San Diego Natural History Museum--Your Nature ConnectionSDNHM Exhibits

Rare Places in a Rare Light
The Wildlands Photography of Robert Turner

This exhibition closed September 1, 2003

 Robert TurnerThe San Diego Natural History Museum will feature dramatic color landscape work by world renown local photographer Robert Turner in the exhibition, Rare Places in a Rare Light: The Wildlands Photography of Robert Turner.

Turner has worked professionally with a camera for more than twenty years. Before turning to images of the natural world he was President of Spectrum Films, shooting on locations from the high Andes of Peru to the streets of Manhattan. His non-fiction productions were honored with 46 national and international film festival awards. He now devotes all of his energies to large-format, fine art wildlands photography, logging over 40,000 miles a year in pursuit of the light on the land. For a preview of these images, view his website at

In his travels, he seeks to isolate compositions in nature that will not only succeed at the level of pure form but will also communicate the emotional essence of a place. "When it works," he says, "it is often because I've managed to capture a fleeting moment of light, color, motion, or stillness that gives the picture a sense of heightened reality. I'm left feeling that I have witnessed something that has transcended the realm of ordinary experience. When it is the sun shafting through a storm ten miles out over an unspoiled canyon in Utah, then the moment can be grand, the mood one of awe. When the camera isolates a quiet coming together of nearby shapes and textures in the Maine woods then the feeling may be one of profound serenity."

Turner has quickly gained recognition in the art photography scene. His work hangs in many private and corporate collections, including those of SprintPCS, A G Edwards, Goldman Sachs, and Deloitte & Touche. His prints are identified by their strong composition and painterly use of color. The large-format camera records exceptional nuance and shading which Turner manages to preserve, through meticulous craft, in his archival, limited-edition prints. Their depth and dimensionality suggest the scope of the landscape in a way that approaches the experience of being there.

Robert Turner grew up steeped in the natural history of the forests of northern New Jersey and the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York. He studied anthropology and fine art at the University of Colorado. After college he lived and worked in highland Peru for several years. When not traveling the back roads of the country he lives with his wife in Encinitas, in San Diego's North County.

When asked about his aspirations Turner says, "Ultimately, I strive to create works of enduring beauty-images that will inform the soul and convey my deep belief in the value of wild places. I am satisfied that I am successful when the viewer is struck by a sense of place. It may be a very specific connection to the landscape. But it may also be a sudden wave of nostalgia, or a longing to get back out on the land. I'm happy when my work serves as a tangible reminder in the everyday urban world of the intangible meaning to be found in the natural world outside our own creation."

Prints will be available for purchase during the exhibition to help raise funds for the Museum's environmental education programs.

Photo © Robert Turner

Rare Places