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Patrick Ellis


Landscapes, abstractions, & some other photography

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     I’ve long drawn inspiration from the Depression-era Group f/64 photographers and their ethos of “straight” or “pure” photography.

     With the advent of powerful digital editing tools, I thus held back from their use, as I was bothered by the too-often cheesy exaggeration they encouraged. I gradually came around to using them to lightly tweak sharpness or color balance, but only in service of presenting a straight shot.

     Then I took a phone shot through a grimy airliner window of western Nebraska croplands amid tortured ridgelines. I loved the abstract quilt feel of it, but it was washed-out, fuzzy, low resolution, and utterly hopeless. There was no way I could keep it a straight shot, but I played with it to see what I could pull out. By the time I was done it had become a painterly abstract, and despite my attitudes, I absolutely loved it.

     While I continue to do straight shots, often inspired by Edward Weston’s classic California landscapes, I now also pursue abstract and painterly pieces, with digital manipulation and selective cropping to remove context and present a mystery to the viewer.

     I’ve little formal training in photography and only worked in photography in my late teens as a darkroom tech for a giftware catalog. I am now inspired and learning from the many very talented local photographers I’ve come to know and admire since moving to Gualala. 

Directions to Studio 17 at 36000 S. Hwy 1, Gualala. West side of Highway 1, half mile north of St. Orres at mile marker 3.83, property just north of Serenisea.

Studio Tour Hours:

August 27-28 and September 3-4
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

My studio will be closed Labor Day Monday

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