Timothy Wolcott: An American Original

8. Soul of Yosemite jetset

In today’s dynamic art scene, the word “great” is tossed around all too frequently.  It is refreshing to see the works of an accomplished artist who actually deserves the adjective. Timothy Wolcott, the landscape photographer whose large format works reside in The Smithsonian Museum, The Guggenheim and Microsoft’s corporate collection, is a favorite of Presidents, sports figures, environmentalists and, yes, Jetset Magazine collectors.

Mr. Wolcott modestly admits to possessing an uncanny ability to turn nature’s majesty and fleeting moments into powerful images. About the resulting slow burn and emotional reaction to nature’s iconic material, he says, “I am simply the vehicle through which landscape is edited and survives.”

Granted, there have been landscape photographers before him, Ansel Adams being, perhaps, the best loved and someone who Tim Wolcott reveres and learned from. But it takes a particularly strong commitment to one’s art to walk the land for weeks at a time or face an oncoming cyclonic storm in order visualize and then capture the final frame.

Colored by the seasons, transformed by the winds, landscapes can be as ephemeral as the clouds in “Soul of Yosemite” and as delicate as the wild Dogwood petals in “Spring of Enchantment.” Quixotic and changing, they are extremely difficult to reproduce in a way that resonates with authenticity.

Unlike studio photography where the variables of light, shadows and wind are controlled to within a fraction of their being, when nature is the studio, the photographer’s control is limited to his mastery of the equipment. Wolcott is on top of the Phase One system that features the Schneider Kreuznach leaf shutter lens. Still, technique and timing are critical to the success of the moment. All in a day’s work is a simian-like faculty tottering atop ladders and rock ledges, which is the only way to gain perspective for a work like “A Day in Aspen” that encompasses river, foothills and snowcapped peaks. He also has a proclivity for crouching under what is literally the weight of the world, as he did for “Angel Heart”, an avant-garde take on a Painted Desert landmark.

12. Angel's Heart jetset

Perhaps the complications of technique and prowess associated with the taming of nature onto a 50” X 60” format is one reason many photographers turn to digital enhancements. After all, even shooting rapid-fire sequences with automatic settings doesn’t guarantee the depth of field that is the hallmark of a Wolcott print. Tim Wolcott disdains that approach. The images that appear on a Wolcott canvas, which is specially treated paper designed for optimal saturation by environmentally friendly pigment, are virgin. Whether it’s the overwhelming “Parthenon” iceberg that survived for eons as if waiting to be captured by Tim Wolcott’s camera before shattering into a million melting pieces or “Nature’s Garden”, a still that captures the motion of falling water, each photograph is free of digital manipulation.

Don’t get me wrong. Tim Wolcott doesn’t eschew technology. In fact he is a technological genius, a trait that may have been passed down in his DNA from Alexander Wolcott, the relative who in 1839 invented the first camera utilizing the daguerreian process. Tim has perfected both an environmentally friendly pigment process and a coating substance that negates the need for glass. Together, the processes assure the primacy of color, deflecting fading for an estimated two-hundred-fifty years, and an unprecedented visual intimacy with the image itself.

1. Parthenon jetset

The accolades given Tim Wolcott’s work are not simply the opinion of this writer. He has twice been named The Smithsonian Institution’s “World’s Best Landscaper Photographer”. When asked about his most challenging work, Wolcott said without hesitation, “The Parthenon.” It is a study in blue and white of a massive calved berg adrift in the Antarctic wilderness of Pleneau Bay. Against the rocking of a small rubber Zodiac, Mr. Wolcott balanced his Phase One and set his F-stops manually, as usual.  The result is a nothing short of breathtaking.

At the request of Jetset Magazine editors, Mr. Wolcott has selected a portfolio of twelve of his most captivating images to be offered in a never before released numbered edition and sizes exclusively to Jetset Magazine readers. Each of these signature works will be printed in a limited edition offering of only fifteen hand-signed prints. Several of the photographs have garnered major awards including Greatest Landscape Photographer in the World. “These are the best of my abilities” he explained. The selection includes some previously un-released images from Mr. Wolcott’s private collection.

Many of Tim’s photographic experiences are documented in his book “Along the Water’s Edge”, a collection of over 77 powerful images. In 2010, to commemorate the 175th anniversary of Texas independence, Wolcott was commissioned to photograph a series of personally selected images for the book entitled – “For the Love of Texas”. With an introduction by President George H. W. Bush and a forward by then governor Rick Perry, the book is a testament to the spirit and beauty of Texas. Both books are available at www.wolcottgallery.com


Spring Of Enchantment

Once in awhile stands a magical place that is so beautiful that it can only be
captured in its glory. Located in the Mt. Shasta wilderness is such a place. If you
are willing to hike into the forest before the sun rises, when the spring has sprung
eternal, the waterfalls flow with such elegance that you believe that you are in
paradise.

Nearly 100 years ago the Great Bambino while on his way out to California for
exhibition game stopped the train so he could experience the serenity and true
beauty.

Size – Jetset Price
43” x 60” – $18,000
36” x 48” – $12,000


Under The Yellow Sky

Under The Yellow Sky

Sometimes your imagination becomes a reality. This beautiful image was
captured in the Rocky Mountains. This Aspen forest is part of the largest
living organism on the planet.

After walking in the forest for more than nine days I came across what I had
envisioned just months before. When walking in a forest so large a sense
of relationship and understanding overtakes your senses. A peaceful calm
comes over you as the weight of the world disappears.

Size – Jetset Price
43” x 43” – $20,000
34” x 34” – $14,000


Dogwood In The Moonlight

Dogwood In The Moonlight

This image was captured in the Great Smokey Mountains. After hiking in
the Mountains for nearly 11 days, I came upon a tree with such splendor
that it begged to have its photograph taken. To this day, this one tree is the
only tree that has ever had this effect on me.

I photographed the tree under a full moon. If you look closely you can see
that the light cascades down from the heavens to light the top of the petals.
It took just over 8 minutes to expose this elegant tree in the forest.

Size – Jetset Price
43” x 60” – $20,000
36” x 48” – $14,000


Amulet Of The Forest

Amulet Of The Forest

This enchanting forest holds the most beautiful treasures of nature. Hidden
deep in the Sequoia National Park you can find the most magical
dogwoods that glow right next to the ancient and giant Sequoia trees.

I scouted this location 5 weeks before the dogwoods bloomed. On this day
I sat and waited 3 hours for the fog to slowly roll through the forest so I
could capture this amazing sight. This image was taken while standing on a
fallen sequoia tree that was more than 15 feet in diameter.

Size – Jetset Price
36” x 115” – $20,000
20” x 76” – $14,000


Heavens Light

Heavens Light

After receiving my new camera I decided I needed to go to Utah. In the
Escalante Staircase sits a valley where magic seems to come alive. There
was a storm approaching creating the beams that are cascading down form
the skies. As the day went on, the beams were getting stronger. I waited
over six hours for the beams of light to move across the aspens and red
cliffs. The light danced upon the landscape illuminating the red cliffs in the
distance.

Size – Jetset Price
43” x 43” – $20,000
34” x 34” – $14,000


Serenity Of The Falls

Serenity Of The Falls

In the mountains of Pennsylvania sits a treasure in the early morning light.
When fall is at its peak, the water falls with elegance as the leaves turn into
colorful jewels hanging from branches.

Year after year I revisit the same places to see how nature is always
creating and recreating the glory that stands before us. This waterfall sits
very low in the valley where its very still and is the crown jewel of the forest.
This waterfall sits very low in the a valley where the light of the canyon
illuminates the color of fall. It took three years before the colors of and the
winds were silent and I was able to capture this.

Size – Jetset Price
43” x 70” – $18,000
32” x 52” – $12,000


Heavenly Skies

Heavenly Skies

As a young boy, I longed to stand where the Duke, Kirk Douglas and Jimmy
Stewart once made their iconic movies. Where the great John Ford
created the movies that made us love the American Southwest.

This amazing image was created in Monument Valley, Having been here
just a few days earlier, knowing where the sun sets and the moon rises. I
planned to come back and capture my vision. On this day when the moon
rose over the Totems in the soft evening light the clouds shaped like Angels
flew across the sky to create this angelic setting.

Size – Jetset Price
43” x 60” – $18,000
36” x 48” – $12,000


Soul Of Yosemite

Soul Of Yosemite

As a young man, I met Ansel Adams in Carmel, and spent many days with
him. I always dreamt of shooting the Yosemite Valley, but it took nearly 27
years for just the right rain storm followed by a heavy winter snow storm for
this magical scene to come to life.

As the snows of winter fell from the skies. The trees in the valley are
graced by the snows and transforms the scene into a winter wonderland.
Yosemite will always capture your heart longing for you to return to its soul.

Size – Jetset Price
43” x 70” – $18,000
32” x 52” – $12,000


Timeless

As the sun sets in the west, the California coast glows with the soft light of
the setting sun. Over time the California shoreline takes on a beauty all her
own. The waves that crash against the rocky shoreline have a mystical
presence that soothes the mind and body.

To sit along the Big Sur coastline is to hear the heart and soul of the
ocean. To hike the coastline you will find your hidden gems to discover for
yourself.

Size – Jetset Price
43” x 70” – $18,000
32” x 52” – $12,000


Orange Beauty

Orange Beauty

Once in a great while a set of aspens catches your eye with such color and
beauty, you feel the need to do whatever you can physically do to capture
this image. I experienced an optical illusion where I couldn’t tell how far
away these delicate beauties actually were. I had to battle a roaring river
while carrying nearly 75 lbs of gear on my back. I could see the trees get
closer as I made it across the river and through thick brush that stood
between us. I hiked for nearly three hours and climbed 3,000ft to an
elevation of 10,700ft just to capture these spectacular trees.

Excited about the image I just captured I had to make back before night fell
on the Rocky Mountains.

Size – Jetset Price
43” x 60” – $18,000
36” x 48” – $12,000


Parthenon

Parthenon

This is the rarest piece of Ice ever seen. I knew this was a once in a lifetime
chance to capture this awe inspiring piece of ice.

I won an International photo contest, where the grand prize was a trip to
Antarctica. It was a life-changing experience for me. This amazing ice structure
was approximately 15,000 years old, when a giant storm was approaching. I
captured this image just a couple hours before the storm smashed this iceberg
into many pieces.

Winner of the Smithsonian’s “World Best Landscape Photographer”

Size – Jetset Price
42” x 84” – $22,000
25” x 50” – $16,000


Angels Heart

In a small slot canyon in the desert Southwest sits a sandstone crevice that
is carved by the raging monsoonal rains. For eons of time the soft
sandstone is carved into imaginary features.

As the light rises and lowers, the soft light rolls and bounces through the
canyon walls. The colors change with each passing minute creating a one
of a kind photograph.

Size – Jetset Price
42” x 84” – $18,000
25” x 50” – $12,000


If you would like to learn more about any of the pieces above, or to make a purchase, please contact a Jetset sales representative today at (877)538-5738.

About The Author

Gina Kolbe

Gina Kolbe is a freelance writer based in New York City and Merida, Yucatan. She works within the arts and media in both the public and non-profit sectors, including Time, Sotheby’s, and The Metropolitan Opera. She holds a degree in Journalism from the University of South Carolina. For more, please visit www.reggiewriter.com.

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