Jeremy Elliott was born in the Boston, Massachusetts-area in 1980. While Jeremy has a strong connection to the east coast, he predominately grew up in Boulder, Colorado. He has always had a passion for the ocean, but after moving to Colorado, the mountains have claimed a special place in his heart.
From a young age Jeremy was drawn to photography. His grandmother, grandfather, and mother were photo enthusiasts, which had an impact on Jeremy. He was never a fan of having his picture taken but enjoyed taking photos himself. Even though Jeremy went to college in New Hampshire to pursue a degree in Political Science, he still had an interest in photography. He would take photos at numerous Town Hall events during the presidential primaries.
Jeremy ended up moving to Costilla, New Mexico, along the New Mexico-Colorado border and eventually settled in San Luis, Colorado, the oldest town in Colorado. Currently, Jeremy helps run a local non-profit, Ventero Open Press Fine Art, with his life-long friend and artist Randy Pijoan. While working with artists, Jeremy always felt the creativity in the air but lacked the skills of printmaking, painting, or drawing. As Jeremy says, “I can’t draw a straight line with a ruler.”
For a period of time, the only camera Jeremy has was an older Olympus point and shoot. While the camera wasn’t the best, it was clear the Jeremy had an “eye” for photography. He was able to upgrade to a Canon Rebel. Once he got his hands on that, Jeremy was off and running with taking photos.
Even though Jeremy does not have formal training, numerous other artists have said that he has “it” – a natural ability to compose shots and an understanding of lighting. Jeremy has a hard time explaining it, “It just looks right to my eye, so I take the photo. Of course, there are times that it looks right to my eye, but once I pull the image off the camera, the shot just doesn’t work.”
Jeremy’s work predominantly consists of landscape images. He works in both color and black and white. “I like doing landscapes, because it gives me an excuse to get out in nature. Plus living in an area like the San Luis Valley, there is no shortage of subject matter to shoot. I think that my favorite place to shoot is the Great Sand Dunes National Park. It feels like the dunes are alive. They are always changing, the lighting is always different. Each time I have been there, it has been a different experience. Spring time is my favorite time there, though. The mountains still have snow on them and Medano Creek is running through the park.”
Like many landscape photographers, Jeremy has been inspired by Ansel Adams. “Ansel was the best, hands down. I look at his images and I am just in awe of his work.”
Over the past couple of years, Jeremy has dabbled with figurative photography, mostly when artists were working at Ventero Open Press. A lot of those shots were inspired by Randy Pijoan’s phrasism movement. “His paintings look at everyday life from unique angles that do not have a typical horizon line. When artists rent the presses, I try to capture images of them working from a unique angle.” Recently, Jeremy has started to work more on his figurative photography. “At Ventero, we have started to host a monthly model session for local artists. I thought that it was great opportunity to figure out how to shoot indoors and photograph people.”
When Jeremy is processing his images, he uses Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Lightroom, but he strives to not over manipulate his images. “I use Photoshop and Lightroom as tools not crutches. In that I mean I use them to bring the photo back to what I was seeing. I use Photoshop mainly to create panoramas, where I stitch a series of photos together to make a panorama. In Lightroom, I just clean up the image. I have not learned all the capabilities of the programs on purpose, so that I will not over manipulate the image or over rely on the software.”