Cornerstone’s Artist of the Month for August 2017
Below is a recent Q&A with Wendy Palmer.
Tell us briefly about your background & how you got started in your medium.
A resident of the Harrisburg area for the past 30 years, photographer Wendy Palmer is a native of Cape Town, South Africa. Here she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in physiotherapy, and a Medical Honors degree in sport science from the University of Cape Town.
In the United States, after the birth of their second son, Wendy completed an Associate Degree in photography at the Harrisburg Area Community College while continuing to work as a physical therapist.
Today she primarily focuses on photography. This is her passion!
How does your medium inform your viewpoint? Or what do you like most about your medium?
Photography is a means of telling a story with an image/images. It is about being able to evoke an emotional response to one’s images, and about sharing one’s passion! To be out in nature, capturing the magical first and last light and incredible vistas, is what drives me to keep exploring and sharing. In my work with people it is being able to find their essence and to capture meaningful moments. These can sometime be difficult moments as experienced while working on a project with a woman who underwent bilateral mastectomies. Together she and I have created a traveling exhibit of our work: my images and her poetry, which depicts her journey. The intention being to raise awareness and bring hope to others.
More information about our project is available on the website: Edges-of-Light.org
Who or what have been your artistic inspirations?
My first landscape photography workshop in 2002 through Santa Fe Workshops, “Seeing the Light” with world-renowned photographer, Jack Dykinga, was the awakening of my passion for landscape photograph, and the desire to keep searching for the light. There is magic that happens when one hikes in the dark and then watches as the sun rays transform the landscape in a golden glow.
I continue to be inspired by top notch photographers. My most recent workshop through the Pacific Northwest Art School was with Sam Abell on Whidbey Island. He has a clean direct way of looking at things and completely shook up the way I approach a photo shoot. Each of the workshops gives one a new slant and way of looking and approaching one’s work. Santa Fe Workshops, Maine Media and the Pacific Northwest Art School all run workshops for small groups and are ideal for learning. It’s also the connection with other students that fosters discussion and sharing.
Looking at other photographer’s work is also invaluable. Photographers that immediately come to mind are Henri Cartier Bresson for capturing the candid photographical “decisive moment”, Edward Weston for his mastery of form and figure, and Elliot Erwitt for capturing candid absurd situations, to name but a few.
Do You Have a Favorite Piece in Your Portfolio?
It was so hard to make this decision, but I would probably say it’s this one from Stovepipe Wells, Death Valley National Park.
What would be your advice to artists just starting out in your medium?
Read and learn. Never stop being curious and keep challenging yourself. Photography is a process and it keeps evolving. Don’t be shy to talk to other photographers. Know your equipment. Ask for critiques. Shoot often.