Dan Shepherd: Blinded by Science
Los Angeles photographer Dan Shepherd has always had a deep interest in the natural world, reflected in his education in Environmental Science and Plant Conservation and in the work he creates. His photographs have consistently centered around nature and landscape, drawing us in with a seductive beauty, but at the same time, reminding us that we are the caretakers of our planet. His approach to photography comes from a love of drawing & painting, combined with a conceptual sensibility inspired by a passion for science and nature. Dan opens an exhibition of his project, Blinded by Science, at the DNJ Gallery in Santa Monica on Saturday, March 8th, running through April 26th.
Dan is a vital part of the Los Angeles fine art community, organizing monthly Open Shows with co-director Jonas Yip that champion image makers on the right coast. This week Dan takes over as a Lenscratch Guest Editor, spotlighting unique and fresh perspectives on landscape photography projects. Dan states, I am drawn to artists who challenge the way they look at a landscape and in turn challenge the viewer in how we connect with that landscape. We this selection of featured photographers that perspective is realized by their unique choices of materials, techniques, locations and relationships to the land.
Dan was raised in the Pacific Northwest, enjoyed his creative years in New York City and now finds himself at home in Los Angeles. The balance between urban living and love of nature is an ongoing pursuit for him and a universal human theme that drives his artistic practice. He currently splits his time between the visual arts and working for conservation organizations. Dan has a Masters in Environmental Science from Columbia University and an International Diploma in Plant Conservation from the Royal Botanic Garden, Kew in England, as well as a BA in Japanese from the University of Oregon.
Dan has created two pieces for the exhibition that have a meta result that are made from leaf pulp made from the tree in the image and printed on hand made paper. Dan collected leaves from Alaska and leaves from a tree in Griffith Park in Los Angeles and created just a few sheets of paper for each location.
Alaska & California Collections – Blinded by Science Series
Just like many things in nature, my “Blinded by Science” photography series has evolved since its inception in 2008. In the beginning, my photographic vision had a more narrow focus on individual trees and plants. It was the classic scenario ‘I couldn’t see the forest for the trees,’ but in my latest Alaska & California Collections everyone will see trees and forest. I find that I artistically respond to the physical constraints of the landscape. My photography is more directed in a confined location like a botanic garden and then I shoot in a more relaxed way when I am in an open area like a forest. For my latest collections, I have traveled to the great forests of Alaska and open landscapes of California and the new images reflect this evolution of my photographic vision. I continue to use the power of abstraction to filter out the science details in my head which lets me focus on the pure beauty of nature and create unique portraits of the trees, plants and landscapes.
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