Featured Artist William Gillis

Photographer William Gillis captures the exquisite beauty of the natural world through his landscape and macro images. View more of his work by visiting his website.


photograph of Marine on St. Croix by William Gillis

“Marine on St Croix” landscape, digital photography, various sizes


My career in photography began at an early age with a Kodak box camera. When I submitted the rolls of film for developing at my dad’s drugstore, the results were rather discouraging since 95% of the images were as dark as the night sky.


photograph of a church on a hill by William Gillis

“Church on the Hill” landscape, digital photography, various sizes


Since I lived in a very small town where there was very little light pollution at night, I could lay out on the “back 40” and observe the night sky, which was as dark as my photography! As a result, I was not inspired to progress as a photographer until the digital age was upon us.


photograph of Grand Portage falls by William Gillis

“Grand Portage” landscape, digital photography, various sizes


I began using a Canon Sure Shot about fifteen years ago. My wife must have seen some promise in my picture taking. She suggested I take up photography as a hobby. As usual, I pooh-poohed the idea for awhile. Eventually I took her up on it and went to a camera store to purchase a tripod for the Canon.


photograph of birch trees by William Gillis

“Yellow on White” landscape, digital photography, various sizes


Needless to say, I came home with a Sony DSLR, a tripod and a bag to carry all of this equipment. I was fired up to set the photography world on fire.


photograph of a swamp by William Gillis

“Swamp Fog” landscape, digital photography, various sizes


After shooting images for a few years, a number of people asked me why I was not selling my photos. I checked out a number of art shows and with some trepidation decided to try my luck. I exhibited at art shows for five years, gained a lot of experience and actually found success selling my work.


landscape photography of a river by William Gillis

“Baptism River, Moose Country” landscape, digital photography, various sizes


I am a self-taught photographer and am influenced by Jim Brandenburg, macro photographer Mike Moats and HDR photographer Trey Ratcliff. I developed my own techniques primarily by experimenting with what I thought the image should look like as I experienced the moment.


abstract photograph of a waterfall by William Gillis

“Waterfall” abstract HDR digital photography, various sizes


Simply put, digital cameras have multiple settings on either side of 0, with 0 being the center. The left side settings make the image darker and the right side of 0 make the image brighter. I shoot the same image from up to 8 settings below 0, include 0 and up to 8 settings above 0. This gives me the entire light range available for the image I am about to create.


abstract photograph of a tree in winter by William Gillis

“Winter Tree” landscape, digital photography, various sizes


I then adjust the color, detail, and contrast, and sharpen the image for the effect I want. All of this can be overdone, so the trick is to find what works best.


photograph of Stone Arch Bridge in Minneapolis, Minnesota by William Gillis

“Stone Arch Bridge, Minneapolis” cityscape, digital photography, various sizes


The images shown are HDR imaging. I am a nature photographer specializing in Minnesota’s North Shore along Lake Superior and whatever else comes along that piques my interest.


photograph of a dandelion puff by William Gillis

“Puff” macro, digital photography, various sizes


Macro subjects are my favorite, as most people completely miss the tiny treasures around them and their uniqueness. In addition to macro, I photograph landscapes, flora and interesting trees.


Artist William Gillis invites you to follow him on Facebook.


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