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. See our About page for additional information.
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.
Although Mark Hussein lives in Seattle, Washington, he has travelled frequently to the Wallouse for the past three years to explore and photograph the local landscape in all seasons. His interest in landscape photography was born 60 years ago when his mother and his aunt, who had a photo studio in San Francisco, gave him his first camera (a Brownie Hawkeye) and turned him loose in the Rocky Mountains of southwest Montana.
As an artist, Mark has been influenced by the French Impressionists and the great 20th Century American black and white photographers. Mark’s images convey a sense of elegant simplicity, space, time, and mood. Sometimes he sees a scene as a straight photograph, sometimes as an Impressionist painting, and sometimes as a dramatic black and white image. Mark’s images are always memorable.
A graduate of Washington State University (B.A. English ’70, M.Ed. Education ’76), Mark has been expressing himself with photography and writing for over 50 years, emphasizing his commitment to recording and preserving the natural environment.
His work was selected for presentation in “World in Focus”, an exhibition of photography designed to expand awareness of endangered environments and cultures. Mark has had solo exhibits of his work throughout the Seattle area and recently in Walla Walla, and he participated in the Edmonds and University District Art Walk programs. His photographs are featured in the Blue Mountain Land Trust’s first volume of local landscape photographs titled “The Blues, Volume I.” (2016)
Mark has been teaching photography for over 35 years. His mentoring includes individual instruction, teaching digital photography to “Youth in Focus” students, seminars for the Puget Sound Educational Service District, and the Creativity Inspiring Conservation program sponsored by the Seattle Aquarium. Mark and Waitsburg School of Landscape Photography founder, Bill Rodgers, collaborated in developing and teaching several highly acclaimed photography workshops for the Blue Mountain Land Trust in 2016. Together, they have camped and photographed their way through central Utah for the past three fall seasons, with the intention of developing a landscape photography workshop which will be titled “Red Rocks and Aspen”, to be offered early in the fall of 2018 when the high country aspen begin to turn to gold.
As a former educator, Mark is a talented and patient instructor who intuitively understands his students’ individual needs. He brings to the Waitsburg School of Landscape Photography a similar, yet complimentary, vision for capturing, interpreting, and presenting landscape images.
Mark’s work can be viewed at www.MarkHusseinPhotography.com, on Facebook at Mark Hussein Photography, and at Tsuga Fine Art and Framing in Bothell, Washington.
Leslie Williams Cain
At the Waitsburg School of Landscape Photography, we believe there is far more to capturing magnificent landscape images than simply understanding how to skillfully operate a camera and pointing it at a landscape. We believe that including a skilled landscape painter such as Leslie Williams Cain as an instructor for many of our workshops will instill a greater understanding and level of skill when seeing and capturing landscape images.
Leslie is a gifted artist and fourth-generation native of the Walla Walla Valley, who has turned her deep connection to the land into extremely beautiful images for numerous solo and group exhibitions. Leslie’s work can be viewed at the Phinney Gallery in Joseph, Oregon; the Davidson Gallery in Seattle; and the Seven Hills Winery tasting room in Walla Walla. Her works reside in many collections across the United States, and are permanently hung in many public buildings in Walla Walla.
Having grown up on a farm near the Walla Walla River and exploring the area for many decades, Leslie has developed a unique vision and concepts for depicting the landscapes unique to the Southern Palouse – what we call “The Wallouse.” Working with pastels, Leslie creates images that capture the shifting light on the land, wind blowing in the grass, ripples moving across water, and the rich colors and textures of the Walla Walla area. Her compelling large-scale images immediately draw the viewer into each scene, enhancing the visual experience.
Working from reference photographs shot on location, Leslie begins the process of composing, layering, and erasing pastels as she builds her paintings into windows and doors to movement, solitude, and memory – places to connect to a deeper understanding and appreciation of our place on the planet.
Leslie studied art at Whitman College in Walla Walla, and at the University of Washington in Seattle. Her teaching style is that of a player-coach, and she has taught many workshops in the area. Leslie’s ideas regarding composition, the juxtaposition of textures and color, rhythm and line, and visual cues that invite the viewer to enter landscape images will aid our students in creating more compelling images than can simple photography alone.