An adventurer and explorer at heart
Sean Bagshaw's creative process for outdoor photography is two-fold. He pays as much attention to capturing an image with a camera as he does developing that image with artistic intent.
"Early photography was always a two-part process," Bagshaw says. "The photographers who popularized black-and-white landscape photography — Ansel Adams, Edward Weston, Elliot Porter — would capture an image and then take it to the darkroom. Developing the image was just as important.
"Photographers went through a period with 35 mm slide film, and they no longer developed their own images. They sent them off to a lab. Whatever was captured was what they got. It was sort of the end of the creative process.
"Photographers have regained creative processes with digital photography. Now we can take digital images and control how they will look. While digital photography is seen largely as a revolutionary step in the history of photography, it's also brought us back to photography's roots," Bagshaw says.
Bagshaw will present his annual talk, "A Year in Photography," at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 8, at Twin Creeks Retirement Community, 888 Twin Creeks Crossing, Central Point. The talk is sponsored by the Southern Oregon Photogaphic Association. Admission is free.
The one-hour presentation will include looks at photographs Bagshaw has taken over the past year, stories about the places he took them and details of the camera and developing techniques he used. He'll also share before and after comparisons of images to provide insight into digital developing.
It was the adventurer in Bagshaw that brought him to outdoor photography. Climbing and mountaineering in the '80s and '90s, he would volunteer to be the expedition photographer.
"Adventure is my inspiration for photography," Bagshaw says. "I like to explore places, and photography is like a treasure hunt. I go out to see what I can discover. I travel as much as I can, and a lot of my photography is done in the Northwest. Some is in Mexico, Europe, Asia and Hawaii."
Bagshaw's images have been winners in the Nature's Best Windland Smith Rice International Awards and honored in the International Conservation Photography Awards and other competitions. They've been displayed at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.
He is a founding member of the Pacific Northwest-based Photo Cascadia, a group that offers digital processing and field workshops as well as private instruction. Find more information at www.outdoorexposurephoto.com.
Bagshaw grew up in Central Oregon and came to Ashland in 1986 to study biology and chemistry at Southern Oregon University (SOSC). He received a master's in teaching from Willamette University, then taught for 12 years at Mark Twain Middle School in Silverton and Ashland Middle School.