001 | Ryan Attema

Exhibition: Inspired by Nature


Ryan Attema


I am very excited to introduce an inspiring young emerging artist from Santa Cruz, California who I have known since birth. I fondly remember my early days with Ryan and his sister Katie exploring the local mountains, streets and beaches of Santa Cruz in the name of Art. One of my first projects with Ryan and Katie focused on color and shapes. I provided each of them with a disposable camera and instructed them to shoot with care and to photograph primary colors. This was followed with another outing to concentrate on shapes. Several weeks later I returned with the pictures developed and two large scrapbooks that we used to tell our story through the images that were captured in our adventures. Who would have known that these early excursions would have such an impact on their lives and for Ryan it has become a passion that is so clearly evident in the images that he captures today.

I have included just a small sampling of his photography work here in The Gallery. If you would like to learn more, I have included Ryan's website link below.


Artist Statement
I am a nature photographer primarily focusing on still, landscape, wildlife, and sport subjects.  While my main focus is on natural beauty and unique perspective, my subjects are often highlighted by geometric composition and color contrast.  When laying out the subject within the frame, I consider elements that further define the subject such as action, intensity, and organization that concludes peace in the frame.  My love for the ocean is often evident in my photography as I enjoy including a flow among the subjects in the frame that is rooted in the ocean.   Not only do I frequently frame the ocean and its wildlife, but sunsets and sunrises are also among my favorite subjects to photograph.  I enjoy capturing the many designs their rays create.  Although color makes up the majority of my photographs, I also enjoy photographing heavy contrast through black and white format. This Exhibition in The Gallery includes some of my subjects: flowers, butterflies, ocean waves, otters, elephant seals, pelicans, natural rock oceanic rock formations, surfing, sailboats, and airplanes. I have photographed in Hawaii, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, a variety of National Parks including Yosemite and Yellowstone, Washington D.C., and Santa Cruz, California; which is my hometown.

Ryan Attema began his fascination in art and photography when a family friend Gregory Howell introduced the elements of photography to him as a young boy.  A project that focused on color and composition based in a train yard in the Santa Cruz Mountains of California exposed him to the nature of photography.  From then on Ryan grew up in Santa Cruz, taking art classes that included drawing, painting, and pottery.  Growing up participating in sports such as, baseball, soccer, basketball, tennis, sailing, and surfing, Ryan’s love for sports and the ocean developed.  It wasn’t until he attended Santa Cruz High School, and enrolled in a black and white photography class that Ryan rekindled his interest in photography since his early childhood experience with his family friend.  While he enjoyed math and science along with his photography, Ryan took interest in the fundamental elements and compositions of photography.  Later his family purchased a new digital camera and went on a summer road trip across the United States providing Ryan with an overwhelming opportunity to photograph.  His love for nature photography soon strengthened as he enjoyed photographing many National Parks across the country.  Following the trip, Ryan continued his love of photography at air shows with his father and near the ocean where he loved to surf.  One Christmas his family gave him a brand new SLR camera, which quickly ignited his further action in photography.  Living only a block from the ocean in Santa Cruz, Ryan frequently congregated around the ocean’s natural beauty and wildlife, photographing its natural subjects.  He is now a student at a junior college near Santa Cruz, and continues to photograph.

Click here to view The Gallery on Facebook

Gregory's Travel Notes: Hawaii, Cabo and Yosemite

The Big Island of Hawaii

The Big Island is my personal favorite of all the islands and has been since my earliest visits to Hawaii as a child. The island offers amazing diversity from the sunny town of Kona on the west coast to the verdant green and often moist Hilo on the east coast. The best way to get around is by car as you can explore the coastlines and beaches, Volcanoes National Park, sunrise at Mauna Kea, Ka Lae (South Point) which is the southernmost point in the USA, and Akaka Falls on the northeast coastline.

The great Mauna Kea Resort is a classic and boasts one of the best beaches on the island. The recent renovations have updated the historic property and is a perfect place for families to call home whether you stay in the hotel or in one of the homes or villas located throughout the resort. The Volcano House is currently closed and under renovation. When completed it will again make for an exciting overnight stay right on the rim of the Kilauea Crater. The Four Seasons Resort Hualalai continually ranks as one of the top beach resorts in the world and if you are fortunate to get a reservation (the property books well in advance with loyal repeat guests) and have the budget, you will be assured an incredible experience where luxury and relaxation are a form of art. For more information and travel planning assistance, I encourage you to visit the Big Islands official tourist website.

Los Cabos, Baja Mexico

Over the years, Cabo has become my quick escape. From the West Coast of the USA you can find numerous nonstop flights under three hours which makes a long weekend visit possible without feeling rushed and in need of another vacation upon your return home. There are dozens of excellent hotels and resorts in the area, but my quiet favorite is the all-suites property Zoetry Casa del Mar Los Cabos. Located next to its famous neighbor Las Ventanas, Casa del Mar is truly a luxury escape without all the pretense. When you arrive you have no need to ever leave the property until you are ready to fly home.

Yosemite Valley, California

The magic of Yosemite captured my imagination long before my first visit as a child when I marveled at the beautiful photographic works of Ansel Adams found in many photography books and the prolific black and white posters.  My grandfather's passion for the outdoors was also displayed through his own images of Yosemite Valley (see The Gallery). I feel Ryan Attema has also captured the power of Yosemite in both his color and black & while photographs presented in the current exhibition.

Yosemite is home to two great historic hotels that have been host to world leaders and common folk alike. The first is the classic Ahwahnee Hotel located in the heart of the Yosemite Valley floor with unsurpassed views of the surrounding natural wonders. The second is the Victorian-style lodge Wawona Hotel located four miles from the park's South Entrance. Listed as a National Historic Landmark, the hotel boasts a quiet, low key experience right on the river bank and surrounded by green meadows.

12 photo(s) Updated on: 12 May 2011
  • Hawaii © Ryan Attema
  • Hawaii © Ryan Attema
  • Hawaii © Ryan Attema
  • Hawaii © Ryan Attema
  • Cabo San Lucas, Mexico © Ryan Attema
  • Cabo San Lucas, Mexico © Ryan Attema
  • Yosemite © Ryan Attema
  • Yosemite © Ryan Attema
  • Yosemite © Ryan Attema
  • Yosemite © Ryan Attema
  • Yosemite © Ryan Attema
  • Yosemite
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