After a successful career as a hi-tech entrepreneur, I am able to focus all of my energy on two of my lifelong passions, remote wilderness areas and photography. While volunteering in the western part of Grand Canyon National Park, I fell in love with the area and moved from Austin, Texas to Kanab in the heart of the southern Utah red rock country where I continue to spend vast amounts of time in the backcountry as a volunteer backcountry ranger and member of search and rescue.

In addition to the landscapes of the American desert southwest, my passion has driven me to make several trips over the past decade to the polar regions, where I developed a deep appreciation of and connection with the frozen landscape and enigmatic icebergs.

Many wonderful words have been written about the profound beauty of these areas but they all fall well short of describing my deep emotional connection. Words can often be an unnecessary and obscuring layer imposing the writer’s interpretation on the reader. In my work, I want nature to communicate directly with the viewer revealing deeper truths beyond the undeniably beautiful façade.

“[Ansel Adams believed] an artist must go beyond obvious reality to communicate the full power of a scene.” —Alinder, Mary Street. Ansel Adams. Bloomsbury Publishing. Kindle Edition.

In order to achieve my vision, I have spent a lifetime learning the craft of photography. Though my images are ‘straight’ in the sense the objects are real and I don’t generally composite, I have learned to use expressionist techniques to emphasize mood and emotion. Mastery of the craft is also necessary for me to produce large format, fine art prints which, to me, are the culmination of being a photographer.

Photograph by Walt Thirion

Artist Statement

There is something about the power of nature to leave us awestruck. Overwhelmed by its grandeur, the ability of Earth to produce inconceivable colors, and extraordinary organic forms, we are astounded by the majesty of the natural world. As an artist, how do we bring that to a viewer in a photograph?

We show them that reality is not equivalent to fact. It is with this in mind that my work actively subverts the ideas and preconceptions perpetuated by contemporary gallerists today that landscape photography is about creating a ‘pretty’ scene. In rejecting these notions, my work becomes a conduit for my subjects to find their own voice. I allow myself to become immersed in nature, experiencing it in a way that allows an authentic connection with the earth to translate into my photographs.  

Through a combination of aesthetic, scientific, and deeply personal approaches, my photographic practice takes on the act of intensively seeing and exposing us to unforeseen realities that exist within our world.

Photograph by Walt Thirion
Photograph by Walt Thirion