Thank you for taking a moment to read my Introduction and Artist Statement! I have been a professional landscape and travel photographer for nine years and there isn’t anything that I love more than the challenges that it brings. I have an AAS degree in Professional Photography and I am a member of The North American Nature Photographers Association (NANPA) and Save Venice Inc.
My professional training included both film and digital photography in a full range of photographic subject matter, from landscape, portraits, commercial photography, to weddings and events. After college I worked for a commercial photographer of note, and while his genius and skills were essential to my career, I decide that I would prefer to create my own art and went out on my own.
I enjoy reading nonfiction, histories and biographies. When I have read something that I find interesting, I grab my camera bag and go have a look for myself. Typically, I go to shoot a scene with no presumptions of what I want the photograph to look like. This clearness of mind saves me from disappointment if I don’t meet these preset goals. I like to have the image come to me instead of going to the image.
Photography, for me, is about the experience. I demand that each encounter I have with a subject be an emotional one, a two-way street. A beautiful landscape should strike me emotionally and in return, I support the scene by creating a beautiful and emotional fine art print that captures a viewer’s attention and makes them want to study the image closer.
Presently I have one main project in work, The Colorado Photographic Survey. This project covers the state of Colorado and is intended to show both the iconic places as well as the more obscure locations that I find just as interesting. The project will also include stories of some of Colorado’s notable people as well as it’s rascals and rouges. My short-term goals include the Maroon Bells, Crystal Mill, The Million Dollar Highway, and all four corners of the state.
However, there are two locations just outside of Colorado that I am continuing to photograph. Chaco Canyon, New Mexico and Cedar Mesa, Utah. I find the mysteries of archaeoastronomy at Chaco Canyon and the Early American abandonment of Cedar Mesa fascinating and both places make for incredible photography! In 2020 I plan to work both of these areas monthly.
I’ve been fortunate enough to have worked extensively throughout the American Southwest, Iceland, Japan, Venice Italy and The Azores Islands.
All my photography and printing are being done with digital equipment. Even though I have considerable experience with film and the darkroom, for me digital photography has become the new standard. I will always love and respect film photography, but I feel that when done correctly, digital photography has reached the same quality as film. I don’t consider an image complete as soon as the shutter is pressed. A digital image, like a film image, must go through a post-production to ensure that what you are seeing is exactly what I was feeling. An unfinished image printed straight from the camera is just that, unfinished.
I shoot with Canon 5D Mk2 and Mk4 digital cameras, using lens ranging from 17mm to 800mm. I use very little flash. After the RAW file is download from the camera, I make several adjustments if needed, using Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop. Most images get adjustments made in exposure, contrast and saturation. I do all my own printing on an Epson 3880 Pro printer using Epson’s Velvet Fine Art Paper and Epson Ultra-Premium Photo Paper Luster, which produces accurate color and sharp archival prints.
I love what I do!
Visit my website at TommyDykes.net.
Here is a small gallery of some of my favorites.