By Jill Lane
There are artists… and there are masters of the brush or pen or camera. There are wordsmiths…and there are poets of gentle, written musings and meditations. There are storytellers….and there are those who share life’s strange and mystical stories.There are photographers and there are magical image-makers.
And Woody Galloway, Photographer, falls into the latter category in all these areas.
Woody has spent 25 years traveling the state, writing and photographing the wonders that find him. Over the course of his photography career, he has created over 50,000 beautiful images. Headquartered in Santa Fe, his works have been shown in the Governor’s Gallery, the Department of Interior, featured in magazines and in showings in both public and private institutions.
But Woody will be the first to tell you “it’s not about the images, not about the camera, but it’s about being out there in the cold, the wind…and staring a grizzly bear in the eye…”
Sometimes those wonders are along the Rio Grande. And often the red and yellow canyons north of Abiquiu call him to come and sit awhile and listen to the silence of the wild Chama River. Sometimes the light falling on an abandoned adobe church captures his eye and camera lens.
But no matter what the destination or the location, Woody will tell you the most important ingredient is “about living life to its fullest and incorporating Nature into our lives.”
What has made Woody the magnificent photographer and storyteller he is? Perhaps it is being raised in an Arkansas orphanage by nuns. Perhaps it is the heartbreak of a young boy being torn from his family’s center. Perhaps it is the years he spent as a young man in a monastery learning how to relate to nature, to a higher being, to himself.
But whatever the magic potion, it has created a sensitive, insightful and observant
lover of Nature and natural beauty. This gift presents itself in his beautiful images captured through his camera lens. And to the beholder of his works, one encounters numerous photographic art pieces capturing…
Nature’s artwork touched with fragile beauty….
or …...a stark tree surrounded by nature’s soft colors,
or …the bold majesty of the wild animal kingdom
or….the color-splashed palette of nature’s artistry and communion
Or….the softness of a sunset sharing surreal skies…
or…..New Mexico’s adobe made beautiful by nature’s backdrop….
or….A church scene with an overlay of misty clouds and a snow-dusted mountain backdrop.
…..and on and on and on.
Each image seemingly pulled out of thin air, landing on a sheaf of Kodak paper, opening one’s eyes to the unexpected. Without doubt, Woody’s imagery showcases the essence of beauty that graces our world. His images capture those moments, those objects, those wonders of nature …all scenes surrounding us that most of us miss in our daily bustling through life.
If you ask Woody about himself he will readily share with you his life’s philosophy “the primary reason for life is to ENJOY IT!” And he lives those life’s philosophies. He will tell you that his emphasis now is to keep happiness and beauty near him.
But Woody is not just about imagery…..there is a masterful story teller behind many of his images, some capturing life’s precious fleeting moments, others with nature’s story aligned with man and animal, like…
HELP ME By Woody Galloway
Along the Navajo River, just north of Chama, New Mexico, I came across these two friends in the back of a pick-up truck, and I asked the driver about them. He was a rancher, whose cattle were nearby.
He told me there was a storm there that morning, with lots of lightening, and his cow dog had been out with his cattle. He heard a loud noise, and went out to check on his herd.The mother cow and the cow dog had been killed together by the lightening, leaving the calf and puppy behind, so he now had to be mother to both.
All three were brought together by nature’s wildness.
Interlaced with heart-rending stories, captured images and his meditations on life, there is also a romantic side to Woody the artist…and once again he captures Nature’s beauty in his romantic musings.
By Woody Galloway
She brought me sunflowers one afternoon,
through the blue door.
They wrote music upon my soul,
she and those flowers.
Their fragrance is still with me now.
I sit at my broken gate, and wait for their coming.
She still brings me flowers.
Through the door you are the morning wind in my branches, that moves my leaves to dance.
Come, come where-ever you are.
There is time enough. Oh! Yes.
Whether you love beautiful photography simply for artistic sake, or you share his positive life philosophies tagged to a beautiful image, or you are touched by a sentimental story caught in a unique moment in time, or all these filaments of captured artistry……
By Jill Lane ...Woody Galloway-Santa Fe’s Image Maker