Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Jerry Greer ~ Old and Beautiful # 1



For years I’ve had a fascination with the forest interior. Yes, I love the big clean forest scene but lately I’ve really started to look into the secondary forests that predominately make up the southern Appalachian forests due to heavy logging.

I recently was hired for an assignment by the Southern Environmental Law Center to photograph an old growth forest with chestnut oaks that were cored and found to be over 325 years old (there is an imminent threat from the USFS to allow these trees to be cut as part of a huge timber sale). The trees were really not that impressive and were intermingled with what the old-timers call laurel-hell. My job as a photographer was to make the trees look massive and beautiful! This was the hardest photo assignment that I’ve ever done.

9 Comments:

Anonymous Jim Jirka said...

This blog is intended to showcase the landscape photography of photographers who have moved beyond the pretty picture and for whom photography is more than entertainment.

Well I never thought of you as one of these.

11/28/2006 06:41:00 PM  
Anonymous Joel Truckenbrod said...

The question that arises for me is, are there times when working within the visual vocabulary of "pretty pictures" advantageous or even desireable for a cause? In this case, though it may be more "honest" to render the forest as a tangled mess of branches and greenery, would the desired result be achieved (environmental protection)? My guess is, probably not, considering the target audience. Working for environmental causes extends far beyond entertainment in my estimation, so I have absolutely no problem with that idea being presented here. As Jerry said, this wasn't easy for him and I would guess, probably not something he would pursue for simply entertainment or to grab another shot for the calander.

Nicely done Jerry. I hope things go well here.

11/28/2006 09:38:00 PM  
Anonymous Jim Jirka said...

Don't get me wrong. I wasn't saying anything negative in my comment. With all of the calendar images posted and many technical statements that Jerry has written, I just never saw images such as this from him. I also didn't really know he was capable of making images "beyond the entertainment value".

I have followed his cause for this area and commend him. I hope things turn out and become successful.

11/28/2006 10:31:00 PM  
Blogger Jerry said...

Jim, one of these days you will understand that the so-called pretty picture is in the eye of the beholder. I photograph what I love! I love the forests of the southern Appalachians where I was born and raised. My calendars, books and prints help me as a conservationist to protect this vanishing landscape. I'm not a photographer for the sake of being a photographer or the love of photography. I love the wilderness experience as much or more than taking the photo. To me and to many others my photos are beyond the entertainment value as you speak of, they are full of passion and a deep love for the beauty, on the surface or in the soul, of the mountains of Appalachia. If I'm not welcome here then Mark can ask me to leave and I'll move on without hesitation.

11/28/2006 11:21:00 PM  
Blogger gravitas et nugalis said...

Plain and simple, if your photograph(s) appear on The Landscapist, it's because you're welcome here.

While I think Jim's first comment might have been misunderstood, his second set the record straight.

11/28/2006 11:51:00 PM  
Blogger Jerry said...

Just to set the record straight for me as a photographer and publisher. When I first started working as a publisher, yes, I went out to take photos just for the sake of putting them in my calendars and books. This was something that I had/have to do so that I can make a living at photography and also so that I can continue to be a photographer and I enjoy taking photos of the perfect light at that perfect time and place. Some work as wedding photogs and some as commercial photogs, I use my calendars and my books. Now, we have, as a publishing company, grown enough to start publishing other photographer’s works if they fit our line of products. This is giving me the freedom to shoot as I would like to shoot and not be tied to a specific style.

I have a new project coming in spring 2008 and then another fall 2009. Both projects will be freer and more art driven than the moneymaker projects that we do in mass to keep the lights on. The fall 2009 project is totally out of my norm and I can’t wait to start putting it together!

Thanks Mark for having me on the blog. I look forward to spending some time here enjoying the many different ideals.

My person website is www.jerrygreerphotography.com and the publishing site is www.mountaintrailpress.com

11/29/2006 12:51:00 AM  
Anonymous Michelle Parent said...

Jerry,
I am glad to know that you have the means to be able to expand into your personal art. It is good to see you here and good to see you fighting for what you love. Good work on the photo of the old tree. It looks large to me! I like the angle and the lighting. I seems imposing and impressive and I hope this photo helps to save its life. I now regret that all my time at Fort Bragg (5 years), I spent my free time trying to get back home rather than explore the better parts of the Carolinas and surrounding areas. I saw so little of that area, but through your photos, I get to see what I missed and now know what I need to go back and see!

11/29/2006 05:12:00 PM  
Anonymous mary dennis said...

Hey there Jerry! Happy to see you posting here. I have always sensed that you are very passionate about your work, your place, and of course your photography. I get the impression you are busting your hump to do some real good with your images and I wish I had half the drive and energy that you have. Glad to see that Mark has rolled out the welcome mat to you and you have decided to walk on in! Can't wait to watch your projects develop.

11/29/2006 10:27:00 PM  
Blogger Jerry said...

Thanks guys and gals! Mary, I sometimes get a little too passionate with my photography!! But, I watch these beautiful & ancient mountains vanish to mountaintop removal mining, clear-cutting and sometimes worst of all gated communities every day and I cannot stand by and not try and stop it. Whether my images are just pretty photos or images of the ugly or the beauty of the almost unseen I love them all the same. I just hope that I can do some good with my work and also make a living at it! Thanks everyone and I look forward to hanging with you a bit.

Jerry

11/30/2006 03:35:00 AM  

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