Paul Edmondson’s images are recognized for their graphic compositions with an emphasis on line, form, shape and color. He is known primarily as a landscape photographer of the American West, and is drawn toward the places where humans and the natural environment intersect.
What designers/artists are on your radar now?
I’m influenced by abstract expressionist painters, specifically Mark Rothko. Seeing an original Rothko is always an emotional experience for me. The fine art photographer Richard Misrach has been a longtime favorite — all his work, but especially his Desert Cantos series, continues to inspire me. New photographers whose work I admire are Cody Cobb and Victoria Sambunaris.
What are your favorite sources of design inspiration?
I frequently visit art museums and galleries, focusing mostly on modern art and of course photography. Seeing good art has a big impact in how I see the world and create my own work.
What are your favorite design/art trends?
I honestly cannot think of a good response to this question — I don’t really pay much attention to design trends, etc. 😦
What is your personal approach to photography?
For me, photography is often a solitary experience and about being in a landscape that I care deeply about. It’s about expressing the quiet and ephemeral nature of a place, whether it’s oceans, deserts, or the temperate rainforests of the Pacific Northwest. Much of my work explores how humans and the natural intersect, about removing the visual clutter and creating graphic, minimal, design-driven images. More often than not I feel I’m not successful, though sometimes when an image works, I feel I’ve succeeded and I’m thus happy.
How has your style evolved over time?
My work has become visually less cluttered, and I’m always experimenting with new and different ways of expressing myself through photography. My personal mantra: less is more.
What do you love/hate about photography?
I love the freedom and ability to travel to beautiful and interesting places. It’s also very satisfying, creating art that people appreciate and are willing to invest in. That’s pretty amazing! But being a photographer today can also be very challenging … now everybody is a photographer.
What are your favorite images from your portfolio?
My favorite image is probably the seascape image of the crashing waves (Rialto IV). The simplicity of the shot — water, horizon, and sky, really summarizes how I approach photography and the natural world. Put me in front of the ocean with a camera, and I’ll be happy for the rest of my life.
What is a challenge of being a photographer in the digital age?
Thanks to the iPhone, everybody is now a photographer. The world is so oversaturated with imagery and visual media, and as result, competition is fierce in an ever-growing market. This absolutely forces me to never be lazy and take nothing for granted.
What’s your most cherished possession in art?
In my home office/studio and next to my computer, I have a small black and white photographic print that my mother made many years ago. The image was from our garden and is of her favorite ornamental grasses. She was a passionate gardener and a very talented artist, writer, and photographer.