I always enjoyed art as a kid.  I remember drawing stick-figure action scenes with imaginary armies defending against hordes of invaders over impossibly rugged terrain, over bridges, out of planes.  I moved on to fantasy architectural drawings of future dream homes (one on the beach, one in the mountains, etc. etc.) complete with pools and basketball courts and theaters…of course I’d own them all one day!  I grew to trying my hand at sketching, watercolors, and sometimes just doodling.  I liked art.

I wish I had possessed the talent to continue pursuit of these expressions beyond my childhood imagination.  Notwithstanding my mothers proclamations of excellence (thanks Mom!) I found that my artistic strengths resided in having “a good eye” and understanding spacial relationships, if not the actual execution of pen/brush/pencil in hand.  Naturally, I found photography to be a way to exercise composition using the tools of color and light and perspective.  Sketch pads and notebook paper were replaced by kodak paper and eventually digital imaging.

I experimented with apertures and exposures, rules of thirds, lighting and time of day, time and place…all on my manual Pentax K1000 (thanks Dad!).  I shot rolls and rolls of film and critiqued myself over and over again., never discouraged by the innumerable pictures that, well, just didn’t look very good.   I learned what worked for me.  I very quickly found that creating images was very rewarding.  This, of all things, I hope to be apparent in the images I’ve chosen to share on my site.    Oh yeah, I still like art…

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What a fantastic occasion – as a photographer – to find oneself at the perfect place at the perfect time, especially if you actually have a camera in hand!   For me though, creating great images goes beyond possessing adequate technical ability while standing in front of great subject matter.  There must also be a certain inspiration present, a true appreciation for the landscape stretching before me.

Einstein held that the combination of time and place is four dimensional (our 3D world with the added component of the time we experience a particular place).  As such it is quite difficult for a photographer to justly and fully recreate views as we see them and as they unfold before us.  We’ve all seen pictures that were simply unable to do justice to our memories of a place…Perhaps this is true because we tend to embellish things in our minds.  Perhaps its also due to the limits inherent in attempting to portray our dynamic world via flat two-dimensional images.

An artist with inspiration, though, can transform the work and planning invested in a photograph into something much more than simply height and width on paper, extending beyond the two-dimensional.  Artists must take on this challenge of expanding our medium if we hope to stand out and create something visually memorable.

Our goal then, as photographers, is to convey the awe and wonder and emotion of the scene before us in a manner that adds dimension, transforming a picture into something more, creating feeling for the viewer. To inspire others visually, for the viewer to form an attachment to that place, is the most satisfying part of the photographic process.  We strive to take the viewer to the time and place of our experience; our  own version of time travel, if you will.  I think maybe even Einstein would appreciate such a goal.

John Fielder, a renowned Colorado artist, has said that no matter who the photographer or what their focus (no pun intended) – wedding, portrait, commercial, landscape – those that excel have a passion for their subject matter.  This is fitting as he embodies someone passionate about our natural world, and has used this to be very successful commercially and instrumental in creating change at local, state, and national levels regarding our wilderness areas.  He has, like many other great photographers, used images to garner appreciation for and awareness about our natural resources and their inherent value.

I hope that I can transfer some of the wonder of the time and place component of photography to those who see my pictures.  I find that I can still feel the breezes or hear the sounds associated with images I’ve made.  Perhaps you as the viewer can at least imagine the same.  While no picture can capture 100% of “being there” the greatest compliment for me would be to find that my images “jumpstart” emotion and imagination.   Isn’t that the idea behind any art after all?  Inspiration?  Appreciation?

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This website is a visual roadmap, a small sample of the beautiful places I’ve seen here in Colorado and some travels out of the state.  I’ve done my best to show these places exactly as I saw them at the time; striving to do justice by realistically catching the moment, light, or mood through the lens.

I say “sample” because I’d usually been either without my camera or hadn’t taken the time necessary to adequately capture the scene presented in front of me.  I took a lot of poor pictures in a rush; most were just plain awful!  This harsh self-critiquing has served as motivation for me, experience can be the best possible teacher.  I realized I needed to learn patience.  I came to understand the importance of waiting for the right light or the right time of day.  I needed to make the appropriate effort to be at the right place at the right moment.  I was determined to learn from making mistakes.

By in large this collection of images represents only the last few years of my photographic efforts.  For most of my first 10-12 years after moving to Colorado I was always on the go; I felt I had to climb quickly and ski fast.  As a result I seldom paused for anything more than a snapshot.  Eventually though I began to take my time in the mountains, appreciating the environment around me with an eye increasingly dedicated to photographic composition and process.  Perhaps I’ve matured.  More likely I can’t climb as quickly or ski as fast as I once did…

For all that I must say I have so much more to learn about photography.  I strive for continued improvement.  I learn by looking at others work.  There are so many great landscape artists to emulate – professionals like Marc and David Muench, Galen Rowell, John Fielder, Ansel Adams (of course),  and numbers of aspiring photographers like myself.  The list is endless – and yet I hope to develop something unique in my own imagery.  I hope you enjoy my effort to share some of what I’ve learned on the pages of this website, and thanks for stopping by!

2 Responses to Thoughts

  1. JOLENE HEAD says:

    David, we are so excited for you. Your work is beautiful and it makes us miss our mountains and our dear friends back in Colorado. I am/ will be looking for your book. In the mean time, I am sure I will find your work hanging in our home and in our office. So even though we are thousands of miles away from “OUR” Colorado and the Rockies, we will be able to transport our selves though your eyes and you camera lens. We are so grateful you have decided to share your passion for photography, and we wish you all the best in your quest to capture the light. Aloha!!!

    • David Korn says:

      Jolene, thank you so much for the kind words. It’s nice to know I can bring a little of CO to you guys all the way across 1/2 the Pacific. Your response is exactly why I put the site together, to share with others those great things I’m fortunate to have seen. It’s a fun project for sure!

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