on landscape The online magazine for landscape photographers

Flyover Country – More Than That

Gerald Rowles

Gerald Rowles

As a clinical neuropsychologist I was trained in both the physiological and interpretive aspects of human experience - the physical sensors and the interpretive sensation that we bring to our experiences. In more than thirty years of self-training in photography it struck me that clinical neuropsychology is an apt metaphor for the photographer and their camera.

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The middle part of the USA is often referred to as Flyover Country by east and west coast air travellers. It is also known as the Midwest and the Plains States. More often than not this vast agricultural area is discounted as having little to offer in an aesthetic sense - a kind of vast wasteland in that regard. These late fall and early winter images from various locations in my home state of Iowa are illustrative of what the Flyover folks are missing.

In the course of my working life, I have been gifted with the opportunities to live in many different parts of the United States. I loved Colorado, Arizona, Texas and the Southwest. However, earning a living that would support me and my photography in the iconic areas that held my affection was a bridge too far. Returning to life in Iowa became the object of my photographic affections. And Iowa has loved me back like no iconic location would. My personal style of photography is not so much a product of or equivalent to the famed photographers that are household names.

However, Ansel Adams was the first photographic icon that influenced my early ventures into the world of black and white film photography with the zone system, and the attendant first magic of the darkroom developer tray. The greatest encouragement for me comes from the world of paint and canvas. Grant Wood, Claude Monet, Paul Cézanne, Norman Rockwell, and Andrew Wyeth celebrated simple landscapes and nature’s gifts with realism and impression, colour and thoughtful composition, but most importantly - lighting. As a professional photographic artist pursuing my passion I have experienced the joy of having hundreds of my photos published in glossy local interest magazines, architectural projects, wall hangings, as well as receiving thousands of daily visitors to my websites. I want to encourage other photographers to express their personal, artful view of the world without needing to travel to exotic or iconic destinations.

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