Story Behind the Shot:
The image was done from a combination of three exposures. The main exposure was the bridge at Taos Gorge here in New Mexico. I was chasing storms in the late afternoon outside of Taos and, when I made it to the bridge, I found these amazing clouds right down the center of the road above the mountains. I proceeded to shoot from the middle of the road and captured the rain shafts and clouds in the afternoon sunlight. Watching this unfold really gave me a feeling of otherworldly surrealism. I then put several ideas together in my mind to make the image really look as I felt when I shot the original image. The next image was taken with the fisheye lens of a cemetery here in New Mexico and the gravesite that I wanted to use as the beginning of the “angelic” travel into the clouds. The last exposure was done with a model and taken on a windy day with a bit of a long exposure to make her dress move, so it would appear as she was moving to the clouds down the long road. I blended the images together in Photoshop CC. Starting with the fisheye lens image, I worked on it so it would look like a sphere. I added the girl in the background of the sphere to give her the appearance as if she is moving down the road from the sphere toward the clouds and rain. The three images together became my vision of “The Angel.”
What Inspires Your Photography?
My photography is inspired by my life experiences—from the feelings inside me to the crazy thoughts I get while in bed when I can’t sleep at night. My daughter, who passed away five years ago, has been such an inspiration to me. It may sound funny to a lot of people, but she is here with me and guides me to the places I shoot. I feel her energy and thoughts. She has taken me to places I have never thought I would go with just a sudden thought of being in a certain place at a certain time. I believe it is in some way a divine intervention of sorts. The inspiration comes and is never ending. She used to call me when the sun would be setting and tell me, “Dad, go out and see the sunset. It is beautiful.” Those words are always in my mind. That is my inspiration.
How Do You Define Your Style?
I am not sure exactly what style I have. As I have mentioned, I love the work of Dali, Uelsmann and Adams, along with many other artists. I see myself as a part of all of them in my style in one way or another. I think my style as a landscape photographer follows along with Ansel Adams because I love the monochrome landscape. I am not even close to his skill level as a photographer, but like to think I am carrying on the tradition of the monochrome landscape today. The artistic photographic side to me might be described as “Photodalism” with a taste of Uelsmann. Perhaps “Photo Surrealism” might be a better term of the style I am thinking about.
Infrared-modified Sony a7R, AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm ƒ/2.8G ED lens, Yasuhara Madoka 180 7.3mm ƒ/4 fisheye, Gitzo tripod, Really Right Stuff ballhead
I have enjoyed photography since I was 12 when my grandfather bought me my first 35mm camera. I used to go out and shoot every chance I had throughout school and the 30+ years I worked in construction. After a construction accident four years ago, I decided that I needed to try and make photography my new career. Since I love photography and was so passionate about shooting, I figured it was worth a shot. I have a love for the southwest landscape and began focusing on making landscape photography my main goal as a photographer. I began to sell my work three years ago here in Santa Fe and have slowly grown into a small art business. During the last year or so, I have focused some of my attention to the second love in photography, which is the artistic side of pre-visualized multiple images. I have always loved the works of Dali and Jerry Uelsmann, so I began to expand my landscapes to incorporate people, objects and whatever my mind’s eye wanted to create. This really began to unleash my artistic freedom in photography and made me able to express myself from the perceptions, thoughts and feelings deep inside my soul. I continue my landscape and artistic imagery here in Santa Fe and love every minute of it. http://photo.net/photos/Meisterman