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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Canyon Wilderness

Jon Ortner is based about as far from the landscapes that make up his latest book as you can imagine, and he shows that sometimes the best landscapes come from having an outsider’s perspective

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White Pocket, Vermilion Cliffs National Monument, Arizona. Fuji GX617 Panorama Camera, Fuji SWD 90mm ƒ/5.6, Fujichrome Velvia 50
Ortner’s studious approach is tempered by the spontaneity of nature, as well as the changing light in the landscape. The unplanned, the artistic, are equally valuable to the photographer who seeks a metaphysical connection with his images.

“It’s spiritual, it’s artistic, and it’s scholarly,” Ortner concludes. “And somehow I weave that all together to give my images meaning. And I’ve been lucky enough to find people who understood that. That has been the greatest part of my career. My greatest success has been finding those people. It doesn’t really matter so much how many books get sold. I think what matters ultimately is what art have you created?”

Jon Ortner is also the author and photographer of Buddha, Angkor, Where Every Breath Is A Prayer and Manhattan Dawn And Dusk. To see more of his photography, visit www.ortnerphoto.com. To learn more about Canyon Wilderness, visit www.welcomebooks.com/canyon wilderness and go to Look Inside.

Ortner’s Gear

For his new book Canyon Wilderness of the Southwest, Jon Ortner, who’s a film shooter, mostly used a Pentax medium-format camera and the Fuji GX 6x17cm panorama view camera. In the digital era, panoramas made with film have become anachronistic, but Ortner found that the Fuji camera and Fujichrome Velvia, as well as Kodak T-MAX, were the ideal tools. A devoted user of Tamrac bags to carry his gear, Ortner trekked deep into the backcountry with the Expedition 8x to get his images.


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