Where Nature and Art Intersect: Meet Nature Photographer Christopher Morgan

Written by Artie The Panda

As a panda, I’m a fan of nature. I’m also fond of people who can capture landscapes in a way that calms my mind and thrills my heart. Enter photographer Christopher Morgan, whose colorful images of beaches, rivers, mountains and waterfalls are like bamboo for the soul.

Here Comes the Sun

If Christopher had listened to one of his college professors, his subject matter might be entirely different. The instructor criticized a sunset image declaring his student didn’t “have an eye” for nature photography. Fortunately, the unkind remark only lit a fire in Christopher to learn more and work harder. Looking at his body of work now, you’ll find no shortage of striking sunsets.

Nature on Display

Christopher lives in Matthews, North Carolina, just outside of Charlotte. He created “Like A Moss,” shown here, at Fort Fisher Memorial Park in the southeastern part of his state. “What We Are Left With” was captured at Washington Oaks State Park in Saint Augustine, Florida.

See More of His Work

To view more of Christopher’s work, take a peek at his portfolio or his Facebook page. If you’re in the Charlotte area, check out his exhibit at Vane Gallery. He’s planning to donate some of his work to benefit the Charlotte Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Gala in the fall.

Get to Know Him Better

See my Artie’s 8 Q&A below, where Christopher reveals past intimidations, present favorite tool, and future project musings.

Now for Artie’s Eight Q&A with Christopher Morgan…

1. What is your background; how did you get started?
I have always been fascinated with photography, but I was actually intimated by it growing up. My earliest memory of how I became the photographer I am today is seeing those minimalist, long-exposure seascapes with old pier pilings. I thought to myself, "I want to create that!” It wasn't until I took my first film photography class in my freshman year of college that I began to understand how the camera functioned. By junior year, a digital photography course was offered and that's where the world of photography grabbed me and I was just along for the ride! I didn't want to just take cool shots, I studied and researched photography in order to fully understand the technical aspects. I am always inspired by other photographers, which continues my drive to learn this art.

2. How important is it for a photographer to "connect" with their subject?
As a nature photographer, there is a different type of connection than taking photos of people. I have always been inspired and intrigued by nature and feel drawn to the details that nature has to offer. Sometimes I feel connected to the colors, other times the light reflections or movement of water. Whether it be a pier, or a simple rock in the scene there is something that draws and connects me to the image I'm creating.

3. What has been a formative experience or the best advice you’ve received within your career?
An experience I had that made me determined to succeed in landscape photography was my professor junior year of college. He told me not to do nature photography. I had submitted sunset images for a project and he harshly critiqued them, telling me that I did not have an eye capturing the sunset. This infuriated me because while taking these photographs I felt a sense of inner peace that was not present in my other work. The experience made me want to work harder and improve my skills with the goal of bringing the escape I felt to others via photography.

4. What ways does your work reflect your personality?
My work tends to capture bright colors which represents the creative side of my personality. I also love to stay active which is represented in my love for capturing movement in my photography, including water and clouds.

5. Creative blocks, do you get them? If so, how do you overcome them?
I suffer from anxiety and depression which are the main causes of any mental blocks I experience. I have to remind myself that going out and capturing images or working on a project will benefit my mental confidence which will reduce the creative block.  Photography provides a therapeutic perspective by giving me a sense of purpose and bringing an emotional balance to my life.

6. What is your most indispensable tool? (Not counting the obvious, like paints, brushes, canvas, camera, etc.)
Aside from my camera I would have to say my tripod because it provides the stable base needed to create sharp images.

7. Do you have a new project you are working on, or a new passionate idea?
I am currently trying to find a way to bring awareness to mental health through my images. My goal is to bring peace and calmness, but I also want to inspire others to go out and find what brings them to a more stable place like I have found in photography.

8. What "fad" gadget do you most regret purchasing?
I recently purchased a photography drone because I noticed they are increasing in popularity however, I quickly realized that is not my specialty. Luckily, I was able to return it and use that money towards other equipment that plays off my strengths.

Christopher Morgan Photographer

All artwork and/or photographs used in this post are subject to copyright held by the featured artist.

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