Elliott McDowell

Fritz & Friend

Fritz & Friend

Work Details

Fritz & Friend

Photograph

32 X 36 Framed

Inventory ID: #AEM007





    About Elliott McDowell

    My creativity comes in cycles, there are always peaks and valleys with a period of in between. I have learned to be patient and present. Seeing is one of the greatest of gifts that we as human beings can have. Photography has helped me do that, to be awake in the moment. When something I see stirs me, I know that an attempt must be made before the here and now becomes the past. For me, following this approach makes anything possible.

    A Bit of History and Some Thoughts About My Photography I love what I do and am grateful to be able to do it. My true hope is for my work to inspire, occasionally with a bit of fantasy, imagination, humor, and to bring a sense of respect for the great mystery of this life we all share. Photography is something that is deep rooted in my blood. It started in my boyhood when my parents gave me an inexpensive plastic Kodak Brownie and let me take photos of what ever I was attracted to. Looking into the viewfinder became a world of wonder, it was like entering into a different reality. I still have that feeling today. When the photos came back from the drug store after development it all seemed so magical to see what I had taken. As a young boy riding in the back of the family car I would see landscapes, scenes, people, and take a picture in my mind as we drove by. Life Magazine was a great resource of the time for me in that era. One day I thought I can do that, take those kinds of pictures. Later in high school, I began to take portraits of my friends. I had a 1964 Polaroid, so it was instant gratification to see what had been taken. It was so much fun to dress them up, create scenes, even some were taken with made up backdrops.

    In college I had taken a photojournalism class and a history of motion picture class. These classes rekindled my childhood interest in photography. I acquired a 35mm camera during my senior year and began taking lots of pictures. After graduation from the university, I took a job which was a great life learning experience. On my off hours photography became an outlet to take my mind away from my daily occupation. Stacks of coffee table books began to grow in my home, and they provided me with a further education of works by the famous and well-known photo masters. I began to read technical books about photography. My skill began to improve, and I decided to upgrade to a medium format camera along with using a tripod. One evening while reading one of Ansel Adam’s books I saw in the final pages that summer workshops were given in Yosemite. I wrote off for information, no internet in those days, just old-fashioned mail. The schedule for the workshops came a few weeks later. I just jumped right in, and that summer found myself surrounded by some of the greats including Ansel, many whom I knew of their work from my stack of books. I remember my dad telling me if you want to be good at something go seek out those that are the best in their field and watch how they do it. He was referring mostly to sports when I was boy. But that advice I found applies to all phases of life. A lot was learned over three consecutive years going to the Yosemite summer workshops.

    I was living in Albuquerque during that time. By chance or serendipity my neighbor was Beaumont Newhall. He was the first curator of photography at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. After retiring from the museum, he had relocated to Albuquerque to teach at the University of New Mexico. I remember his living room piled with rare, unmounted photos from all the greats. It was mind blowing to watch him pour through the heap of photographs and pull one out to talk about it. It wasn’t until years later that I came to realize what an incredible gift it was to have Beaumont personally lecturing to me in his living room. My photo education continued, it was some local photographers in New Mexico that I would seek out and ask questions. The most well-known was Laura Gilpin in Santa Fe. Laura was the kindest and most sharing of her knowledge with me and I was blessed to meet her in her late years. She was always forthcoming with an answer to my questions. I would immediately go into the field to try out what she had told me.

    That period was one of trial and error, hope, determination, and somehow it all started to work. What was in my mind could be put into a finished image. It was a long time ago, but things still have not changed that much. Disappointments can still happen, but I never give up. No more film today which was a hard transition for me. Now I can appreciate what a blessing the digital camera and digital darkroom are. I am glad to have made the transition to digital back in the early 1990’s as a student of Photoshop and in the last decade learning Lightroom.

    All Works by Elliott McDowell

    Fritz & Friend

    Fritz & Friend

    Photograph

    32 X 36 Framed

    Inventory ID: #AEM007

    Room Service

    Room Service

    Photograph

    34 X 37 Framed

    Inventory ID: #AEM010

    Anasazi Window

    Anasazi Window

    Photograph

    34 X 33 Framed

    Inventory ID: #AEM006

    $1,500

    Angel Oak

    Angel Oak

    Photograph

    34 X 33 Framed

    Inventory ID: #AEM004

    $1,500

    Sacred Butte

    Sacred Butte

    Photograph

    34 X 33 Framed

    Inventory ID: #AEM003

    $1,500

    Portrait of Dona Paloma de San Francisco

    Portrait of Dona Paloma de San Francisco

    Photograph

    39 X 25 Framed

    Inventory ID: #418

    $1,500

    Fleetwood New Mexico

    Fleetwood New Mexico

    Photograph

    34 X 33 Framed

    Inventory ID: #AEM001

    $1,500

    La Perla

    La Perla

    Photograph

    38 X 31 Framed

    Inventory ID: #AEM008

    $1,500

    Storm Eye

    Storm Eye

    Photograph

    34 X 33 Framed

    Inventory ID: #AEM005

    $1,500

    Sweet Lassy

    Sweet Lassy

    Photograph

    34 X 33 Framed

    Inventory ID: #422

    $1,500