to present imagery that celebrates the world we live in today and preserve it for the enjoyment of future generations.
A photograph of nature and landscape can have a common connection to us all; it can create the pause to stop your feet and look around. I set up my tripod, only to realize I was taking images without a camera, I was experiencing the environment. Call it luck or fate, images happen, it is my responsibility to capture them in all of their natural beauty.
With the arrival of digital photography, a transition to creationism in photography exists. Often landscape photographs are digitally over processed in the digital darkroom to create dynamically surreal artificial reproductions of what naturally exists. My photographic goal is to capture the raw power, color, and balance of our environment at the moment of nature’s beauty as it happened. Man has manipulated our environment enough—photography need not follow the same path. The irony is that in our complex digital world, many of us need technology as a motivational tool to get outside.
Ultimately, if an image can initiate a pause, then perhaps it will raise awareness of what we are losing, perhaps forever! The key is not to view a photograph as a window, but as an invitation to get outdoors.
Gregory A. Craybas
Nikon School 2009, 2010 Syracuse University
Digital Landscape Workshop 2009 - Bar Harbor Maine
Digital Landscape Workhop 2010 - Freeport Maine
The Fine Art of Digital Printing with JP Caponigro and R Mac Holbert
Professional Practices Workshop for gallery and grant publication, Syracuse University Lightworks 2010
Adirondack Photography Institute 2010 Winter workshop
Tony Sweet Photography workshop 2012 - Charleston SC