Ron Rosenstock, a fine-art photographer based in Massachusetts, will be awarded NANPA’s 2021 Fine Art in Nature Photography Award during the Nature Photography Virtual Summit April 29-30. His photos have been shown in exhibits and galleries across the globe and his works are in the permanent collections of the Fogg Museum of Art at Harvard University and the International Center of Photography in New York, among many others. He’s written six books and many articles on photography, taught photography at Clark University for thirty years, and has more than fifty years of experience as a photo-tour leader. Ron has served on the NANPA board and is a long-time member.
After studying under Minor White and Paul Caponigro, Ron went on to get an M.A. in photography from Goddard College. By then, his photographs had already been in exhibits, he was a published writer, and had led photo tours. He’s photographed with everything from a big view camera to today’s digital marvels.
His interest in photography began early but, “when I was 17 years old, a friend of mine talked me into going to New York City to the Museum of Modern Art to see an exhibit by Edward Weston. I lived on Long Island and it wasn’t that difficult to go by bus and subway into the city. Up until that day I thought I knew what photography was about. Talk about a life changing experience! I was brought into a different reality from what I had always assumed was reality. Weston’s work stirred something very deep inside me that changed the course of my life. To this day, sixty years later, I seek the same deep feeling in my own work as I felt back in 1961 when viewing Weston’s work.”
That wasn’t the only transformative moment early in his life. “In 1971 Minor White offered me my first one-person exhibit in his photography gallery at M.I.T. My reaction to that exhibit was so strong, I was moved to dedicate my life to helping others achieve the same sense of achievement and affirmation. What Minor White did for me, I have tried to do for countless numbers of people as a teacher of photography.”
When he looks towards the future, Ron is optimistic. “After fifty years of dark room work, I have moved into the new world of digital photography. This medium has allowed many more people to follow their creative needs. Fine art nature photography has exploded! Young and old alike are discovering the joys of communing with nature. I believe this will expand well into the future and have a great effect on the future of our world. Fine art photography teaches respect for the land.”
The community of nature photographers has also been important to him, from his early correspondence with Ansel Adams and work with White and Caponigro, through his teaching, workshops, and involvement with NANPA. “Working creatively within a community opens far more doors than working alone! Because of NANPA I have made numerous life-long friendships. I have had opportunities, to both learn and teach, that never would have otherwise happened. I believe our NANPA community has made our world a better place to live in. Just to think of how many young people we have helped, how their experience will shape their lives and the world.”
While the coronavirus pandemic put a halt to travel for most of the past year, Ron’s excited about hitting the road again. “I have many destinations planned for the future, places I’ve been to but always make new visual discoveries: Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Greenland, Scotland, Santorini, New Zealand and Vinalhaven, Maine. Also, in 2022 I hope to bring small groups of photographers to a few new destinations as well: The Faroe Islands in May and northern England in October.”
Ron says, “I am keenly aware of the beauty that surrounds us and I wish to share that beauty with as many people as possible. It is the spirit of that beauty that speaks to me. That silent voice speaks to all of us. My life’s work is to teach people how to listen to it.”
About the Award
The Fine Art in Nature Photography Award is given to a fine art nature photographer whose work consistently demonstrates a “commitment to achieving a positive impact upon nature photography through the creation of fine art imagery; and a dedication to educate/instruct other nature photographers about fine art nature photography techniques.” The awardee’s work must demonstrate mastery of the art and craft of photography and his or her photos should “instill in others an appreciation for fine art nature photography and/or inspires others to support the advancement of the fine art nature photography industry.”