Banner for Al Joseph  
Photographer at Work
About the Artist

Al was born in the Allegheny Mountains of northern Pennsylvania, where, even at the age of five, he wandered in, explored, and appreciated the forests around his home. When he entered high school he decided to become either a forest ranger or a professional hunter, and spent his teenage years hunting and learning to get close to the wildlife of the northeast. After graduating from high school, some unusual circumstances took his life and career in another direction, including west to the Rocky Mountains where he settled in Salt Lake City. Still an active hunter he began to realize that hunting was only the medium he used to completely immerse himself in nature. He put away his bow and his rifle, and a few years later committed himself to hunting only with a camera. He began work on a book of Utah, for which he is now seeking publication.
Al's photography shows passion, perseverance, and patience; combined with a keen understanding of changing light, shadows, and weather conditions. At Delicate Arch in April of 1992, rain was driving his companions away, while he insisted that the rain would break, and that he would stay to capture the moment. Risking damage to a new camera, in use for the first time, he changed his film in a wind that was blowing sand and rain. It took this kind understanding and passion to capture the natural history moment of Delicate Arch with a rainbow.
Al has captured natural history moments throughout much of the western and northeastern United States, using Kodachrome 64 and Velvia, slow films that certify his patience, as he still manages to disguise, even what seem to be perpetual breezes, with exacting detail throughout a deep field of view. He has a strong sense of composition and uses geometry well, leading, teasing, and in a few creations, even deceiving the eye. Meanwhile, he introduces some new concepts, such as the strong watercolor presence many of his winter scenes convey. Impressive, too, is his unusual collection of Rocky Mountain autumn reds, as the colors revel on location at many of nature's best kept secrets.
By his side throughout the course of his book has been his faithful Alaskan Malamute, Tecumseh, which is Shawnee for "the panther passing across". Now nearly fifteen years old, Tecumseh appears in Al's stories, once saving him from hypothermia in a very unusual manner. Tecumseh also appears in limited edition landscapes, such as the popular "Pleased With" image taken in the High Uintas. Al was prepared to take a great scenery shot, camera already composed on the tripod, when Tecumseh, of his own volition, happened onto the ideal spot with the perfect pose. Once a moose did this same thing. Al was shooting a brilliant array of autumn colors when, a bull , that had been spooked from further down the hill, ran into the reflective pond he had framed for his composition. Some would call it luck, but if you spent as much time in the field as this photographer does, Mother Nature is bound to toss some uniquely special moments your way. That's part of the passion and perseverance.                                               © Jan 2002


Above: I am not the person who is in this photo, I am the person who is taking this photo, as we share this location and I have chosen to make him subject along with what I have affectionately dubbed "The Tree of Life" growing from a quiet lake in New Zealand. You would know this is not me, I never dress this fashionably out in the field (chuckle, chuckle.) I dress for work, for crawling around in the brush. My tripod is also bigger, more solid, and bulkier, especially the old steel tripod I was still using at the time of my New Zealand visits. I chose this photo for my artist page because it potrays actually being on site and actually taking the photo. It also portrays how blessed I am to have been physcially immersed in so many beautiful scenes.

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