Almost everybody has had the experience of capturing
a memory on film. Indeed, many photographers have taken beautiful
pictures. But Peter Kelley describes photography as the passion he
uses to focus on images which reflect his personality:
- The contrast of red rainbow bridge rising above desert vegetation.
- Pictographs depicting powerful awakenings in the human soul.
- Lightning like a stream of lava lighting a dusky sky.
These photographs express who Peter Kelley is: a man
of contrast, spirituality, and intense energy which brings light
to illusive images.
Starting at age 16, Peter knew he loved the outdoors and photography.
He grew up in North Wisconsin, an area of intense beauty, and spent
much time enjoying the area's woods, lakes, and mountains. His resulting
love for natural beauty, combined with an ability to visualize and
compose, led Peter into a self-taught study of photography sprinkled
with a few formal photography classes.
Today, Kelley's walls hold captured moments of personal experience.
His eye has become critical, his mind focused. "I really know what
I want, when I see that happening, my camera shutter is burning."
As Peter's photographic skill developed, so did his sense of self. "I'm
a person of contrasts," he states, "I love the contrast of snow covered
mountains with desert rocks -- of dark rippled water with colorful
Contrast surfaces again when you see a man in love with the outdoors
making his living in real estate. "There is accountability and responsibility
in my dealings with the environment," says Peter. "Although there
is development and growth, and my business depends on such things,
I do my part to see that we do things right."
As a man of contrasts, it's natural for Peter to balance his fast
paced life in real estate with tranquil forays into landscape photography.
When life is too hectic, he sits back and meditates on his photographs,
and regains the serenity and peace he experienced while taking the
shot. "You can look at my photos and take time to pause and remember
our lives pass in a quick second," he states, "What you're seeing
was like that a long time before we got here, and hopefully will
be like that a long time after -- there is peace in that understanding."
Peter's spirituality is deep and personal. "We're spiritual beings
having a human experience," he says. "Most of my photos are not overtly
ethereal, but the earth is sacred, and that makes my images inherently
spiritual. The only photos I take that are obviously metaphysical
are my Anasazi pictograph shots. I'm drawn to the art of the 'ancient
ones' because of an obvious spirit, and attempt to convey that in
Another outdoor activity Peter enjoys is skiing, particularly ski
mountaineering. In climbing remote mountains and skiing down them,
he feels he can be part of the earth's sacredness, while at the same
time leave no trace of having been there. It's a soft way of interacting
with nature that goes beyond mere athletics.
In 1989, Peter was pulling weeds by his house, in the dark by light
of a miner's headlamp. In the distance, a storm was rolling over
Mount Sopris. Racing for his porch, he erected his tripod, quickly
mounted his camera, then began opening the shutter as an apocalyptic
electrical storm lit the heavens. The result is the flagship of Peter's
portfolio: Sopris Lightning. The energy of the lightning
bolt, as it pierces an indigo sky and intersects a mountain peak,
is like an idea illuminating the landscape of the mind -- or a spiritual
experience igniting the soul.
"Everything about Sopris Lightning, and most photography,
is about light," says Peter. "When the synergy of subject, light
and photographer is caught, the results reflect the artist's passion."
Peter Kelley is a complete human being -- more than the sum of
his parts. The force that makes climbers take on the highest mountain
is the same energy that electrifies this photographer to click the
shutter. His photos are beautiful. They depict his love of contrast,
his closeness and respect for our earth, and the intensity of his
energy. Peter Kelley's photographs are signatures of his being.