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Michael Kittell was raised in the rural town of Tillamook, situated on the Oregon Coast, as part of a family of five. He developed a passion of the natural world at a young age while exploring the wild forests, rugged mountains, and rocky deserts of the Pacific Northwest. Photography was a natural outgrowth of this passion. So was Geology and Glaciology, which he pursued while a student at Pomona College. He has traveled and photographed in many states and countries around the world. When asked about his favorite place to shoot, he responds “wherever the wind blows and the glacier flows.”
Michael is a digital photographer with an old-school style. He appreciates the natural image. He doesn’t add things to his images that aren’t there. He works hard. His focus is on capturing a raw and captivating image, and he will often do what it takes to get that image. He jumps fences, waits in sub-freezing temperatures, stands in pouring rain, wades across rushing rivers, climbs entire mountains, and pushes through blinding blizzards. One time, someone called him a “wildman” after he jumped into a glacial lake. In the end, it’s about the photography. At home, Michael explains, “each individual is an artist, and the art he or she produces is an expression of idiosyncratic spirituality; it is the same with me."
What then can we infer of Michael's spirituality? He likes mountains and snow. A lot. And he likes to commune with mountain goats. But, ultimately, the beauty is in people - or, more accurately, the intersection of humanity and the natural world. A witness adds another dimension to the natural world, and that dimension carries great meaning. That's why you'll find a person in many of Michael's pictures; it is Michael's intention that the viewer experience the landscape vicariously through this person. This principle is perhaps most clearly applied in "Winter Requiem," the photograph that Michael considers to be his first "good" photograph - the start of his love for photography.
The Lighted Landscape Collection is the product of many years of fervent photographic pursuit. Please feel free to contact Michael with any questions or comments. Also, please check the Collection every so often for new pictures. And, most important, please enjoy the images.
Thank you for visiting.