Bill Rodgers discovered his love of wild landscapes and landscape paintings at an early age. Among his many aspirations as a young man, Bill wanted to be a painter of grand landscapes, but quickly learned that his brain communicated very poorly with the paintbrushes he held in his hands. Bill bought his first 35 mm SLR (a Mamiya DTL 1000) in 1969, and immediately realized that he could satisfy his artistic inclinations with film instead of paints. Fortunately, reality and very wise parents prevailed, and Bill was both encouraged and privileged to receive a formal education that would pay the bills and still allow him to pursue his love of Earth’s landscapes.
Formally educated as a biologist at Whitman College, and later as a geologist at the University of Washington, Bill’s career afforded him the opportunity to extensively explore much of the North American landscape for over 50 years – a camera always close to hand. After retiring in 2012, Bill began to dedicate himself to his true love, landscape photography, on a full time basis.
Bill’s visual style was influenced by many years of enjoying the exquisite landscape images created by classical landscape painters such as Frederich Church, Thomas Moran, Albert Bierstadt, Ma Yuan, and more modern painters such as Andrew Wyeth. His photographic sensibilities were similarly nurtured by his admiration for the works of photographers Wynn Bullock, Edward and Brett Weston, Ernst Haas, Paul Caponigro, Minor White, Ansel Adams, and many of today’s talented and innovative landscape photographers.
A bit of a rebel, Bill eschews photographing famously iconic locations. “Why take the same photograph already taken a million times? I seek exquisite new landscapes to share. There are still so many of them at which no one has ever bothered to point a camera.”
Bill’s works have been featured at the Utah Museum of Natural History, Washington State Magazine, and many Blue Mountain Land Trust publications including the organization’s first published collection of photographs, The Blues, Volume I, which he co-edited. Bill’s work has been exhibited at the Bienvenue Gallery in Friday Harbor, Washington, and two annual ArtSquare events and several Popup exhibitions in Walla Walla, Washington. He is currently a contributing photographer to several soon-to-be released books showcasing the both beauty of the Walla Walla area (which Bill calls “The Wallouse”) and its fascinating geologic history.
Bill recently taught three photo workshops in collaboration with his compadre, fellow photographer, and collaborator, Mark Hussein; and renowned pastel landscape artist, Leslie Cain, for the Blue Mountain Land Trust’s “Learning on the Land” series of classes. He also serves an Advisor to that organization’s Board of Directors. Bill is the founder of “The Waitsburg School of Landscape Photography”, through which he and the organization’s affiliates will soon begin offering photographic workshops in the Southern Palouse. Please stay tuned. Bill anticipates that fall workshops in Utah (titled “Red Rocks and Golden Aspen”), and the verdant side canyons and waterfalls of the Columbia River Gorge will be added to the curriculum in 2018.