Featured Artist James Phillips

Artsy Shark presents the work of photographer James Phillips. Enjoy his stunning portfolio! Visit his website for more images and information.



Goals: Nature photography can have a profoundly positive influence when it engages the viewer. My goals are to reveal the fragile beauty of Florida’s wild lands, and to communicate their value and irreplaceability to as wide an audience as possible. To this end I hope to work as long as I’m able, to continue to hone my craft, and to continue to have my work published, exhibited, and collected.



What I’m working on now: I’m gathering images for a monograph of Florida landscapes. The working title is “Intimate Landscapes, Visions of Florida’s Wild Lands.” To keep the work fresh, I’m visiting new locations and exploring alternative techniques, including panoramas, multiple exposures, and infrared photography. I’m also developing a line of greeting cards based on images from the book.



Inspiration: Inspiration comes from lots of sources, some of them unlikely. It could be the cinematography of Akira Kurosawa or a painting by Cezanne. I admire and am moved by the photographic works of Elliot Porter, Bruce Heinemann, Fay Godwin, and Shinzo Maeda. There are a thousand others as well, not all of them landscape photographers. As Lee Friedlander said, “The pleasures of good photography are the pleasures of good photography.” While I gravitate towards images of the land, the subject, ultimately, isn’t of paramount importance. In photography, craftsmanship can elevate the most mundane subject matter.



Inspiration is fine, but discipline is key. You have to rise early. You have to attend, no matter how long the drive or how far the hike. When the location is right, when conditions are right, the land speaks loudly for itself. Photographers have a phrase for the decisive moment when light and spatial relationships intersect in a manner pleasing to the eye: “f8 and be there.” Landscape photographers may use a different aperture, but the principle is the same: be there, be mindful, respond to the unfolding beauty, and to the best of your ability, convey the wonder.


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