Photography Technique

Local photographer Jamie Young advocates appreciating nature’s beauty through art

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For the past 25 years, local Syracuse photographer Jamie Young has traveled worldwide, focusing his work on establishing a spiritual connection with the natural world. Mindful of the current climate crisis, Young hopes his landscape photography can evoke a sense of change in people.

“The ephemeral quality of light, the power of the water and wind, offer a sense of spiritual redemption and renewal even in this turbulent time,” Young said.

Young understands that for many, the process of maintaining the natural beauty of the world can seem challenging and daunting. However, he believes that his work is compelling and important for those same people. Young will get to further express these views at the Everson Museum of Art when his exhibition of panoramic photos, “Jamie Young: Decivilization,” opens on Jan. 28 as a part of the 2023 CNY Artists Initiative.

Panoramic photography is a photography technique that uses specialized equipment to capture images with horizontal fields of view. The use of this style is a key element of Young’s work that Garth Johnson, Everson’s curator of ceramics, wants to highlight in the exhibit.

One of Young’s favorite pieces that demonstrates this style features a waterfall in Iceland called Skogafoss. Young explained that the panorama of the waterfall at dusk is very abstract and mysterious, which is what Young had a strong reaction to when it was first developed.

The CNY Artist Initiative exhibition series is a regional program that builds upon the museum’s continued support of local artists in the central New York area, according to the Everson Museum website. The program is intended to showcase the talented and vibrant art community in this area, as well as the artists’ contributions to the overall cultural well-being of central New York.

Johnson said the museum believed Young’s work was perfect for the exhibition because his photography reflects the natural world and helps viewers get a stronger understanding of the beauty of nature.

“[Young’s] photographs of Icelandic and central New York landscapes immediately stood out,” Johnson said.

Throughout his travels, Young has witnessed first-hand how the natural world is being destroyed. He said that simultaneously, people are losing a true sense of the beauty of the Earth. He said that one way to help people appreciate the world more is to create art that shows off the best elements of nature.

Courtesy of Jamie Young

Young’s desire to present the best parts of the world to an audience is what led him to fall in love with landscape photography. He feels that there is a peacefulness that comes with looking at a still picture of the world.

“Landscapes trigger a visceral response in viewers, a sensory experience of calm in a fraught world,” Young said.

Steffi Chappell, assistant curator at the Everson, appreciates the opportunity to display the work of a talented photographer with such close ties to the community.

“It’s a different experience to see a landscape we know and love through the eyes of a skilled photographer, and I’m excited for Everson visitors to have this chance,” Chappell said.

Johnson said that Young’s ability to transport viewers with his work was one of the key factors in
Everson’s decision to display his photographs as part of the CNY Artists Initiative. Johnson explained that whether it is an image of fjords in Iceland or one of the local central New York landscapes, Young’s work is always able to take his viewer to a new location.

Johnson mentioned that his original name for the exhibit was “Scapes” because of Young’s landscape photography and the way that viewers can escape when looking at his photos.

Young expressed how excited he is to present his work to his hometown community and hopes that his message is felt by many across the Syracuse area. He has spent a significant amount of time photographing the natural world, hoping that audiences can learn to better appreciate the beauty of the place that they call home, Young said.

“I hope that viewers are temporarily transported out of the gray CNY winter weather and into something a bit more inspirational,” Johnson said.


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