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Brightwood photographer Gary Randall displays work at Estacada Winter Artisan Show

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO: BRUCE OMORI - Gary Randall eagerly takes a photo of lava in Hawaii. Randall enjoys landscape photography.

Gary Randall's photography career has taken him from lava in Hawaii to glaciers in Alaska, and next up is the Estacada Winter Artisan Show.

Randall, who is based in Brightwood, is the featured artist at the annual event. Organized by the Estacada Development Association, the show will connect attendees with artisans and crafters from around the region. The event is scheduled from 5-8 p.m. Friday, Dec, 1, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, at Estacada City Hall, 475 S.E. Main St.

Randall enjoys landscape photography because nature is where he finds peace.

"I would rather be in nature than anywhere else," he said. "I can go out and ground myself again. I can be in a place of peace, and photography allows me to share that with other people."

When discussing his artistic style, Randall said he draws influence from the Hudson River School, a group of landscape painters who worked in the 1800s.

"They were coming from west of the Rockies, and seeing this place for the first time," Randall said. "Some (of their work is) ethereal and dreamlike and captures the light and mist. I want to emulate that look."

He enjoys traveling to new locations to acquire photos but noted that his native Oregon has much to offer.

"Where we live has given me so much nature," he said. "I have epic locations in my backyard. Oregon has everything - ocean, hills, mountains, valleys, glacial peaks, desert, mud flats and a canyon deeper than the Grand Canyon."

In particular, Randall enjoys being in the Columbia River Gorge and on Mt. Hood.

"Mt. Hood is my landscape photography muse," he said. "It challenges me. With other mountains, you have roads to drive on. Mt. Hood is a bit more remote. You really have to hike and walk to get (to most places). It's different. It challenges me to get something other than what everyone else has gotten.

Recently, Randall was awarded the Silver Medal for Creative Excellence at the International Photographic Competition for a photo of Trillium Lake.

"I'm not one to enter competitions, but my friend encouraged me to do so. I just decided, why not?" he said, noting that winning "really raised awareness of my work on the internet."

He added that he likes the winning photo because "it required nothing."

"I went there, took the photo and it needed nothing," he said. "The light and reflection were perfect."

Randall said that social media outlets such as Facebook and Instagram have allowed him to see the ways in which his work im-

pacts other people, which he appreciates.

"The day I realized how it affects others was life changing for me," he said. "I was reading messages and a lady in the third stage of breast cancer (said) the reason she gets up is to see if I posted a new photo."

In addition to being a landscape photographer, Randall is also a licensed guide in the state of Oregon, showing people how to reach places in the Columbia River Gorge or on Mt. Hood, among other places.

He also organizes photography retreats, ranging in location from Alaska to Mt. Hood, in which participants can hone their skills with a camera.

Randall is looking forward to the Estacada Winter Artisan Show and the opportunities to discuss his craft that it will present.

"I like to do events like this," he said. "I like to talk to people. If I share how I did it, perhaps they can do it too. My life is an adventure, especially when I'm getting photos."

IF YOU GO

What: Winter Artisan Show, an annual art show and sale featuring Gary Randall and additional artists.

When: 5-8 p.m. Friday, Dec, 1, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2.

Where: Estacada City Hall, 475 S.E. Main St.

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