About Me - Howard Snyder Fine Art Photography
Fortress
  • About Me

Fine Art Photographers Hello and thank you for taking an interest in my work. I am Howard Snyder. I was born and raised in Mexico City, although I’ve lived in many cities and countries. My grand parents all came from somewhere else: on my mom’s side, they were from Spain. On my dad’s side, they were from England. I tell you this, because I feel that this family history, fuels my desire to learn and see new places.

I have a BFA in Visual Communication and Design, I was a performing and recording musician between 2002 to 2011, mostly with a guitar ensemble called Tuning The Air. But what really enriches my life is photography. That’s my way of expressing how I see the world around me. I never set out to become a Landscape Photographer. However, I’ve always enjoyed being in nature, particularly seeing water and mountains. I have always enjoyed solitude, silence and being in tune with a place, especially if that means being away from lots of people.

I remember vividly one Christmas morning in Chicago. I was awake and out of bed by 5:30 AM. Not because I wanted to see what Santa brought me, but because I simply couldn’t sleep anymore. Intuitively, I grabbed my camera and walked to the beach, on Lake Michigan to shoot sunrise. I didn’t know what I was doing, really. But the natural tendency to be in nature and capture what I see and feel has always been there. The rest as they say, it’s history.


Accomplishments


    * I am a receipient of a grant from the City of Seattle Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs
    * I’ve had solo photographic exhibitions in Seattle, WA at Seattle Creative Arts Center, Woodinville Citty Hall as well as other private events
    * My work has been published in several magazines, including: Landscape Photography Magazine, Bokeh Magazine, Digital SLR Magazine, and Outdoor Photographer Magazine
    * I was a keynote speaker at the Adobe Photoshop User's Group meeting in October '14, where I presented my entire workflow

I’ve licensed my work to different industries and I teach both photography as well as Lightroom and Photoshop. Either online, via screen sharing on Skype. Or in person in the Seattle Area.

 

howard snyder landscape photographer

Artist Statement


My aim as a photographer and as an artist, is to photograph what I feel. Not what I see. In other words, I don’t care about documentation! However, I do not add or remove anything that wasn’t originally there during post processing. There are several reasons for that, but one of them is that I believe that, what I capture on camera, should be the best composition I could achieve. I guess that’s my training talking. I began photographing the world around me on film, and on those days, what you captured couldn’t be transformed or edited.

I love shooting landscapes because it allows me the time and space, to feel at ease with myself and the world around me. Experiencing all the layers in nature through photography is a fantastic feeling that I would not change for anything. Experiencing wilderness has been a humbling experience, that puts in perspective our contribution and sense of place. Being present to the sounds, scent, light and grandeur of our natural world, is somewhat of a trance state, that fills my heart.

“Wilderness is not about convenience. It’s not about making it happen during your vacation or when the time is right. Wilderness is about pure raw power and openness and I love being witness to that power. To the unrelenting forward motion of time and life.” - Marc Adamus

As a landscape photographer, you go out before the rest of the world is up. You stay out later than you’d like. You endure cold and sometimes harsh conditions.You put yourself in places that are not entirely safe or comfortable. A small lapse in focus and it can have very dire consequences.

All those elements and scenarios is what keeps it real for me. It forces me to slow down and really think about what’s going on. The exhilaration when witnessing an amazing sunset, in an amazing place, fuels my desire to create awe-inspiring images. It’s an obsession to witness perfect light and learn your tools in order to bring it with you, into the world. To give voice to your soul in images!

I love pushing my equipment and my creativity beyond what’s comfortable. I love high contrast photographs that sometimes can be completely “in-you-face” type images, but I also love subtle and sublime. There’s room for both and it’s a challenge to not become walled-in by one or the other. To avoid doing what I know, and force myself to seeing the process, as if for the first time.

My workflow is entirely digital. These days I shoot Nikon cameras and lenses. I always carry a tripod with me when I go shooting. In fact, I’m obsessive about my tripod. Given that the ideal presentation for my work is printed on high gloss media at least 20 X 30 inches, that means things need to be perfectly sharp. I am a freak about sharpness! In fact, I’m a freak about details.

All my post processing work is also entirely digital. I work on a Mac station, using Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Lightroom. However I am old enough that I worked with film. I know how to process rolls of film, and also print on traditional enlargers, using chemicals and all that jazz! But I actually love being able to work digitally. It opens up so many possibilities that weren’t available a few years ago. I strive to develop a concise body of work, that has a cohesive flavor and character.

The work that you are seeing here, has gone through many, many, many hours of work. Both on the field, as well as on the computer. In order to create and print an image, I begin by making smaller pieces or Author Proofs, to make sure that they are up to standard before making a Master Print for a client. 20” X 30” metal prints are what I consider the minimum size at which my work needs to be reproduced and presented. I love the high gloss finish of prints on metal. To my eye, gloss prints have a restrained elegance above any other type of print surface. Also, the photographic files need to be flawless. Any issues on the image, and they become impossible to hide on a gloss print.


“Dodging and burning are steps to take care of mistakes God made in establishing tonal relationships.”

-Ansel Adams 

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