Joseph Henry specializes in depicting northern landscapes that include sub-arctic tundra areas in the Canaan Valley region, Canada and Alaska. Forty of his Dolly Sods images were displayed in a 5-month one-man show at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in 2007. He has been closely observing Dolly Sods for 30 years.
Joe focuses on creating images that convey the essence and mood of a landscape. He especially focuses on northern landscapes and plant ecosystems. Dolly Sods is a prime example. The central goals of his work are to evoke emotion in the viewer and inform regarding the unique character of a place. He accomplishes this by: developing selective compositions, pursuit of quality light and revisiting particular landscapes often.
His compositions result from applying the principles of visual design. He strives to balance graphic elements in the scene. Joe tends to focus on the exquisite beauty of the flora to the exclusion highly panoramic landscapes. He finds that he spends hours working a subject to understand the view that best conveys my response. Many of the photos here resulted from revisiting the same scene many times over a period of years.
The pursuit of good light is central to the efforts of all nature photographers. Claude Monet devoted much of the latter part of his career to the expressing the “envelope.” By that he meant the interaction of light and atmospheric conditions with his subject. For Joe this means experiencing landscapes under diverse weather conditions as well as different light angles. Drama in photographs is as much about the light and weather as the composition.
Dr. Henry was formerly professor and chairperson of chemical engineering at both WVU and ASU. He lives in Canaan Valley.
Joe will present a gallery talk at the Thomas Education Center in the near future. Check MountainMade’s Facebook page for more details.