About Charlotte Gibb
Charlotte Gibb is an award-winning and renowned nature and landscape photographer based in Northern California. She is known for her mastery of "Intimate Landscapes" — small scenes derived from a large landscape.
The youngest of nine, she spent her early life playing and exploring the rural Northern California mountain area of her childhood home. Her father, an avid mountain climber and nature lover, made sure his kids shared his passion for the outdoors. After his death in a climbing accident, her mother continued to encourage an attachment to nature, ensuring that family vacations were spent outdoors camping, hiking, and exploring.
Charlotte earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. She cut her teeth in the advertising business as an art director in the 1990s, then operated her own graphic design firm in the San Francisco Bay Area for decades. Throughout her long career as an artist, her photography was constantly infused in her design work. Her darkroom has since been replaced with digital darkroom tools, and her style has evolved from a somewhat journalistic approach, to one that pays tribute to the natural world.
Charlotte writes and publishes on the subject of photography and creativity, has been a keynote speaker and educator for several national photography events, served as a judge for international and local photography competitions, and exhibits her work throughout California.
She can usually be found tromping with her camera bag in the wilderness areas around the Sierra Nevada range and Yosemite National Park in her home state.
Story Behind the Image
Landscape photographers often have a unique approach to working a landscape scene. My own style is a bit like a slow dance, not about rushing around. Although changing light demands quick action at times. It’s about observing, being in a flexible state of mind, and slowing down. Sometimes I have an idea for a photograph and plan carefully on how to execute my vision. Other times, things don’t always go quite as expected.
My intention on the day I made this composition was to photograph the Dogwoods along the river. But, because of construction along the Western end of Southside Road, I couldn’t park in my usual spot. Instead, I parked a bit further upstream, planning to work my way down the river on foot. I didn’t get very far before the trail was blocked by high water. So, I looked around, saw some beautiful side light on a Black Oak that was just beginning to push out its Spring foliage, and started working the scene.
I reduced the scene to its essential elements: light on the tree, and the waterfall taking up a secondary position in the background. The beautiful side-light along the branches and trunk were important to include, giving structure to the composition. I loved the color contrast and interplay between the warm and cool colors, creating depth.
The light was changing quickly. In Yosemite Valley, the cliff walls act as keyholes as the sun appears through gaps in the peaks, then disappears. The beautiful side light on the trunk was gone, but the top branches were still illuminated. As the light moved up the tree, I decided to just focus on the lit-up tops, choosing a horizontal format. I made a few more horizontal compositions, then finally settled on this vertical format before the light completely faded. The juxtaposition between the tree and the snag captivated me. The waterfall in the background becomes a tertiary element — less important than the relationship between the living and the dead. Within a few minutes, the sun had disappeared behind the cliff, and the scene was a quiet monochrome again.
Original photographs are hand made and not all sizes are kept in inventory.
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Special orders from the photographer may take up to 4 weeks for delivery.
Prices subject to change as editions sells outs.
Multiple sizes available