Rik Paul Photography

Wondrous moments, frozen in time.

A young girl--perhaps a middle-schooler--was browsing my latest exhibit. She had already asked me several questions that struck me as unusually eloquent for someone so young. After quietly studying several prints, she thoughtfully turned to me and asked, “What do you feel when you shoot pictures?” Of the hundreds of questions I’ve been asked about my photography, this one really made me stop and think.

After several moments of introspection, I said, “When I’m out with my camera, I’m totally in the moment. There’s no thought of the stress, nagging problems, and to-do lists of normal life. It’s just me and the fleeting scene in front of me. And the hope that my experience and technical skills will let me capture it in a way that will let others share that same feeling of awe.”

My background

That’s probably all you really need to know about me. But my love of photography goes back to my college days, where I switched from a major in graphic design to photography and film because I found it to be a more inspiring way to connect with the world around me. Since then I have shot professionally for national magazines and websites--including the NY Times, Motor Trend, and many others--with subjects ranging from travel and adventure to cars and nifty products. But my first love has always been the fine-art, travel, and nature-oriented photography that I’ve posted on this website and has been the focus of my exhibits.

The world is constantly changing--the light, the weather, the movement of nature--from season to season, hour to hour, and even minute to minute. A scene that stops me in my tracks and fills me with wonder may only last a few seconds--whether it’s the simple play of evening light on lakeside grasses, the stark outlines of leafless trees standing strong in a winter storm, or the honking frenzy of Canadian geese splashing across the water while taking to the air. And “capturing” that image and being able to share it with others is what makes all of the effort and long hours worth it.

“Photographic paintings?”

During my exhibits, I sometimes get asked whether my images are photographs or paintings. At first I was surprised by this. But in a way, I guess they’re both, and now I often think of many of them as “photographic paintings”. That’s because while the original digital images captured in my camera provide a strong starting point, I typically spend hours working with each on the computer--fine-tuning the composition, colors, tones, and overall look, as a painter would--until the final work recaptures the complex allure that I saw in my minds-eye when I pressed the shutter release.

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