Artist Statement—Dale Kesel
Like all artists, I deal in a world of images. My medium of choice is photography. My work is driven by a desire to communicate, to add new dimension to people’s lives, to stimulate thought and to fire emotions within those who view it.
Imagination and patience are the key virtues from which my photographic images spring. Imagination allows me to see the extraordinary within the ordinary or mundane. It allows me to see possibilities where others might see none. It inspires me to select points of view that are unexpected and to tinker with reality just enough to provoke a little further thought on behalf of my viewers.
Patience gives the imagination time to work—time to examine many different executions in order to arrive at the one that expresses the idea in the most powerful way.
Pursuing my passion for exciting, thought-provoking images born out of the personalities of people and the natural events of nature and history is a lifelong commitment, the energy for which gets regenerated at a higher level every time I take a trip into the field with my camera.
Born and raised in East Lansing, Michigan. Studied Commercial Art and Advertising in college. Graduated from University of Illinois in 1971 with Masters Degree in Communications. Worked for a number of the nation’s leading advertising agencies until 1991, when I relocated to Phoenix, Arizona to pursue my passion for Photography. Owned and operated a photography studio—Spectrum Photography—from 1991 through 2001. Taught Photography at South Mountain Community College for 9 years.
My current business is made up of Commercial, Portrait and Fine Art Photography.
I teach privately and lead private photographic workshops throughout the Southwest. Gallery shows include Chandler Center for the Arts (2003 and 2012), Vision Gallery, Chandler (2001 through 2006, 2008, 2011, 2012) and SunDust Gallery in Mesa (2011 and 2012, Mesa Arts Center juried Cooperative artist 2013-2016).
Cannon Beach SundownWhile photographing the coast of northern Oregon, I made it a priority to get out on the beach at low tide and to take advantage of the light. After checking this spot the day before, I went back at low tide, as the sun was going down.
Patience was key. With my camera on a tripod, I waited for the glow in the sky, which was reflected in the pool of water surrounding a rock embedded in the sand.
The dark silhouetted rocks out in the ocean provided just the right elements of contrast with the orange sky and its reflection in thforegroundnd pool to complete the image.
House on Fire RuinWhen returning to Phoenix from Moab, UT, I found my way to this small ruin tucked into a canyon wall near the AZ/UT border. After hiking a couple of miles along the bed of a stream, I came to the ruin at precisely the right time- about 10am.
With my camera on a tripod, and a 20mm lens, I created this image featuring the ruin and the ledge it sat upon, with the carved rock wall above, which literally looked like it was on fire, due to the sunlight reflecting off the rock surface below my feet upward onto the unique curved and carved wall above the ruin. As is often the case, timing and weather were critical to creating this image.
Dawn at Dead Horse OverlookNorthwest of Moab, UT is this iconic view of Colorado River. Arriving at this location before dawn, I set my camera on tripod and waited for the first light.
I selected a point of view that would feature the river winding through the rock formations and place the pine tree in the lower right third of the composition.
All of my best images at this location were created before the sun broke over the horizon. The sky was lit by the sun and the red rock formations were saturated. Once the sun broke the horizon, the light became contrasty and the opportunity was gone.
San Xavier MorningEarly on a November morning, I created this image of the "White Dove of the Desert"-San Xavier del Bac Mission, southwest of Tucson.
I have photographed this wonderful historic mission many times. This time, because of the angelic cloud formations above, against a deep blue sky. I decided to photograph it in B&W.
If you l ook closely, you can see that the left lower has been recently restored. Due to a shortage of funds, I was told that the right tower would have to wait before restoration could continue.
Wild Mustangs 2Early on a November morning, I had the opportunity to capture a series of images of Wild Mustangs (photographing from an ultralight plane), as we flew over the Gila River Reservation, northeast of Maricopa, AZ.
Once the pilot spotted the Mustangs, he flew in low, allowing me to capture them in full stride. On this pass, we came in so low that we hit the tops of the paloverde trees with the landing gear of the plane. Would I do it again, given the chance? In a heartbeat!
The magic of shooting from above, as the Mustangs kicked up dust in the desert, resulted in images that looked more like paintings than photographs.