Today I would like to share with you an interview with an outstanding fine art photographer by the name of Gary Hamburgh. Before we get into the interview, however, let me briefly introduce Gary to you.I have known Gary and his family on a personal level for about 15 years. His son and I played golf together through junior leagues, high school and college, where Gary was our faithful coach. Over the past 5 years, Gary and I have grown closer as friends due to our similar passion for photography. We have gone on many photo shoots around the Northwest and attended a few workshops together. Gary has an extraordinary eye for shapes, lines, color, texture and other forms of composition within the camera. His ability to see the shot before he captures it truly amazes me.Gary Hamburgh taught at Walla Walla College (now Walla Walla University) from 1972-2006. His formal education includes a Masters Degree from Fresno State University and a PhD. from the University of Oregon in Physical Education. He was the Department Chair of Health and Physical Education at Walla Walla College for twenty-four years. In addition he served for fifteen years as the men’s head basketball coach and six years as the head coach for men’s and women’s golf. Gary has retired from teaching and is devoting his full time to photography.Gary became interested in digital photography in 2003 and has studied under Scott Bourne at the Olympic Mountain School of Photography in Gig Harbor, Washington. In addition he has developed his skills by attending numerous workshops and seminars provided by Art Wolfe, John Shaw, Rick Sammon, Darrell Gulin, and Rick Holt. He is also a member of the North American Nature Photography Association.Currently, he considers rural landscapes in the Palouse region of eastern Washington to be his favorite subject to photograph. His photos emphasize the many barns, colors and textures that are present in that area. Photography has allowed him to see the world as a beautiful and exciting canvas. He hopes to capture and share images so that others may enjoy the beauty he experiences in this region. His work can be seen at Parklane Gallery in Kirkland, The Gallery on Bainbridge Island, and the Fenton-Stahl Gallery in Walla Walla.Interview with Gary HamburghHow long have you been doing photography professionally? What propelled you from your previous career into this one?I have been selling images for about 4 years in galleries and on my website. I retired from my previous job in July of 2006, and since, have been pursuing photography professionally on a full time basis.Did you start shooting film or digital? If digital, what 2 to 3 features make it worth never going back?I started shooting digital. As I started taking images about 5 years ago, the person that gave me some initial instruction suggested I shoot digital and I followed that advice. I am glad I did and am happy not to have made the switch from film. I enjoy the immediate feedback with digital and the opportunity to work with the images on my own computer rather than relying on a lab for development.Have you attended any photography workshops or taken private lessons? If so, what workshops—lead by which professional photographers—would you recommend, to inspiring or even professional photographers out there?I consider Scott Bourne, who was the director of the Olympic Mountain School of Photography in Gig Harbor, Washington, to be my first and main mentor that got me started in photography. I have worked with him on photo shoots many times, attended various workshops and even had some private lessons from him. He has taught me a considerable amount in Photoshop and Aperture, as well as been a valuable resource in marketing and sales techniques. Scott has given me tremendous help and encouragement over the last few years.Other people who have influenced me through their workshops are: Art Wolfe, Darrel Gulin, Rick Holt, John Shaw and many others. I definitely would recommend, to amateurs and professionals alike, to attend workshops so they can learn and share ideas with some of the experts in the field.What do you find challenging about landscape & wildlife photography? Do you just aim and shoot the scenery or does the quality of light matter?I find that landscapes are definitely my favorite subject to shoot. I find I take a more planned approach to making images, as I improve as a photographer. The first thing that was helpful to me was when I learned to see as the camera sees. We humans, tend to filter out the bad light, shadows and extraneous information. But the camera still sees all of this. The more I shoot, the more I try to simplify the photo.I do research in areas of interest and try to be there when the best conditions will be available, including the optimum light. I have found it is much easier to get it right in the camera as opposed to some photographers who feel they can fix it in Photoshop or another software program after-the-fact. Also, slowing down, shooting on a tripod and many times naming the image as I shoot it, have been helpful to me. What areas of photography do you enjoy the most? What regions do you enjoy shooting?I enjoy capturing landscapes the most. It is great being there witnessing the beauty and then challenging myself to create an image that will allow others to enjoy what I am experiencing. I find beauty almost everywhere I go, so each region is fun to photograph. My favorite however is the Palouse region. That was my home for 35 years so I feel I know that area of the country fairly well. The farmers are the true artists that create the beauty in the Palouse and my assignment is to capture and share that beauty.Has any of your photography work been published in printed materials or on the web? What types of publications are you hoping to target in coming years?I have had a few images published in journals and on the web, but most of my work and where I try to market is on my website and art gallery sales. I am looking into getting involved in stock photography as well as items like postcards and calendars.
Is there a website where visitors can see more of your photography? Is your fine art photography displayed in any galleries?
You can view my work on my website at, GaryHamburghPhotography.com. My fine art photography prints can be viewed at Fenton-Stahl Gallery and Darrah’s Framing in Walla Walla, WA; at The Gallery on Bainbridge Island as well as in businesses through their rental program; and current work hanging at Parklane Gallery in Kirkland as well as on their website.
Future exhibits featuring my photography will take place in 2008 at: the Oasis Gallery in Seattle, April–July, and at Evergreen Hospital in Kirkland, May–July. Additionally, I am the official photographer for Cougar Mountain Zoo in Issaquah, WA. My work can be seen on cards in the zoo’s gift shop as well as fine art in their gallery.
Do you currently offer photography workshops?
Currently, I do not offer workshops, but I would like to be involved and pursue this type of project in the future.
How may people contact you if they are interested in purchasing your fine art work or hiring you for events or other custom projects?
Gary, thank you very much for your time and for sharing with everyone your passion for photography. See more of Gary’s photography via the following sites:
Interviewed by: Brian Hernandez, Owner of Vizual Graphix
Read more articles by Brian on his tumblr blog: Vizualog
View Brian’s Fine Art Photography Gallery