About Me - Howard Snyder Fine Art Photography
Fine Art PhotographersHello and thank you for taking an interest in my work. I am Howard Snyder, 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 specific detail in my family history, fuels my desire to travel, discover, 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, with a Seattle-based guitar ensemble called Tuning The Air, as well as the guitar trio, Lost Pedro. 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 around bodies of water, as well as 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 vividly remember, 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 saw and felt 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 City 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, sharing feeling, rather than make objective statements, 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 captured on camera, should be the best composition I could achieve while on the field. 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. At least not with as easy as it is nowadays.

            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. One 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 feeds my soul.

            “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 chase and witness perfect light, while also constantly strive to better learn your tools in order to bring your vision, 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 the 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, 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 photographic work being presented here, has gone through many, many, many hours of creation, selection and editing. 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” 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, but I also love the traditional presentation of a matted, framed image. 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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