Whitney at Dawn 16"x 24", Dye Sub Aluminum print $ 450 plus shipping
It is the wilderness where I feel most at happy, alive, present, and at peace. When I sleep under the majestic crags and hike along the ancients, I feel whole; I've come home. (This photo is from the hike up to Mount Whitney from Guitar Lake on the West side of the peak. We began the hike with headlamps, and watched the dawn light catch the highest peaks and which was reflected in lakes a thousand feet below us)
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Misha began photography when he was about eleven years old with an all manual viewfinder camera his father gave him. After some darkroom experience at a summer camp, he was hooked. Misha has since carried photography throughout his life, both as a hobby and as a profession. He has always been drawn towards capturing his feelings about the natural world in an image: “That’s when you know you have a successful image. The person looking at your work can feel how you, the photographer, felt about the subject”. From early experiments with a homemade pinhole camera, to rolling his own film and working in a darkroom, Misha later went on to take some classes with well known Life photographer Mark Kaufman. He has worked as a wedding photographer for a short time, but always came back to nature and travel photography as his main love.
Misha has, since his childhood, been interested in the sciences. The thing he loves about the medium of photography is the blending of the technical with the creative. It’s great to have an art which balances the use of both sides of the brain. Misha’s photography is but one endeavor of his. He has been a naturalist, physics teacher, Biodynamic farmer, and landscaper. Since the mid 90’s, Misha has been building natural homes of earth and straw. These type of homes are much like photography in that they combine the technical side of construction with creativity and artistic details. He has been actively working to legitimize earthen construction and is working with code officials and engineers to write a code for cob (monolithic adobe) construction. Other hobbies include playing sitar, brewing beer, backpacking and cycling, and gardening. He sat on the board of the non-profit Focus, and also the Cob Research Institute, and is active in the sustainability movement, teaching classes on permaculture. Heavily influenced by nature photographers and environmentalists Ansel Adams and Galen Rowell: “If my work inspires people to work towards the preservation of Nature, then I was a success,” he says.
Earnest Haas has said that every photographer has a compositional form, which s/he uses either consciously or unconsciously, such as a circle, or a lemniscate. Often, the photographer doesn’t even realize they use that form until they look back at many years of images and find it hidden in so many of them. If you look carefully, you’ll find Misha’s favorite compositional form, the “S” shape in the large number of his images. Recently, he has been working more with abstracts, looking for strong forms, like the “s”, and texture, but images that still retain mystery and intimacy. He uses an ultra-wide angle lens for most of his nature studies. The wide angle allows for intimate close-ups of interesting foreground elements and yet allow for contrasts with background scenes. The wide angle makes it possible with the extreme depth of field, which keeps all the elements in focus.