Artist Q&A with Rick Spitzer
1. Vail Daily: What does photography mean to you? Rick Spitzer: It provides an opportunity to creatively share the world with others. 2. VD: When did you know that you wanted to be a photographer? RS: My father let me use one of his cameras when I was in junior high school and I became intrigued with the capability to capture a scene from different perspectives. I later had the opportunity to teach photography at a high school level and I also worked seasonally as a park ranger. That provided me with more opportunity and incentive to capture the scenes around me. 3. VD: What inspires you to create? What kind of mood do you have to be in? RS: Since most of my work is landscapes, I tend to look for great or unusual lighting. My best work is when I am out alone looking for specific types of scenes. Retirement two years ago has made that easier to do. 4. VD: Why did you choose the medium that you work with, or did it choose you? RS: I have worked with digital photography since its inception. I had built a career in technology before retirement and using computers and other technology became second nature. That made it an easy medium to adopt. 5. VD: Describe your style.RS: A few years ago I developed an idea for a book on the panoramic passes of Colorado. To accomplish that goal, I have worked on developing panoramas of scenes built from multiple photos digitally stitched together. The photos can be from 100-degrees to 360-degrees. I usually attempt to capture scenes and render an accurate depiction of that scene. The book, Colorado Mountain Passes, is to be published by Westcliffe Publishers in March of 2009. 6. VD: If you were to meet any artist, alive or dead, who would it be and why? RS: William Henry Jackson would be my choice. He created hundreds of thousands of images of Colorado and the west in the late 1800s. I have gone back to some of his locations and shot a photo from the same spot. It is interesting to compare the scenes 100 years apart. I would like to find out what life and photography was like in his times.
7. VD: Do you own a favorite piece of art? RS: A metal sculpture of a mountain scene and evergreen trees hangs over my fireplace. I love the play of light and the variety of color it produces through the day. It is in keeping with my eye for scenes in the real world.