Bob Anderson understands the big picture of life — literally.
Much of his photo work, including some panoramic images spreading 3 feet by nearly 7 feet, dominates the walls of his buyers.
The multipanel images, along with printing and design work, are part of his Still Frames Gallery on Eighth Street. His passion began simply, when his friends began sharing their travel photos with him.
“I thought all the places they’d been were cool,” he said. And so, in 1981, inspired by their shots, he bought his first camera — a Canon AE-1. Soon enough, he realized the coolest place for him to be was outdoors.
The 58-year-old Wyoming native eventually earned a fine arts photography degree from Arizona State University. In 2001, he and wife Harumi, a purchasing agent for a Greenwood automotive parts manufacturer, moved to Columbus from western Kentucky.
Why were you drawn to your specialty?
Some people are outside because they love to play baseball, or they’re outside because they like to bike. But I always simply liked being out in nature. So it was only natural when I finally picked up a camera that I would photograph landscapes and nature.
Were you good from
No. And I was primarily just a black-and-white photographer for a long, long time. I didn’t really turn into a color photographer until I went digital in 1999 or 2000.
And now you color your world?
A lot more of my landscapes now are about color. It has definitely made it more vibrant. And it’s different.
With black and white, to be effective and interesting, you have to have a lot of shadows and contrast. With color, you can be subtle or bright and focus more on the subject matter itself.
What inspires you?
I know this sounds really cornballish, but when I go out to photograph, I will pick a location and a time, but with nothing really firmly set about what I’m going to do. I let my surroundings lead and kind of inspire me as to what I’m going to photograph that day.
And if I don’t get inspired, I don’t take a picture. But it’s still enjoyable to be in the middle of nature.
What do you hope people take away from your work?
I get asked a lot if I would want to go to Africa or Antarctica. Yeah, sure, those places would be nice. But the thing that often gets lost is that it’s beautiful right in you own backyard.
Got a favorite image?
It’s called “Moon Flight.” It’s of sandhill cranes in Lafayette flying in front of a background image of the moon, shot at dusk in early November 2006. It took me two years to accomplish because I needed everything to be timed just right. The trick was to get it at the time the cranes were there, and when a full moon was coming up early, and when it wasn’t cloudy.
It’s the most difficult picture I’ve ever taken.