About Landscape Photographer Willie Holdman
Landscape Photographer, Willie Holdman, is a native Utahn. He started experiencing the wonders of nature photograaphy at an early age by assisting his father, Floyd, on photography assignments for National Geographic throughout the country. His Utah landscape photography experiences began when he managed to slip out and photograph the rural areas of Utah while at Brigham Young University, where he received his BFA degree with an emphasis in photography. A popular Utah landscape photographer, Willie resides at the base of majestic Mt. Timpanogos in Orem, Utah. Although he has photographed nature all over the world, it can't compare with the versatility and beauty of his home state, Utah. Whether he is high in an alpine meadow experiencing Mountain photography, or low in the red rock desert, concentrating on National Park photography, this is home.
Photographers are visual artists. While a camera, like a pencil or painter's brush, can be usefully employed as a documentary tool, nature photography in itself is not a science. Like a drawing or painting it is a medium of visual expression. The question for visual artists is how clearly we can express our personal vision. The camera has long past the days when it was considered only a documentary device. It is now more than ever a tool for the artist to express himself. My wish is that I am able to express myself through the use of a camera.
At this time it is my desire to do portraits of the Earth, to capture the Earth's personality and true character. To experience this phenomena of nature, we must be attentive to the subject. Just as people only reveal themselves on special occasions for people they know and trust, so too, does the Earth save herself for those who respect her and are willing to make the sacrifice and journey off the beaten path. These revealings don't last long, one must be ready and skillful to capture these moments. The result is a photograph that captures the essence of the Earth that has rarely been seen before.
Watch a short video of Willie Holdman being interviewed.
All though I dont mind company, most of the Utah nature photographs taken in my collections were captured when I was by myself. I feel to really connect with my surroundings requires quite patience, insights, and contemplation that can best be found being in tune with ones-self and the surroundings. I thoroughly enjoy finding canyons, mountain peaks, valleys, mesas and studying topo maps to see where it might take me. Exploring the back country and just being out-there full-fills my most deepest cravings which would eat me up inside if not attended too. Although I am mostly alone in my travels the camera allows me to share my impressions and vision of what took place in my minds eye. To me its like my journal, my life.
A minimal use of photoshop may be used to combine multiple exposures to attain the detail that I saw while photographing, and small contrast adjustments may be made from my raw camera files, just as Ansel Adams would do in the dark room. I now photograph almost exclusively with digital cameras being that it has surpassed, in my option, the capabilities of film. The instant feedback and ability to easily handle all your photographic needs in house is indispensable. I can do a shoot in the morning and have the final print done in the afternoon. With the new cameras and the capabilities of shooting at high iso speeds and long exposures with very little or no noise has really opened up the doors to endless possibilities.
With all that said the majority of a successful image comes not in the selection of equipment but in the eyes and skills of the one behind the device. Ive seen better photographs taken with the iphone than with a 4x5 camera. Sure..a 8x10 camera makes for super detailed sharp images but I find the composition or lighting wanting on many occasions. Its all the elements coming together that to me make an exceptional photograph. One that cannot or would be really hard to duplicate. That being said I use mostly 20 plus megapixel 35mm cameras with zoom lenses that allow me to quickly compose the elements I want to leave out or include in the photograph. The choice of lens also lets me accentuate what I really want the image to say. A lot of my panoramas are multiple images stitched together. I may use as many as 10 exposures or as few as 2.
My style is more of an exploratory nature where I am constantly on the move..looking..seeing...capturing. Running quickly to a distant opening or ridge-line, capturing the ever-changing landscape, moving on to whats around the next corner. This is not to say I dont take my time composing and waiting for the ideal light at a certain location for my landscape photograph. I have waited years for some shots to come together at any given location. I truly am an explorer by nature and want to see and experience as much as I can on this fabulous earth with the time my health and circumstances allows. I hope my knees an lungs will hold up and allow me to keep up with this ever-changing earth to be a participate in the journey until mine is over.
I hope you enjoy yourself on this site and feel a participant with me in these adventures of discovery. Come visit the Willie Holdman Utah Photographs Gallery at 580 Main, Park City Utah.
I had visited this meadow several times and each time offered a different reward. This autumn day had a blanket of gray across the sky. As I reached the crest of the meadow the sun had managed to pierce through the clouds and illuminate a ridge of aspens. Just as I had prepared my camera, another ray of light danced across the top of Mt. Timpanogos. A photograph was taken.
-Autumn on Mt. Timpanogos