Tuesday, April 27, 2010
You Wish You Were Here
Brandon Riza’s spectacular mountain photographs transport the viewer into the place and the moment. They’re invitations to adventure.
“I wasn’t trained as a traditional photographer,” Riza says. “I had to use photographic theory as part of my job. And over time, I’ve gotten way more into photography than I am into 3D. The rendering systems we use attempt to mimic the properties of light and the functionality of how devices process that light. Understanding how light works and how it interacts with objects, materials, atmospherics, colors—it’s all just a small part of what I actually get paid to do. In that sense, I’ve been a photographer in training for 16 years.”
Not only has Riza spent years training for photography, but he has trained for adventure as well. During his adolescence in Texas—far from anything he wanted to climb—he dreamed of relocating someplace more conducive to his thrill-seeker tendencies.
Even now Riza’s preferred approach is solo—plus Neutron, the dog, who makes occasional appearances in his portfolio. Alongside the beautiful landscapes, Riza also likes to showcase the fun he’s having, the spectacle, every part that makes up the adventure. So he photographs his canine companion, or his altimeter, or anything else that provides a sense of what the experience was really like. He wants it to look how being there, shoulder to shoulder with the photographer, would feel.
“I started taking pictures to send my friends back in Texas,” says Riza. “It began simply as a way to show them what I was experiencing, but as the next two years went by, I got more and more serious about the photography side of it. The hiking/photography thing addressed many voids in my life: the need for adventure and exercise, the disciplinary requirement necessary to safely hike and climb in the mountains alone. It just so happens that I’m a little crazy and like to do crazy things. And I love taking pictures while I do.”
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