Doug Goodin: Fully Engaged
Doug Goodin is one of those rare people who have fully developed both their right and left brain functions. Doug is an engineer by trade whose keen artistic sensibilities brought him to the art of photography with a passion. “I am originally an engineer, so the technical aspects of photography came easily to me. This frees me up to look for the emotion within a shot.”
“With my wildlife images, I am always trying to tell a story.” These stories are sometimes very obvious and dramatic, as with his image of the fox about to pounce upon a vole. Sometimes the story is a bit more elusive and mysterious as with Doug’s image of the moose moving through an Alaskan autumn landscape alive with reds, golds and greens. His images appear to capture the quintessential moment for any given scene. His work appears spontaneous, however, as he points out— “Actually, I do a fair bit of planning for most of my shots. The image of the fox for example—I tracked that fox and scouted his location for about four days to determine where he hunted and to find the best light.” Some of Doug’s shots can take weeks to plan; traveling, scouting and searching for his subjects. The wildlife photos are the more expensive and time consuming shots. “I need to use bigger lenses, faster cameras and invest more time in planning each shot.”
“My landscape images are often more focused on shapes, colors, textures and forms. I like to bring these out within a scene.” Doug feels that the best explanation of his style begins with the French term for outdoor painting, en plein air, but adapted for photography. “I am always trying to faithfully capture what I see. My landscapes don’t have the sharp contrasts and deep blacks that a conventional film photograph would have – we’ve been trained to think that photographs are supposed to look like that, but that’s really not what you see when you are there in person.” In what Doug has termed plein air photography, he not only controls all aspects of his camera, but also takes upon himself all of the image adjustments and the printing as well. “I didn’t want to do my own printing, but whenever I tried to let someone else do it, I realized that they hadn’t seen what I had seen and so were not able to capture it as only I could. I am a control freak.”
Doug will often make minute adjustments to his image and printer settings in order to most closely approximate exactly what he saw in any given scene. “I will usually print about 30-45 different variations of each image on any given paper stock in an effort to replicate that plein air vision.
Through his technical mastery and his artistic vision Doug Goodin’s images bring us intimately into environments few of us will ever experience in any other way.