The images in our Signature Gallery are the heart and soul of our collection, and they are featured prominently at all of our shows. These photographs include our personal favorites, the images that our clients love best and work that consistently garners praise from festival jurors and judges.
PDF Files of each narrative are available for download below.
Whether writing, painting or creating this collection of infrared photographs, we have always drawn inspiration from nature. It's no wonder, then, that John Fowles essay, The Tree, about the relationship between art and creativity and the natural world means so much to us. Although it refers primarily to the way being alone in the shadow of great trees influences writing, Fowles words describe the feelings we often experience when trying to photographically capture a particularly powerful scene: But it is the silence, the waitingness of the place, that is so haunting; a quality all woods will have on occasion, but which is overwhelming here—a drama, but of a time-span humanity cannot conceive. A pastness, a presentness, a skill with tense the writer in me knows he will never know; partly out of his own inadaquacies, partly because there are tenses human language has yet to invent.
“You must not blame me if
I do talk to the clouds.”
~ Henry Thoreau
Scientists might call these clouds Mammatus, but people like the owner of this Wisconsin farm call them Messenger Clouds because they warn of imminent rain and threatening weather. Standing below their roiling, ragged texture, they seem so alive that it wouldn’t have surprised us to hear voices speaking or angels singing.
A Tribute To The Angel Oak
If you’ve ever stood before a magnificent oak and felt transported or moved by something deep and sacred, you are not alone. The oak has been revered since ancient times. Many cultures believe oaks have the power to heal the heart and nourish the soul after times of hardship. Angela has researched the lore of her Irish ancestors, and she especially loves their stories about oaks. Dating back to the Medieval alphabet of Ogham, the Irish designated each letter as a symbol for a tree; and the letter D, Duir, represented the oak. What’s more, the literal translation of Duir is door, and some believe that in ancient times spiritually advanced Celts could access the ethereal plains by opening the ‘oak door.’ Looking at this picture with the infrared radiance, it’s easy to believe that it might be a door to another realm. It’s no wonder early Christians built their churches in oak groves and why Saint Brigid, patron of Ireland, settled beneath a great oak. She held the tree so sacred that no one dared to harm even a single leaf - and for all the reasons she christened her beloved abbey Cill Dara, Church of the Oak, we call this piece by that same name.
By chance, we happened upon this happy heard late one afternoon. We worked fast to get a few shots and left this lilvely scene hoping we had captured something special - but with no way of knowing if it was a hit or a miss. Then, in the darkroom, we were rewarded with this SPARK - this excitement - when we realized we had indeed captured something special. For us, discovering that we’d caught an instant that passed too quickly for the eye to really see gave us the exilerating jolt that keeps us coming back to film. Coming Home doesn’t just describe the laughing queen of this herd as she leads her gals in for the night - it also describes the way we feel every time we step in the darkroom.
A horse is the projection of peoples' dreams about themselves — strong, powerful, beautiful — and it has the capability of giving us escape from our mundane existence. ~ Pam Brown, Equestrienne Poet The purist of protectors, this noble stallion placed himself between us and his herd as we approached their hill. He remained still - quietly watchful - and only after he determined that we were not a threat did he step aside to let us meet his band of wild mustangs. That moment of acknowledgement and acceptance by a creature of such dignified strength held tremendous significance for us. His guardianship of the herd embodied the courage of the people in our lives we admire most - those who stand resolutely to protect their family, friends, beliefs and values. This image is our tribute to them
The Mormon prophet, Lehi, dreamt of a path with a sturdy rail leading to a radiant tree. This wondrous Tree of Life represented salvation, and by holding fast to the rail of faith one could avoid the pits of temptation and despair. When Russell’s mother would tell him this story, the tree represented the deepest dreams of his heart, and by holding fast to the rails he would surely reach the Tree of Life, his very reason for being. Although Lark has been gone for many years, this pastoral scene in Kentucky immediately reminded Russell of his mother and her belief in the power of dreams and perseverance.
Lightning Over The + Four
Sometimes you chase the storm, and sometimes the storm chases you! As much as we enjoy drawing on Russell’s meteorology studies to engage in the occasional storm chase, it still threw us for a loop when we found ourselves stuck by the side of the road somewhere on the Colorado/Utah border with a flat tire. As we waited (and waited and waited) for roadside assistance, a magnificent thunderstorm rolled in and lightning crackled all around us. Yet, while the day had taken what we thought was a horrible turn, it end up being fantastically memorable. There is great beauty in a storm, and we savored every minute of it while we hunkered down by the +/4 Ranch to watch it.
The adventure that brought us to this image makes it one of our favorites. After a long day of photography during which nothing seemed to pan out, we passed this field—and these oaks. While we were shooting, a local kid told us that the two trees in the middle of the sugar cane field survived year after year – through floods and storms and even hurricanes – because their roots were entwined. A single tree standing alone in the field would have been easily felled, but the two that stood together could withstand anything. Enduring Oaks holds a special place in our hearts and speak volumes about what it means to us to build this collection – together.
On a misty August morning in Custer Park, we came across this proud bull. He had recently returned to the herd to begin courting his chosen mate. As our jeep came close, he bellowed and kept a watchful eye on us. Working with our guide, we were able to capture this image while respecting the volatile power of a buffalo in love.
Bridge Of Silver Wings
This ethereal image takes its title from the writings of Aberjhani, a poet who has thoughtfully explored how people manage the transition from imminent personal destruction to unaccountable
personal victory. We love that this image seems to evoke a similar feeling - that just through the arch of angel wings and beyond the rise of the bridge we can find our greatest joys.
The Irish Brigade
The mournful Irish wolfhound lies at the foot of a Celtic cross honoring the heroism of the Irish Brigade at Gettysburg. Being of proud Irish descent, Angela was immediately drawn to the story of these great soldiers. The legendary Irish Brigade included three units from New York that had suffered terrible losses but still charged into the wretched Wheatfield battle, halting the advance of the Confederate troops just as they were about to overtake the Union position. After the war, the priest who dedicated the memorial described its significance to the ages when he said that the Celtic cross had been erected to keep memory of the Irish Brigade ‘green in the American Heart’ and to remind future generations of the brigade’s bravery in the ‘great cause of American Liberty.’
Central Park Promenade
This elegant pathway of elms and historic cast-iron lampposts has been a gathering place since the mid 1800s. Once considered 'an open air hall of reception,' in its early days, visitors would have seen stately carriages and pedestrians in their Sunday best socializing and enjoying the luxury of leisure time. Today, visitors from every walk of life cherish this sanctuary of green space; and strolling beneath the canopy of elms remains a timeless, enchanting experience that is quintessentially New York.
There are some things that you learn best in calm, and some
~ Willa Cather
This once-in-a- lifetime shot is dazzling without any explanation, but its value to us is enriched by the many personal strands of our lives it brings together for us. As an English major, Angela can never pass through Kansas without thinking of Willa Cather, and as a life-long student of science, Russell is irresistibly drawn to storms. Yet the name of this piece actually comes from Russell’s mother, Lark. As the daughter and the mother of artists, she read Willa Cather’s The Song of the Lark many times. She understood the book on a deep and personal level; and she especially understood that while it’s true that an artist must commit to patient study in order to master his craft, she also taught her son that - ultimately - an artist will not be measured by what he creates in the calm of practice, but by what he captures when the storm howls. In this wonderful, rare image, that fundamental truth became literal.
Russell grew up in Miami and has spent many years chasing the perfect mangrove shot, yet he never felt that he had really captured their magic. These amazing trees shelter and nourish creatures of the land, the sea and the skies above. For a man who has spent his life studying coastal environments and biology, mangroves are sacred and no ordinary photograph would do them justice. After more than 30 years of effort, as the sun began to set on Anne’s Beach in the Florida Keys, Russell raced along the boardwalk and perched on a slippery rock to finally create the image that turned his vision into reality.
One of the most special people in Angela’s life is her nephew, Collin. He was the first baby of the next generation; and watching his personality take shape has been a great delight. He is a sweet, thoughtful boy with a kind and generous heart. He looks after his grandmother with much tenderness, is infinitely patient with his young cousin when she follows him around and has become quite an avid fisherman. Angela especially enjoys his British quips about feeling ‘peckish’ and his willingness to bow and refer to her as ‘her majesty!’ Above all though, from the time he was very young, Collin has loved cows. As Russell and Angela travel, they always think of Collin when they photograph cattle, and since he identified these for them (they are Black Baldy cows) they decided this image should be named in Collin’s honor!
Russell’s father was a columnist who covered horse racing for the Miami News for more than 30 years, so it’s no wonder that Russell finds himself drawn to the rolling hills and horse farms of Kentucky. Just outside Lexington on an overcast summer day, we came across these two gentle souls. As we wandered and watched, they stayed close to one another nickering and nuzzling from time to time. Then the stars aligned to give us that once-in-a-lifetime image. We were in the right place with camera ready when they lowered their heads and brought them together in a heart- like pose of absolute tenderness. For one incredible moment, the world was just us and these magical Bluegrass Beauties.
This gentle angel watches over Savannah’s most beloved city of the dead, the legendary Bonaventure Cemetery. Poets, song writers, generals and hundreds of souls rest on a bluff above the Wilmington River. For Angela, this image is special for another reason. One of her favorite ‘cemetery stories’ is told in the book, “Midnight In The Garden Of Good And Evil.” Near this angel is the grave of the tragic poet Conrad Aiken. Toward the end of his life, Aiken spent much of his time at the cemetery, sipping gin and tonics and watching ships sail past. One day, he saw a ship bearing the name Cosmos Mariner. He checked the shipping news to find out where the well-named ship was bound and he found only this: “Cosmos Mariner, Destination Unknown.” Those inspiring, haunting words became the epitaph on the stone bench that serves as his tombstone.