Photographer Drew Doggett travels 14,000 miles through America’s West to document 21 State and National Parks on the National Park Service’s 100th Year Anniversary.
The images in this series were taken on a two-month journey in a 23-foot Airstream trailer, traveling over 14,000 miles, and visiting 21 state and national parks. This travel set-up, as well as careful lens and equipment choices provided by sponsors Leica and Hasselblad, provided an intimacy and kinship with the landscape evident throughout the images. Featuring 41 new photographs culled from our national and state park systems including Yosemite, Grand Teton and Olympic, this series’ release coincides with the National Parks System 100th anniversary. Taking its cue from early landscape photographers like Ansel Adams, as well as the contemporary sensitivities of Bernd and Hilla Becher’s photographs of disappearing architecture, this body of work is Drew’s most conceptually-inclined yet.
In particular, Drew’s chosen aesthetic for this series was inspired by the textures of the sepia colorations and the unrivaled tonal range of platinum/palladium prints, a process often used to capture similar subject matter in historical photography. Through using Hasselblad’s H5D-50c medium format camera, as well as the Leica M Monochrom camera, Drew was able to bring the same level of quality, detail and flexibility he first learned to master when working in portrait and fashion photography. The carefully measured and calculated capturing of these vignettes pays homage to his time working in these other disciplines; specifically the precision and know-how of unlocking a latent moment. These are skills Drew has honed since the nascent stages of his career, used here to photograph the Park’s system’s intricate landscape while illuminating the details.
Didactic elements are abound in this series, all of which are captured through Drew’s astute sense of composition and knack for finding conversation amongst natural structures and settings. Images like Valley Reflected (2015), taken in Yosemite National Park, CA, feature an exchange between the serenity of the water and the harsh rock of the valley abruptly jutting into the skyline and looming over the calm water below as a stark contrast to its peacefulness. Many of the images in Shadow’s Alight also have a seductive quality enabled by the form and textures of the black and white palette, producing a subtle sense of the human body in the reading of certain images. Innocent Waters (2015), for example, taken in Columbia River Gorge, OR, features a velvety, seemingly idealized waterfall – almost a projection of what an eden for a lover’s tryst could look like.
Drew’s practice has always involved documenting hard-to-reach locales for the sake of preserving them on camera, Shadows Alight honors an ecosystem that can’t speak for itself as well as uses his technical know-how to open new opportunities for viewing carefully-selected scenes from the Parks System.
Drew Doggett (b. 1984, Maryland) lives and works in Charleston, South Carolina. From 2006-2012 he worked under world-renowned fashion photographers like Mark Seliger (his former mentor), Steven Klein, Craig McDean and more. Drew then left NY to travel to the Himalayas, where he realized he could combine his love of photography with his passion for travel and exploring hard-to-reach locales and telling stories – all while utilizing the discipline and skills he learned working in NYC. Since then, Drew has embarked on journeys across the globe. His work can be found in public and private collections globally, notably the Smithsonian African Art Museum (DC). He is also the founder of a non-profit, Art Cares, which donates proceeds from publications and print sales to fund local charity efforts in indigenous areas. He has also been featured in many trade publications and most recently interviewed in Photographer Magazine. Photographer Drew Doggett travels 14,000 miles through America’s West to document 21 State and National Parks on the National Park Service’s 100th Year Anniversary.