About Peter Olesen

Peter Olesen was born in Denmark in 1945. He gained his appreciation for the landscape and photography while growing up in Utah. Attending the University of Utah, University of Georgia and Portland State he continued his interest in the arts and received a teaching degree. In Portland he taught photography at the Oregon School of Arts and Crafts, Portland Community Collage and Clackamas Community College. He continued his studies in photography with Ansel Adams, Wynn Bullock, Brett Weston, Duane Michaels, Linda Conner and others; but considers himself mostly self taught. Over the years he has exhibited in small galleries and universities through out the United States. He works with medium and large format film cameras and prints his own work in the darkroom. Although his portfolio contains images from all over the world his main area of interest is the landscapes of the Western United States and Mexico. Currently he lives on Orcas Island Washington and Mill Valley California.

Peter Talking About his Art

For me, landscape photography is a way of life. It's is my way of engaging with the earth and observing how light brings the forms of the earth to life. I consider myself a witness to light. It's up to me to see; to pay attention and hopefully faithfully record and interpret an event that took place with light. I enjoy the pace of the larger camera because it forces me to slow down and observe. I will walk around with a viewing card and wait for the light; sometimes several hours before I expose the negative. Composition of the image comes from within as well as letting the landscape speak to me; somewhere in the middle of the two I release the shutter. I love the quality of black and white, because it reduces everything to it's simplest shapes, forms and texture . I prefer the silver based image for its depth and richness in tone; there is nothing like it. When I print the negative in the darkroom, there are many options for interpretation; again I just enhance what has already taken place. If all the magic works I will have a print that I would like to share with others.