The elements required for a great painting are the same as those present in a great photograph but with one distinct difference. The painter must decide what to “include” while a photographer must decide what to “exclude.” Both artists must account for the foundational elements of their work: composition, perspective, color, tone, line, space, and texture. The painter starts with a blank canvas that is empty and full of possibility, and then decides what to paint. The photographer’s starting point is the viewfinder brimming with all the elements vying for attention. Through this chaos the photographer must choose how to simplify and create order while guiding the viewer to the subject. True masters bring forth works that embrace simplified visions awash with yet undiscovered stories. This regal and stately mountain, Paine Grande in the Parque Nacional in Torres del Paine in southern Chile, was graced this morning with amazing solitude and a perfect and simplistic frame. Low clouds allowed the kiss of the morning sun to bathe the peaks in a copper glow while a perfectly positioned driftwood and the setting moon complete the frame with a resplendent flawless reflection.
San Antonio based photographer Aubra Franklin has spent the past decade traveling the world in pursuit of magical moments, a spectacular sensation he calls soul light. His majestic images of landscapes are not only the result of perfect timing, exotic locales, and expert compositions, but reveal the photographer’s keen sense of space and depth. As a professionally trained architect, Aubra sees beyond flora and fauna in a beautiful landscape. Thirty years of experience designing and building have informed his distinct perspective on natural phenomena and epic destinations. As a student he became engrossed in architectural photography and over the years gradually expanded his repertoire beyond illustrious monuments and celebrated buildings to include images of magnificent seascapes and idyllic woodlands. Much like an architect meticulously visualizes his design long before pencil is put to paper, Aubra visualizes how a particular sight and feeling will appear on a print, to capture billowing clouds and towering canyons. Through his lens a grove of flowering trees becomes a collection of grandiose columns and cornices. Aubra’s diverse portfolio ranges from photographs of remote Croatian waterfalls to the soaring Maroon Bells Mountains. His travels have allowed him to capture the serendipity of a perfect sunrise in Utah’s Canyonlands, and the serenity of ships at sea near the Galapagos Islands. Each trip provides viewers with the opportunity to witness Aubra’s vision of landscapes as natural architecture and to experience the mysterious wonders of nature. Aubra’s work has been regarded as, “exemplary in both composition and spirit,” by his private collectors, which range from entrepreneurial moguls and cattle barons to creative directors and curators. His limited-series works have attracted much attention, with collectors vying for multiple pieces. “I’m not surprised by the desire for Aubra’s work,” says mentor and friend, Jeff Mitchum. “In architecture, you have to be spot on.