Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Beyond The Range Of Light
From her home in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Elizabeth Carmel is focused on capturing dramatic vistas in transition
Based in Northern California, Elizabeth Carmel is one of the top nature photographers working today. Her successes come from a combination of sheer artistic talent and a persistent push to look for new ways to get her images seen. In 2006, before the age of Blurb and other small-run printers, Carmel self-published a book, Brilliant Waters: Portraits of Lake Tahoe, Yosemite, and the High Sierra. In 2009, she followed that effort with her second book, The Changing Range of Light: Portraits of the Sierra Nevada.
In The Changing Range of Light, Carmel shows that knowing the landscape isn’t just about being able to navigate through it. Thanks to a background in environmental science, she has crafted a collection of images that shows a climate in flux, along with text from leading environmental scientists explaining the changes that are occurring now and will be coming in the future. The portrait of the Sierra Nevada that we see emerge in the book isn’t so much a landscape that’s being destroyed, but one that will undergo irrevocable change. It becomes clear that Carmel’s brand of environmentalism stands in contrast to the barrage of negativity that prevails in some quarters of the media and to the naysaying climate-change denials that prevail in others.
As she works in a location, Carmel seeks to make an image that will give the eventual viewer a new way to think about the scene. She says, “I believe that experiencing the Earth’s beauty has the power to help nourish and unify us, both on a personal and global level. Through my photography, I strive to translate these positive experiences into fine-art prints.
My goal is to contribute uplifting imagery to the world in a time when we’re bombarded with so many negative and sensationalistic images. I hope my photographs help nurture a sense of hope and affection for the natural world. I believe that great fine-art photographs are a gateway to a larger perspective about ourselves and the universe we inhabit.”
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