Inside this issue
Dale King – Portrait of a Photographer
A passion for local haunts reveals the subtle changes through the seasons
Matt Payne is a landscape photographer and mountain climber from Durango, Colorado. He’s the host of the weekly landscape photography podcast, “F-Stop Collaborate and Listen,” co-founder of the Nature First Photography Alliance, and co-founder of the Natural Landscape Photography Awards. He lives with his wife, Angela, his son Quinn, and his two cats, Juju and Chara.
For the sixth iteration of this column, I decided to focus on the artwork of a photographer that most people (including me until quite recently) have never heard of before – Dale King. Dale King’s photography was recommended to me by On Landscape reader Laura Zirino (thanks Laura).
Upon visiting his Flickr page where he features his work, I was immediately struck by the way he photographs the area he lives near in North Carolina in such an intimate and connective fashion. Each of his images feels like they were made by the same photographer, which may sound silly; however, I find that consistency in a photographer’s work is actually quite rare these days. I was also very impressed with the way in which Dale photographs his home throughout every single season of the year, highlighting both subtle and extreme differences throughout each season. I believe that his approach to photographing close to home has some incredible advantages as well.
Have you ever noticed that when you look at the work of some photographers, you instantly know that they have a connection to a place as an artist? I cannot totally put my finger on how or why this happens to me when viewing some photographers’ work – either your images have this quality, or they do not. In the case of Dale’s artwork, I instantly knew that he was passionate and deeply connected to the places he photographs. Perhaps it is the way in which he frames up smaller scenes to include just enough subject matter to tell a story about the landscape, or to showcase intricate details of leaves, plants, and other foliage. Either way, I found his work to tell the story of North Carolina succinctly and effectively through his lenses in a way that instantly evokes comfort, solitude, and a sense of belonging. Even in his winter photography (which I am famously avoidant of as someone who dislikes being cold a great deal), I feel like looking at his photographs invites me to stroll into those scenes and experience them in an oddly familiar and comfortable way.