Photographer R. John Anderson has journeyed the world over to capture the natural beauty of God’s creation. Having traveled to many countries and continents in a span of over thirty years, he has seen the amazing artistry that can be found in all types of locations, from the glacial fjords of polar Greenland to the wild Serengeti plains in Tanzania to the rich rain forests of Costa Rica. Nature’s greatest natural beauty often lies in the harshest deserts, remotest wilderness, and sub-zero ice-covered regions.
Q. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PLACE THAT YOU’VE BEEN TO?
A. I’d have to say that two locations, in particular, have impressed me the most. The first is Greenland, with its immense scenery – glaciers, mountains of ice, and crystal-clear glacier-blue fantastical ice formations. The second is Death Valley, where I feel a great sense of calmness, peace, and serenity in the unbelievably harsh yet starkly beautiful landscape. I guess I’ve picked two opposite extremes, yes – the furnace of Death Valley and the brutal cold of the arctic are definitely contrasting in climates. I’d be remiss for not mentioning close runner-ups: Iceland, with its seemingly endless landscapes to explore, and the Serengeti plains of Africa, with its teeming wildlife.
Q. WHAT IS YOUR LEAST FAVORITE PLACE?
A. Ah, that’s easy…the airport. Need I say any more?
Q. WHAT IS THE MOST REWARDING FOR YOU IN DOING NATURE AND LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY?
A. Obviously, I get a real rush out of capturing an intense landscape frozen in a moment of time, illuminated by epic light with stunning weather conditions. But beyond that, the main pleasure I get from my photography is when I see one of my prints being hung for the first time in someone’s home or office as it takes its place on the wall…that is really what it’s all about. That is what makes all the hard work worthwhile.
Q. WHAT DO YOU LIKE THE LEAST ABOUT DOING LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY?
A. There are a couple of things that come to mind instantly. One is getting up early; it really hurts to get up at 3 am when it’s freezing outside to go trudge a few miles somewhere and be ready for sunrise. And I’m not really a morning person, but you have to do what it takes to get the shot. So, you must push yourself to ensure that you’re on location – at the right place and at the right time. You can’t miss either of those and still make “art.” And the second thing is that travel schedules can be very arduous, with many very long days (even 24 hrs awake at times or longer).
Q. ANY FINAL WORDS?
A. Sure, in today’s instant message and 5-second “tweet” society, we often get caught up in the hustle and bustle, always wanting to move or get somewhere quickly, seemingly instantly – we never slow down even for an instant to capture any experience. So I think there’s something special about a well-done photograph that stops time. I hope my work can help “stop time” in that regard for you, so the natural beauty surrounding us can be more fully appreciated.
If you would like to read about how I capture and develop my photography, you can read my artist statement.