William Gillis


Profile:


Having grown up in Central Minnesota, my parents insisted I receive a Liberal Arts education. That was probably the best advice I ever received. I earned a BA degree in American History and Secondary Education from the University of Minnesota Morris. A Liberal education allowed me to pursue many different endeavors. Generally all  were successful but a few bumpy roads altered life as I made this trip known as human experience. Life involved a wide variety of small business and artistic adventures. A trumpeter since 4th grade, music allowed me to participate in various band programs ie: U of M Morris Concert Band, 7 years with the 451st US Army band at Fort Snelling Mn., a charter member and cornetist with the Sheldon Theatre Brass Band of Red Wing Mn for the past 25 years. Yet during this time sold pharmaceuticals, (legal kind), became a pork producer, musical instrument repair instructor, Lionel toy train dealer/musical instrument repair shop owner and now with the advent of digital photography , a nature photographer. Life experiences have influenced my vision of the world through the camera lens. Who says a Liberal Arts education is not worth it in today's world?


Artist Statement

I credit my entire photographic endeavor to my best friend and partner - my wife Linda, without her encouragement and support this adventure would not have been possible.

Come with me and view the natural world through my camera lens. My intent is to capture those images that inspire us for only a millisecond yet remain a snapshot in our collective unconscious. My work preserves those moments for further enjoyment.

Most of my work is macro (close-up) photography. Macro photography makes small things large. This forces the viewer to look for tiny treasures in nature that are often overlooked for the epic landscapes ending up on postcards and calenders. It enlarges life from its tiniest form allowing your soul to delight in wondrous discovery - a tiny colorful mushroom, a perfect leaf, bright green luxurious moss that could only attract the fairies in our dreams...and then to capture it in the lens of the camera is even better. My macro photography invites you to look away from the familiar and see what was all ready there. Vibrant colors in sweeping landscapes and flora portraits round out my photographic vision. By shooting multiple exposures combined with tasteful touches of HDR (high dynamic range) I can achieve an overall artistic expression of how I experienced and visualized the scene.

Any person can take pictures. With the advent of computers and the rapid advance of digital photographic equipment most photographs are never seen but by the person importing them on a machine. As a visual medium artist I find that to be unsatisfying.The print brings the image to life and can be displayed for all to enjoy.The camera is only a device to capture the scene. After image capture the real work begins, processing the image for contrast ,brightness, detail and removal  any unwanted and distracting elements to improve the image. I combine multiple images taken at different exposures taking advantage of the full dynamic range in the scene.

Using High Dynamic Range (HDR) allows me to produce an image full of life and emotion. Ansel Adams spent many hours and days in the darkroom manipulating his negatives to get the results he visualized.It is no different today in my digital darkroom.I have participated in the art community primarily as a musician. As a self taught  photographer I have attended many workshops covering Macro/Closeup, Landscape and Winter photography from known professionals in their respective fields.

Minnesota is my photographic playground with its diverse environment - from the prairies of Southwestern MN, the bluff country along the Mississippi, through the hardwood forests to the lure of "Gitchi Gummi" (Big Water Lake Superior) plus the encompassing beauty of the Northern wilderness and North Shore. I hope you enjoy my vision.

Thank You
William Gillis