Michael E. Gordon

Michael E. Gordon (www.michael-gordon.com) is an award-winning fine art landscape photographer of unusual and overlooked natural landscapes of California and beyond. A lifelong student of nature and wilderness, Michael’s intimate relationship with the landscape yields photographs of great depth and clarity. He is best known for his black and white ‘Desert’ series which, says Broughton Quarterly, portrays “stunning ethereal beauty from terrain where others see only a bleak landscape.” A listing of his publications and clients include Backpacker, View Camera, Rangefinder and Broughton Quarterly magazines, T-Mobile, The Wilderness Society, Campaign for America’s Wilderness, USDA Forest Service, Brooks/Cole and more. Awards and recognition include International Photography Awards, Prix de la Photographie, Paris, and Black & White Spider Awards. Michael is represented by art galleries in the U.S. and Europe and his fine art prints are held internationally in private collections.

Michael E. Gordon Portfolio

Julia Dean Interviews Michael E. Gordon

LACP Founder and Executive Director Julia Dean asks Michael E. Gordon ten questions about his background, career in and beliefs about photography …

Julia Dean: What kind of photographer are you?

Michael E. Gordon: I’m a naturalist with a camera who specializes in nature and natural landscapes.  My love affair with wild lands began in my youth, and my love for the land and all things botanical and geological is what drives my photography.  My subjects were defined long before I first picked up a camera.

JD: How long have you been shooting?

MEG: Approximately 25 years.

JD: Where did you get your training?

MEG: I am primarily self-taught, but I’ve read scores of technical photography manuals, completed two digital printing workshops with Master printer Charles Cramer, and did a couple of semesters of community college Photo 101.  I’ve mainly learned by doing (and failing), but I still learn something new every day.

JD: When did you know you wanted to devote your life to photography?

MEG: Like many photographers, I was heavily influenced by National Geographic publications during my youth and fantasized about how cool it would be to travel the globe while making images.  As a young adult, I was fearful of an insipid 9-to-5 life and cubicle drudgery, so I was determined to find a way to make my living as a photographic creative.

JD: Did you ever come close to giving up?

MEG: No, I am stubborn and relentless.  QUIT has never been part of my vocabulary.

JD: Have you sacrificed anything by being a photographer?

MEG: Only the potentially higher income of another less creative career, and only if money actually brought happiness.  I consider myself tremendously fortunate to earn my living as a creative and suggest that others have made bigger sacrifices in choosing not to be photographers!

JD: What have you gained by being a photographer?

MEG: Numerous new friendships and relationships with photographers, collectors, and students; the respect and kindness of those who value the work that I do; the exploration of places and environments that I may not have been exposed to without photography; a creative and unrestrained life; the freedom to pursue my art whenever and wherever I want; being able to earn a living in a creative field; the joy of making images that uplift and bring happiness to others.

JD: What classes do you teach at LACP?

MEG: I currently lead twice annually the “Death Valley National Park Travel Workshop” for LACP.  I have previously led several “Sunday in the City” workshops as well as an “Introduction to Large Format Photography” workshop.

JD: What do you love most about teaching?

MEG: Inspiring others to excellence; watching the light bulb come on and witnessing the ‘a-ha’ moments; sharing my own passion and love for the medium of photography; giving back to the community which I have gained so much from; sharing the beautiful places that I love with other photographers; the recognition and emotional rewards of a job well done.

JD: What advice would you give someone who is thinking about making a career in photography?

MEG: GO FOR IT!  Avoid ever having to say “I wish I had….”.  Realize that it takes lots of determination, fortitude, grit, stubbornness, and ingenuity to make it happen.  If photography is your destiny, pursue it with vigor and NEVER give up.