Artist Statement


Stephen girimont

As a landscape photographer, I am constantly on the hunt for that perfect light, that awe-inspiring vista, the once-in-a-lifetime moment to capture and display for the world. But I’m also trying to capture something else; something less obvious and at times much harder to visualize: the intimate landscape.

An intimate landscape, to me, is created when a detail of the landscape, a tree, a rock, a building, what have you, is shown in such a way as to make a statement about the relationship of that detail with its surroundings. How does the shape of a tree happen to mirror the course of a nearby river? Notice how the rock completes or extends the pattern of the clouds in the sky above? How does that arch serve to frame the vista behind it?

The most amazing moments for me come when the juxtaposition of an interesting detail, a great landscape, a wondrous sky and extraordinary light come together to make an unforgettable image. It is those moments that make me wonder how on earth I ever came to be so lucky to be at such a place at such a moment.

To record such rare and wondrous events takes planning and preparation. To successfully commit the image to paper (or another medium) takes care and technical artistry. Careful consideration is given to the combination of camera and lens, shutter speed and aperture and, in the case of my digital equipment, the effects of aperture on the sensor to achieve maximum resolution and appropriate depth-of-field. In my printing, the combination of pigment and media is chosen to give the very best in quality with the greatest archival qualities.

In processing my images and preparing them for print, my experience with the analogue darkroom comes through in the way I work in the digital world: color is enhanced in ways analogous to the use of specific paper types and chemistry. Contrast is controlled, sharpness adjusted and specific tones in the image enhanced to render the final print as my mind has rendered the memory. It is my goal to create a final print that does not capture the reality of the scene so much as the impression the scene left on my consciousness. I want everyone who sees my images to feel what I was experiencing at the moment the shutter clicked. Well, except for that time I had a cactus needle poking through my boot because that was the best spot to put the tripod. Hopefully, my images won’t create that sort of physical response.

My interest in landscape photography has been inspired by such luminaries as Eliot Porter and Ansel Adams as well as contemporary photographers such as Alain Briot and Mitch Dobrowner. However, it was a family vacation when I was about 9 or 10 that began my infatuation with the southwest. A two-week trip across the country to visit relatives in Arizona had me spellbound watching the desert landscapes roll by.

I have a degree in English Education from Virginia Commonwealth University after which I had the opportunity to study photography for several years at the Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, California. My images are in private and corporate collections from Virginia to California and have been displayed in commercial galleries, corporate art spaces and public displays in shows both solo and group. My landscapes of the western United States are also used as the decor art in many of the Sedona Taphouse restaurant locations across the country. 

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