Gary R. Morrison Gary R. Morrison



About Gary

 

 

According to family history, I come from a long line of what my dad’s generation labeled as sportsmen. They hunted and fished to provide food for their families. From a very young age, I followed my dad across fields to a pond, hunted for an elusive rabbit, walked along creek banks to one of his favorite fishing holes, hiked in the woods, or took a Sunday afternoon drive through southern Indiana, often on the backroads. It was on these walks and drives that I developed a deep appreciation for nature, especially the beauty of southern Indiana. When it came time to retire from my position as a college professor, my top choice was to return to my native hills and hollers of southern Indiana so that I could photograph the beauty I remembered. After much research and lobbying, my wife agreed!

I purchased my first camera when I was 10 years old with money I earned from my afternoon paper route. Being rather naïve, I purchased a knock off of the Brownie Hawkeye camera from the local Hooks Drug store on the town square in Bedford, Indiana. My first photography class was part of a high school yearbook and newspaper workshop in 1966 at Indiana University that was taught by Will Counts. The first professional camera I camera I owned was a Pentax Spotmatic. During graduate school, I studied photography, worked as a photographer as part of my graduate assistantship, and taught an introductory photography course. I discovered landscape photography about 15 years ago when I purchased my first digital camera

            I travel backroads, gravel roads, and dirt roads photographing the beauty I see in the landscapes. I seldom photograph people or manmade artifacts. Rather, I search for the undisturbed beauty in nature that is abundant in our state to share with others and to help preserve our natural heritage. Capturing images of nature is my primary purpose. My secondary purpose is meeting different individuals along the roadside. Seldom does a day go by when someone stops to enjoy the beauty with me or to simply ask if I am having car trouble. Our conversation typically starts with an explanation of my work. Eventually, either I ask a question about a location to photograph or they volunteer what is seemingly a secret place known only to the locals. On one trip, I was trying to find an obscure lake in the Hoosier National Forest. After much searching, I found a truck beside the road and stopped to ask for directions. The driver started giving me directions, and then simply stated that he had some spare time and would lead the way! Little did I know that he was a Native American guiding a distant nephew of Daniel Boone to a beautiful, but hidden lake.

            Southern Indiana provides a challenge for the landscape photographer. Photography books of the western United States are filled with sweeping vistas and snow covered mountains. Indiana has few sweeping vistas and no mountains, so a photographer must adapt to different styles. I cherish those few vistas that I find, and then I work to compose and photograph scenes that lack a vista and show a different kind of beauty through the discerning lens. Often, I create intimate landscape portraits that focus on the smaller detail that others might overlook.

So, what happened in the years between graduate school and today? The last 30 years have been spent as a professor at three universities. During this time, I have coauthored two books (7 editions of one and 4 editions of the other), authored or coauthored over 45 refereed journal articles and almost 40 book chapters. Now that I am retired, I have more time to devote to photography and less time for grading papers!