Sunset on the Appalachian Trail on Saddleback Mountain in Maine’s High Peaks Region.
Photo Credit : Jerry & Marcy Monkman
DESCRIBE YOUR CONNECTION TO NEW ENGLAND.
While I grew up in Illinois, my mom was a native New Englander and we made regular visits to Boston and Cape Cod when I was young. After moving to New England in the late ’80’s, my wife Marcy and I immediately became interested in exploring the mountains of northern New England. I soon read Thoreau’s The Maine Woods, which inspired me to visit Baxter State Park. After that visit I was committed to using my photography to help conserve the northern forest region of New England, roughly defined as the undeveloped forests north of US 2. I’ve been shooting in the northern forest ever since, and this gallery consists of some of my favorite images from the area that I’ve shot during the last 10 or 11 years. It’s the wildest, and least developed portion of New England, and most of its 15 million acres or so were unprotected and threatened by development just 30 years ago. Today, large swaths of the northern forest are protected from development, providing millions of acres of wildlife habitat, recreation areas, and working forests. It’s great that my photos have played a small part in protecting the region, but mostly I’m just happy to still be able to visit some amazing wild places just a few hours drive from my home in Portsmouth.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
I am primarily inspired by the places I visit and the people I meet along the way. I think the average person takes pictures to share their experiences with others and I’m no different in that way. However, I am highly motivated to find places that are in need of some kind of protection and to find a way to tell their stories through photos. When I first started shooting, I was influenced by some of the masters of 20th century landscape photography, like Ansel Adams and Elliot Porter. As conservation became my focus, I gravitated towards the work of Robert Glenn Ketchum and Gary Braasch, as well as the adventure photography of Galen Rowell.
DESCRIBE YOUR BACKGROUND & EQUIPMENT.
I’m a self-taught photographer, but I’m sure studying formally would have saved me a few years of trial and error! I’ve shot with all kinds of gear over the years, having started with 35mm and medium format film cameras back in the early 1990s and switching to DSLR’s about 12 years ago. When I was first starting out, I had a voracious appetite for photography books, and I learned a lot from books, like Freeman Patterson’s Photography of Natural Things and Galen Rowell’s Mountain Light. However, most of my learning came in the field, and it still does. Spending multiple days in the woods and mountains seems to be the best way to unlock the creativity that struggles to find it’s way out of my head. Today, I shoot with Canon DSLR’s and a variety of lenses that range in focal length from 16mm to 200mm.
To see more of Jerry’s work please visit ecophotography.com
THE NORTHERN FORESTS OF NEW ENGLAND | FEATURED PHOTOGRAPHER JERRY MONKMAN