|NPN Staff Profile - Floris van Breugel|
|Landscape Forum Moderator|
My love for nature supersedes my interest in photography by about two decades. I was born and raised at the base of Mt. Diablo in the Bay Area of California and I spent my childhood camping and backpacking throughout the state, as well as countless trips to foreign countries. My inaugural trip was to the Grand Canyon at a few months old, where my father 'baptized' me as a son of nature. I don't think he realized what he had done...I now spend as much time as possible in the outdoors with my camera, in pursuit of unique viewpoints and creative expressions of the natural world.
Throughout my childhood, art was a big part of my life. Most notably I did a lot of painting, almost exclusively focused on birds. Now it is clear to me that my style largely developed from my style of painting - playful, creative, elegant, colorful, and simple. Most of my paintings were done using photographs as inspiration, so it should come as no surprise that eventually I wanted to try photography myself! On trips to Costa Rica and Australia, I tried using my father's ancient Olympus OM-2n and 150mm f/4 manual focus lens to photograph birds. Needless to say, that proved to be impossible. A few years later I bought a superzoom point and shoot, and started learning the basics. Within two years I had outgrown it, and moved on to a Canon 20D and 100-400mm lens in 2006. At this point I realized I might as well broaden my photographic interest to include the rest of the natural world.
After a few experiences of photographing 'icons', I quickly realized that I needed to get out and away from the drive-through viewpoints and into the nature I knew so well from my childhood. I now spend the majority of my time photographing on backroads and in the backcountry, both experiencing the peace and calm of being away from Los Angeles and the tourists, and being free to create art at my own pace. I wish I could say I did photography for some good reason like environmental awareness, but in truth the driving force behind my photography is simply a passion for the natural world and an expression of my creativity. My hope is that these images, created from the heart, will touch and inspire others to appreciate, and care for, the world around them.
I was born and raised in the bay area of California, and have spent much of my time photographing that wonderful state. Unfortunately I had to abandon the warm California sunshine and move to the evergreen state, Washington, for my work. I now make my home in Seattle, WA, a place largely devoid of nature and saturated with cement, people, and cars. But, I live just hours away from some of the most spectacular scenery in America including the quietist, freshest, and greenest place in the continental US: Olympic National Park. My current 'day job' is being a graduate student at Caltech in Control and Dynamical Systems, where I am working on 3D high speed videography and tracking of bees in flight. I imagine that in five years time I will be merging my PhD and my love for nature photography to create a niche for myself that expands the possibilities of nature photography using state of the art engineering and controls. In the meantime, I spend as many days as possible in the outdoors, with cameras.
You can see more of my work, and purchase fine art prints and calendars at http://www.artinnaturephotography.com/, and you can read about my adventures, and musings on nature and photography, on my blog at http://artinnature.wordpress.com.
e-mail Floris van Breugel