30 year-old American photographer Patrick Warner got an interest in photography through cinema, “especially Stanley Kubrick’s movies. I started using a digital camera when I was 19, on a family trip in Hawaii. I was hooked and continued taking a lot of bad photography for years. Then I started shooting on film in 2013, which—along with exposure (no pun intended) to the work of other film photographers—changed how I viewed photography.”
Patrick is, for the most part, a landscape photographer: “I feel like my main interests in photography change by the day, but there are a few mainstays: mundane landscapes changed by light, cultural influences on the landscape, the changing American West, and so on. Lately I’m starting to get more interested in politics and issues like climate change.”
You can tell from Patrick’s images that what he does is he just hits the road and explores the landscape looking for something to shoot: “It is an enjoyable, freeing experience to drive somewhere to photograph. Montana, my home state,” is a big state with interstates that don’t have the big city traffic, so it’s easy to travel. I just enjoy being somewhere I haven’t been before and potentially finding something/someone worth photographing, but it doesn’t always work that way since there are no guarantees for a good photograph. You just have to keep doing it. When I do get a good picture out of this process, that makes all the missed opportunities, bad weather, and money worth it.”
“I don’t really have a concrete answer for this,” Patrick says when asked what a certain landscape should have to draw his eye and decide it’s time to take a picture. “It has to have a certain essence that feels right to the place or I’ll shoot to try something different than I usually do. Sometimes it’s an impulsive, intuitive thing.” He also shoots at any time of the day: “Golden hour is usually the best for me, but I like to shoot in other conditions like fog and haze, too.”
Ideally, Patrick hopes his images will get viewers to “see the state of Montana a little differently than the common stereotypes/expectations of grand landscapes, cowboys, and ranches (although I do like those things about the state).” Some of his favorite contemporary photographers are Alec Soth, Richard Misrach, Bryan Schutmaat, Matthew Genitempo, Doug Dubois, Raymond Meeks, Alex Prager, Daniel Shea, Adam Bellefeuil, Thomas Prior, Missy Prince, Todd Hido, Sian Davey, Patrick Joust, Benoit Paille, Stacy Kranitz and Cody Cobb, “but of course, there are dozens of others too.” The last photobooks he bought were Jasper by Matthew Genitempo and My Last Day at Seventeen by Doug Dubois.
Patrick’s #threewordsforphotography are:
Person. Place. Emotion.