Reception Jan. 14 at the Easton Public Library
Covering the dramatic sweep of nature, from extreme close-ups to panoramas, Peter McCrea presents earth, air, fire and water distilled in natural patterns of diverse beauty. Created through millions of years and condensed into a mesmerizing 11-minute slide show, McCrea’s exhibit is now on view on a continuous loop in the Easton Public Library Conference Room.
The public is invited to meet the artist and see his work at a reception on Saturday, Jan. 14, from 4 to 6 p.m.
Peter was raised in nature, growing up on ranches in California, Nevada, and New Mexico. At 15, his dad bought him a 35-mm camera, provided that Peter would be responsible for the cost of film and processing, which helped teach him the value of each individual picture he took.
Peter is inspired by the animals, plants, weather, light, moods, and textures of the natural world. He learned how to compose photographs by studying the work of great photographers in National Geographic Magazine and by reading about the masters of the medium, including Ansel Adams, Edward Weston, and especially Ernst Haas, whose book “The Creation” was a major influence.
As a youth, Peter spent several summers in the Colorado Rockies on mountaineering treks, where he refined his outdoor photography technique by experimenting with different ways to use natural light. He honed his skills of composition, eliminating the extraneous through “selective vision.” He learned to be a patient observer, waiting for the decisive moment to click the shutter, and the importance of always searching for the best angle.
From his college years on, Peter became a part-time professional with a different kind of picture-taking. He was hired as the official photographer for Raleigh Studios in Hollywood, capturing movie, TV, and commercial productions on the studio lot, with images of celebrities such as Cybil Shepard, Peter Fonda, Goldie Hawn, and Kevin Costner.
But in the last two decades, Peter has concentrated on his original passion for images in nature. Most of the photographs in the show were taken in Westport and Easton, while some were taken in California and New Mexico, and others as far away as Scotland. He has used various camera brands over the years, including Nikon, Leica, and Canon, but today he primarily uses his iPhone.
“It’s always handy,” he says. “After all, you never know when a magical photographic moment might arise.”
His show at the Easton Library runs through Feb. 15.