Not yet diagnosed with Bipolar disorder, as a young photographer, I taught myself how to shoot. The rose trees out in front of my parents' were my captive audience. What I didn't yet grasp was that great photography isn't a topic or place, it's light frozen in time. It's technique. The challenge I struggled with for decades, was learning to appreciate the light in my own life. With treatment, I came to understand that the act of seeing and capturing light literally pushes away the darkness I battle most days. Viewing the world through a camera helps me see hope and find peace. Every image is a reminder that the beauty of this world can be mine to enjoy and share too. Helping others find refuge from their own darkness, if only for a second, by appreciating the light around us. That’s why I often frame my work so tightly. I want to be sure viewers see exactly what I did when I pressed the shutter.
44 years after first trying out my dad’s camera, looking through a lens still feels like magic. After sharing my work for others’ enjoyment all those years, in late 2018 I decided to turn professional. Six months later, I had edited 160,000+ images, and posted a few of my favorites here. Since then, I'm proud that the Yellowstone Art Museum and Albuquerque Museum, arts centers and galleries in 14 states -- Colorado, California, North Carolina, Kentucky, Oregon, New York, Minnesota, Missouri, Wyoming, Massachusetts, Virginia, Kansas, Florida and Texas have exhibited my work. Oh and Scotland! The Burren College of Art in Ireland and the Unpack Havana Studio in Cuba accepted me into their Residency Programs before Covid swooped down and I hope to complete those adventures in 2024. I remain profoundly grateful to the gallery owners, curators, judges and collectors who have supported my evolution as a professional, even if I got a late start.
Artist's Message - 7/21/23
When I was in school I never fully understood when artists suddenly shifted gears from one medium, material or color to another. Picasso famously did so with blue. Well, just before moving to Montana I got the itch to start making more images of people and less of landscapes and wildlife. Which makes no sense l know! Don't get me wrong. I'll shoot till my hands are blue if I see a Grizzly fishing in a stream. But now I'm also interested in faces, eyes, hands, and the stories they tell.
Case in point, last year I attended the Blackfoot Nation Pow Wow near Glacier. National Park The people running the event couldn't have been more hospitable. They allowed me to shoot in places I never ever would have asked to go, like right in the middle of the dance and drum circles. You don't need a history lesson to appreciate just how gracious they were with me and my camera so please look at the pictures in the Home, Montana, and people galleries. I'm very very proud of them.
I now understand that the path of introspection which came from turning professional led me to this current shift from things to people. Originally, I healed myself by finding beauty in the world around me, wanting to share it and heal others. Now I see the beauty inside people and hope to help them find beauty in each other and their surroundings. I'm excited to share with you my supporters that I've retired from marketing and PR and I'm going back to graduate school to get my masters in social work. With training, I know I can use my photographer's eye to help others through a form of therapy inside them and heal.
By the way, for you camera nuts, the Fuji X100V is all I'm shooting with now and it's like a dream. The waitlist to get one is 2 years. I got lucky when it was mailed to me only a few months after I ordered it. The Fuji has a razor-sharp brain and a crystal clear fixed lens, which forces you to "zoom" with your feet and your brain not a lens. All my Nikon 35mm gear is stocked away, ready for that grizzly.
Last March, I headed off to Amsterdam and Berlin. The former is a city I know very well and love with every ounce of my soul. Yes, I have heard they sell marijuana there. There are dozens of Dutch pictures laced throughout this site. By the way, "Holland" is a County, not a country. The Netherlands is a country. Berlin was more of a spiritual journey than a visual one. To the Germans' credit, they don't try to sweep under the rug what they did to my ancestors. It is front, center and very raw.
Mostly, Montana has been my palette in 2023. I hope you enjoy those images. If you see something you’d like to know more about, please try me at david@eichlerphotos or 406-696-9972 and we can set up a time to talk. Thanks!