This week we have taken a different approach to our weekly artist feature. Following Jeff Johnson’s (@jeffreyryanjohnson) work for quite some time, we have genuinely enjoyed the perspective of nature that he shares. Each of his pictures marks a moment in history that he found to be beautiful and worthy of capturing and sharing. His Mextures edits are always the perfect addition to his already lovely pictures and always work to highlight the natural colors and tones in the moment he has captured. Below you will find nine of his pictures accompanied with a bit of rhetoric from Jeff detailing the moment captured and his perspective of it!
My name is Jeff Johnson and I have the great fortune of living in Southwest Colorado, which inspires the majority of my photos and edits on Instagram. The landscapes in this area are incredibly varied – from high desert to pristine mountains - so photo inspiration is everywhere.
This photo was taken on a little trail in Durango on New Year’s Day 2015. It was the first sunny day following a snow storm and the whole world felt so fresh and so clean. People were out making first tracks in the snow all over town. Our dog was completely thriving - she lives for winter weather and playing in the snow. As I was taking pictures I realized that the snow and joy on her face captured the feeling of the day better than any landscape.
This photo was taken near Durango Mountain Resort (formerly known as Purgatory) in January of this year. The early morning light highlighted the rugged textures of the mountains and the trees to create fantastic layers of colors and detail.
This photo was taken in Pagosa Springs in early 2015. It was early on a cold morning - the kind of sharp cold where you can see your breath and feel your snot freeze and where all of the frost glitters a million different colors. I like this photo because of the little details - the long whiskers on the horse’s nose, the frost on the fence, and the grit and the grain of the Mextures layers.
This photo was taken on Molas Pass between Durango and Silverton on a weekend early in 2015. The light was just unreal. Capturing the dog in the photo really helped provide a sense of scale for the larger than life evergreens. In a setting like Molas Pass, there wasn’t much to do besides push the shutter release and enjoy the moment. Mextures helped me highlight the warm tones for my final edit.
This photo was taken off of Highway 160 approximately 20 miles west of Durango in December of 2014. Southwest Colorado had finally gotten a fresh dusting of snow so photo inspiration was everywhere! I have always passed this barn and been drawn to its structure and the fence surrounding it. The colors of the aged wood and the rusting metal roof were the perfect compliment to the snowy trees and wisps of clouds in the sky. Once again, Grit and Grain were the perfect addition to this edit as well as some nice warm colors from Landscape Enhance.
BROWN COWS! This photo was taken along Highway 285 south of Fairplay, Colorado in February of 2015. It looks like a ranch you would see in the midwest and then BAM, those big beautiful snow capped mountains. I love the way the cows are totally oblivious to the beauty that is right behind them. I also really like the variety of brown tones that came through in the edit.
This photo was also taken along Highway 285 near Salida in February 2015. I was really captivated by the unusually low lying clouds behind the mountains. We pulled off on a dirt road and right when I started taking photos a fast moving cloud came in directly overhead, creating a spotlight on the mountains and the road in the distance. I enhanced the natural vignette a bit in the final edit and warmed up the tones but not much editing is necessary with mountains like those.
I took this photo near Hesperus, Colorado in February 2015. I had been watching the clouds all afternoon and knew that an epic sunset was brewing, so I jumped in my car and went sunset hunting! When I found a big open meadow I pulled over, climbed through a few fences, and just sat and watched the sky explode in colors and shapes for nearly an hour. Mextures Vintage Gradients and Landscape Enhance layers definitely helped me draw out the peaceful vibe of that afternoon.
This photo was taken near Cortez, Colorado during the summer of 2014. We were at a BBQ out in the middle of nowhere and I was tired of small talk. Drink in hand, I climbed through the fence and started making friends with the horses in the nearby pasture. As the sun began to set the entire landscape came alive with color and the horses became perfect silhouettes. Never have I been more thankful for the camera in my iPhone than on that unexpected evening.
For more from Jeff check out his Instagram feed at @jeffreyryanjohnson!