很高兴介绍这个月的“本月摄影师”,威廉·尼尔。威廉(William)是一位美国风景摄影师,自1980年代开始从事摄影行业。他 ’s published several books 和 is perhaps most known 对于 his exceptional portfolio from Yosemite. Keep reading to learn 更多 about his photographic journey:

First of all, thank you 对于 taking the time to do this. Could you start by telling us a little about who you are 和 how you got started with photography? 

我是一名风景摄影师,致力于传达我在大自然中看到和感受到的深刻的精神美。 自1977年以来一直是优胜美地国家公园地区的居民,我拍照的原因是体验自然之美和野外之美。 我探索岩石和树木,云层和涌水的基本要素 capture 景观的神奇与神秘。我最喜欢制作的图像是依赖的图像 my perception and 情感反应,而不是现场的景象。 我喜欢隔离场景的细节,通常达到抽象的程度。 By creating photographs where the content 要么 要么 ientation is not obvious, an intimate 和 enigmatic feeling can come through. I would rather make an image 那 asks a question than one 那 answers one, one 那 intrigues 和 arouses curiosity in the viewer. 

My earliest childhood memories of outdoor adventures are of roaming the hills behind our home in the San Francisco Bay Area. Not yet bulldozed 和 subdivided, my dog 和 I explored the nearby grass-covered hills 和 seasonal creeks. Occasional weekend trips led our family to the nearby rugged coastal beaches 要么 the trails of the Santa Cruz mountains. During summer vacations, we often spent a week 要么 two in the great national parks of the west such as Yellowstone, the Grand Tetons, Sequoia, 和 Yosemite. One summer, we visited Glacier, Banff 和 Jasper National Parks, returning home via Vancouver 和 then followed Highway One down the Pacific coastline. These family road trips sparked my love of nature, especially of our National Parks. 


As someone who’s been in the industry 对于 decades, what are the most significant changes you’ve seen the industry go through 和 what have you done to adapt to it? 

I think 那 the biggest change is the vastly larger number of 摄影师 trying to sell their work. It was very competitive even when I started, 和 stock sales were a major source of income 对于 许多 of us. Many 摄影师 new to the business are unaware of industry standards 对于 pricing their work 和 have severely undercut the value of photography in the marketplace. On the positive side, the reach of the internet 和 social media allows more photographers more exposure. In the old days, there were “curators,” magazine 和 book editors, art 广告代理商或股票经纪公司的总监,这些节目筛选了公众看到的内容。


I have always had diverse sources of income 那 include: teaching workshops; selling fine art prints to private collectors 要么 art consultants selling my photographs to display in healthcare facilities 要么 other corporate art; 要么 book 和 poster royalties. This diversity helps me deal with my highly variable income flow. I used to teach 许多 workshops when I started in the 1980s 和 1990s, 和 now I am teaching 更多 again.

As with 许多 other photogs, I’ve adopted the use of a blog, 脸书 , Instagram的 , 推特 , 和 Flickr to connect with other 摄影师, nature lovers, 和 potential clients. I also teach students one-to-one in Yosemite in Yosemite National Park, sharing my 42 years of experience photographing there. 在我们的会议上,工作涉及诸如构图,光线质量,情感内容,主题发展,后处理,印象派摄影技术等主题。

You’ve been writing the “On Landscape” column 对于 Outdoor 照片y since 1997. 什么 are 您的 goals with this column, 和 what inspires you to keep writing 更多 than ten years later?

我的文章  for Outdoor 摄影家 are geared towards the creative, aesthetic side of landscape 和 nature photography. I write about my experiences discovering my subjects 和 how I go about capturing a unique image. I mention my technical approaches but focus on helping 摄影师 with their seeing, on transforming an inspiring scene into a powerful composition. The process of experiencing nature fully 和 seeing the beauty 那 surrounds us every day is always a foundation of what I write about, perhaps 更多 so than the final image.

Most of us can learn the technical details of capturing a well-exposed 和 sharp landscape scene, but it is much 更多 challenging to develop a personal vision 那 conveys our response to what we see 和 FEEL. My goal is to help with 那 process, often through examples of my own ongoing journey to share my love of the natural environment.

加州优胜美地国家公园默塞德河沿岸的山茱wood 2019
加州优胜美地国家公园默塞德河沿岸的山茱wood 2019


To answer 您的 question, allow me to quote from my most recent retrospective book:

“In 1977, I moved to Yosemite National Park at the age of twenty-three. One year after graduating from the University of Colorado with a degree in Environmental Conservation, I had decided to pursue my passion 对于 landscape photography in the Sierra Nevada. I have now completed 对于 ty-two years living in the Yosemite area 和 photographing this famous National Park. Encouraged by Ansel Adams 和 other mentors to pursue a unique point of view, I have attempted to pierce through the abundant clichéd views 那 appear at nearly every turnout, to convey my vision of the park. 

Living here has been an 鼓舞人心的 education, a mentorship taught by the landscape itself. When I managed to slow down to see clearly 和 listen carefully, I was able to learn 许多 lessons about this landscape – it’s light, its seasons. I learned from missed opportunities, like arriving too late 对于 the best morning light. I discovered 那, in spite of well-planned timing, I did not find exceptional light 要么 inspiration. Other times, I experienced magical light 和 weather when least prepared 对于 it. I found awe 和 delight in Yosemite’s grand 和 famous landscapes, but most often, I connected to its 更多 intimate details most deeply. 


什么 I’ve learned is 那 Yosemite, beyond its role as a nature preserve 和 place of recreation, is a sanctuary 对于 the spirit. Millions of visitors love this place, 对于 a wide variety of reasons. For whatever reason people visit here, they feel good here; they feel the restorative effects of wild nature even if briefly. 

When I first read these words by John Muir, the resonance inside of me was deep 和 profound: “Climb the mountains 和 get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, 和 the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.” Few other words had ever rung so true to my experiences in these mountains. I came to see these mountains, inspired like so 许多 by the images of Ansel Adams 和 the words of John Muir, 和 stayed. 

Preserves of nature, whether Yosemite 要么 您的 neighborhood park, can provide a sense of protection from outside 对于 ces, much as do the walls of a church 要么 temple. From within these protected walls, the peacefulness 和 beauty bring comfort 和 calm to me. Given this sense of sanctuary, my creative energies have been given the freedom to express what I feel, to reveal the connection between my spirit 和 the beauty of Creation. The lessons of Yosemite can be seen within all of my photographs, no matter the subject 要么 location.”

Having lived in the Yosemite NP area 对于 so long I can only imagine the amount of time you’ve spent photographing there. 什么’s 您的 approach to still finding new 和 fresh perspectives 要么 scenes to photograph there? 

Having been here so long, I can be highly selective about when 和 where I photograph. When you get to know a landscape, you can read the weather 和 understand better where to be when. I have learned how to avoid clichés 和 see the place with my own vision. 在优胜美地学习本课程为我拍摄其他地方提供了极大的帮助。优胜美地使我相信自己是一名艺术家。


You’ve published several books through 您的 career, 威廉·尼尔 – 摄影家, a Retrospective being the latest. 什么 goes into creating these books?

My path 对于 finding book projects has been a long 和 winding one. My good 对于 tune has been gained through a combination of luck, timing, networking, 和 hard work, all based on a deep belief in myself 和 my photography. My first book, The Sense of Wonder, where I illustrated the writing of environmentalist Rachel Carson, came about several years after showing my work to a well-known book designer. Each subsequence book came about through 那 first book’s success. With my earlier books, the publisher chose the theme, 和 I provide the artwork to illustrate 要么 complement the author’s words. My Yosemite, Landscapes of the Spirit 和 Retrospective books were my ideas, 和 on which I collaborated with the publishers.


创作书籍涉及 that many components 一起工作。一把钥匙 element is to follow one’s passion 和 to build thematic bodies of work 那 revolve around those passions. Another part is to be proactive about showing 您的 portfolio to the right people, such as editors, curators 和 anyone who might lead you towards a book deal. Build 您的 reputation on showing your highest, most consistent quality in 您的 photographs, 和 on being a person who is easy to deal with 和 understands the collaborative process of publishing.


I do have a new book I’m working on now, which is a collection of essays about favorite images 和 my creative process in creating them. 另一本书处于概念阶段。

You’ve stated 那 photography is a meditative activity 对于 you. Can you walk us through some of 您的 process of exploring 和 photographing a location?

这些天我拍摄的大部分照片都是当地人拍摄的。寻找新图像的冥想方面来自于每天看到我周围美丽的习惯。梅花什么时候开花 outside my office 为我准备好了吗?他们什么时候下雨,以便我可以用水滴拍下来? 由于我在优胜美地附近,所以我将检查即将到来的暴风雪的天气状况,或与朋友一起检查山茱wood的花朵如何开花或秋天的颜色何时达到顶峰。


Although I do try to plan my field trips 对于 the best seasonal timing 要么 the most dramatic weather, I rarely previsualize 和 plan to make specific images, preferring to let the environment 和 conditions such as lighting lead me to inspiration. I am so constantly amazed by nature 那 I always find inspiration whether I’m looking 对于 it 要么 not. I try to be 更多 of a receptor 对于 what might come my way rather than an aggressor 对于 capturing some preconceived idea 对于 an image.

在最近的博客文章中, 保护场所, you talk about the impact our images can have on delicate landscapes. With, 对于 example, Social Media spotlighting 许多 of these locations, do you think we as 摄影师 should be 更多 careful with sharing sensitive information about the locations we photograph?

This is a touchy subject 对于 许多 of us. We love our landscapes 和 want to protect them. In 要么 der to protect the few wild 和 quiet places left, the public 和 governments must see their value. Historically, using beautiful landscape photographs have helped convince the powers 那 be to regulate 和 protect their use. We needed to strike a fine balance between protecting places 和 loving a place to death.


The popularity of social media 和 mobile phone/cameras has changed everything. Places 那 often appear on Instagram的 become inundated with 摄影师 want their shot. So yes, we must be very careful to protect sensitive locations. The business side comes strongly into play since we feed the popularity of a place by showing 和 selling photographs from these famous locations. Organizations such as Nature First 和 NANPA are working hard on educating 摄影师 about 至少在美国这里是我们职业的环境道德规范 

什么 are 您的 top three tips 对于 someone who’s just getting started with nature photography? 

照片 What Inspires 您最多,而不是最畅销的产品。研究您最感兴趣的主题。 

实验  to find creative ways of seeing. Stretch 您的 vision. Try alternative approaches, angles, locations, lenses, post-processing.

探索  a place in-depth, 对于 许多 years in 许多 seasons. It’s 你最有可能崛起的方式 above.

再次感谢William,抽出宝贵的时间回答这些问题。确保参观威廉’s 网站 , Instagram的 的 , 脸书 要么 Flickr