About Susan Holt
Passion drives artistry and for me that passion is fueled by wild landscapes and awe-inspiring natural features that present themselves in the great outdoors. It sees me waking at crazy hours, driving half-way across the country, and putting myself in situations that threaten my life to capture photographs in their raw and pure beauty.
I am largely self-taught, apart from a commercial photography class in college. Thriving on a thirst for knowledge and improvement by studying the composition and techniques of others and adapting them to my own creative instincts. While I read constantly about photography techniques and skills, there is no substitute for practice, and getting out there to shoot and learn from my mistakes has been integral to my development as a photographer. But it’s not just about finding a spot and shooting - the planning that goes into executing captivating landscape images surprises most. I study topographical maps and Google Earth, I research the expected conditions and how they vary between seasons, and I religiously follow weather apps to time my shoots with atmospheric skies. Once in the field I scout for the perfect location and composition, and monitor the light as it transforms the scene in front of me with every changing second - perhaps the most crucial element to my images. It is about patience and resilience - two things I am quickly learning as I journey further into my career as a landscape photographer.
I am inspired by the entrancing images of David Muench, cleverly leading the viewer’s eye from foreground elements into expansive backgrounds, and the intimate landscape portraits of Eliot Porter that went on to inspire so many photographers in his path. I am also influenced by the lavish, romantic-style paintings of artist, Albert Bierstadt, who created sweeping American West landscapes with glowing, atmospheric light. But I am indebted to the guidance of my mentor David Thompson, without whom I would not be the photographer I am today. ‘Never stop learning’ is a phrase that resonates with me daily as my artistry slowly evolves and transforms. I seek to share this with the outside world through my website and travel blog, allowing visitors to follow me on my adventures and understand the ‘behind-the-scenes’ of adventure landscape photography. Through my exhibited work and prints I invite people to share in the grand landscapes and intimate scenes that emerge from my work, while my workshops allow emerging photographers an insight into the techniques I use, both in the field and in post-production.
Ansel Adams once said ‘You don’t take a photograph, you make it’ and through my work and website, I invite you to be a part of this experience and the adventures of image-making with me.