About Me:

Photography is not my first calling as a career.  I have been providing computer software consulting and development for over 25 years (resume).  During my formative college years, I found I understood computers much better than Organic Chemistry.  So my studies took a decisive turn from Veterinary Medicine and I completed college with a major in Information Systems.

It was during college that I purchased my first 35mm camera, a Canon AE1.  Thus began my shutterbug experience, roaming over Coastal and North Georgia with my friends, photographing rural and nature scenes.  As an exuberant hobbyist I began to hone my craft and future calling.  I became an astute observer, photographing Nature’s patterns and designs that abound in infinite numbers, all waiting to be perceived.  I also learned to value silence, a focusing soundlessness that enfolds you in the area.  In that moment, while the photographic possibilities are clarifying, you hear Mother Earth breath.  

Over the years my indulgence in photography came and went, like the tidal waters.  However, at the end of the day, it seems I always came back to this media as my creative outlet.  During this same time period I became more involved with animals, backpacking and environmental discovery.  As I made more of a connection to Nature, I wanted to share that familiarity with others.  Through photography I aspire in some way to help shape impressions by instructing observation and appreciation for the natural world of color, light, design and texture.

The basis of my photography is a combined respect, admiration and love of the natural world.  One classic characteristic of my animal images is the eyes.  The gaze of any animal has an honesty and directness that communicates without words.  I respectfully attempt to capture the dignity exhibited by my subject.  It should be noted; I greatly prefer photographing animals in their natural environment, however, I also photograph animals in a captured (zoo, animal park, etc.) or rescue (wildlife rescue and rehabilitation) environment.  Sometimes photographing captured animals can be more challenging than it first seems.  Depending on the subject I may want to hide or show the “hand of man” influence.  Knowing that this is a very sensitive subject, I will always document the fact that this photograph was taken in a capture situation.  Integrity is a rule, not a suggestion, and I never attempt to pass off a captive image as “in the wild”.

Another hallmark of my photography is a love for color, texture and shapes.  Each day a wetland sunrise or a mountain sunset is unique.  A close observation of a wilderness trail shows spatial form and contour.  A mollusk shell in reeds yields a character at first unseen.  An abstract view of a common subject results in another insight to its nature.  I am continually inspired by the innumerable moments that our Mother Earth provides, waiting to be observed and photographed.

Today I capture all of my images digitally.  I come from a film background and fully respect other photographers who choose to remain with that medium.  Given my background in computers, moving to a digital format was not a sizable learning curve.  I find I can be more productive and, admittedly, I enjoy the immediate gratification digital imagery provides.  The digital workflow process has its own challenges.  I am always looking to shorten my time at the computer and increase my time in the field.

I have been awarded placement honors at several exhibits and I am continuing to grow my portfolio of images.  My adventures as a backpacker and NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership School) alumni substantiate my belief regarding the heartbeat of the earth and phenomenon of life.  I encourage everyone to observe, be still and respect the moments that occur around them.  It is in these lessons that we will find what is most pleasing to our heart and mind.

Happy Trails,

John Teate


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