Larry Brenden

24.01.2012 in22:48 in Landscapes -->


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Larry Brenden is a multi-faceted and talented man with diverse passions.  They have included: designing computer hardware; traveling to exotic, often remote places around the globe; teaching school-aged children about nature and Native American culture; driving sports cars on the country’s race tracks, and racing sailboats in San Francisco Bay.

Now, however, photography is his primary compulsion. “I am driven to photograph nature” he said. “It is a need as basic as breathing, and it is unrelenting.  I want to capture the natural world in all its moods and seek out its symmetry and grandeur.”

For the last decade, Larry has dedicated himself to doing just that, and is considered a disciplined, fine arts photographer.   He has tamped through forested mountains, spent time on the shores of oceans and the rivers that flow to them, hiked along steams, and walked through the dryness of deserts, and all to capture images of nature’s fleeting, wild, or intrinsically powerful places.  His photographs include the majesty of mountain ranges, the haunting light of ocean ice floes, and the endless dunes and sandstone cliffs of a seemingly empty desert.

Born and raised in the western part of Washington State, Larry developed a life-long love and curiosity of the outdoors. Often, during those formative years, he explored the woods and lakes of his environment deepening his understanding of the natural world.

As a young man, and for the first time, he experienced profound reverence and awe for untouched wilderness while rafting the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon.  This life changing event left him with a hunger to see other remote, and primeval lands, and from that time on he sought out the wilds.  He worked with a camera, trying to reproduce the splendor of the areas he explored, but he felt the photos didn’t truly convey the magic of those places.

It was only after Mr. Brenden took an early retirement from computer design that he got serious about photography as an art form. He saw an exhibit of Robert Glenn Ketchum’s photographs that made a deep and lasting impression. He became one of the exhibit’s docents.   The impact of those images led him to take Ketchum’s workshops at the Albion River Inn in Albion, California.  Ketchum’s influence and instruction helped transform Mr. Brenden’s way of seeing.  “It opened it up” he said.  “The workshops taught me to see different qualities in light, form and color. Even now, I’m continually expanding my way of seeing.”

Seeking to refine his talents even more, Larry attended the Rocky Mountain School of Photography’s Summer and Digital Intensive program; a stringent four-month, twenty-four-hour a day, seven-day a week course. That course of study taught him technical knowledge which further honed his skills.

As a former design engineer in the computer industry, he was able to appreciate first, the intricacies of a medium-format film camera and later, the particularities of digital cameras and image reproduction. His drive for perfection and patience with precise detail were assets as he refined image composition, and digital printing. As his knowledge of photography in all its nuances deepened, he never forgot that his uppermost aim was to be true to the image he first saw.

Just as Robert Ketchum helped transformed Larry’s way of seeing, a distinguished group of artists and teachers helped refined his way of printing.  “I was never satisfied with the way others did my printing” says Mr. Brenden. “So I took classes and workshops from men such as Charles Cramer, John Paul Caponigro, Mac Holbert, Bill Atkinson, and Galen Rowell. The amount of knowledge I was exposed to by these men was phenomenal.”

Larry continues to refine and polish methods of fine art digital printing.  Now, with the revolution in inkjet printing technology, which includes a large color gamut with archival papers and inks, he is able to create compelling fine-art photographs in his own digital printing lab.

Today, Mr. Brenden is considered a serious and well received Landscape Photographer.  His incredible images have earned critical acclaim and have been shown in numerous fine art galleries which have included: Mountain Light, Bishop, CA; Appel Gallery, Sacramento, CA; View Point Gallery, Sacramento, CA; Old Town Gallery, Auburn, CA; The Albion River Inn, Albion, CA; and in a permanent display in the offices of the California State Fair, Sacramento, CA.   His work can be found in both public and private collections.