Welcome to the Sierra Light Gallery, portfolio of landscape photographer Nolan Nitschke.
I have been fortunate enough to spend the majority of my life in the Eastern Sierra. I was raised in Bishop, Ca in the Owens Valley nestled between the Eastern Sierra and the White Mountains. At a young age I developed a close relationship with these mountains and nature. Much as glaciers formed the rugged spires of the Sierra Nevada, so too did these mountains form me. I spent my childhood hiking and fishing in the Eastern Sierra and the Owens Valley, as well as traveling extensively throughout the American West.
In high school I got my first point and shoot digital camera, a 3mp Canon Powershot. Growing up with the images of Galen Rowell and Ansel Adams, I took to landscape photography like a second nature and quickly realized the limitation of this type of camera. Soon after, I left my home and moved to Boise, Idaho and attended Boise State University. There I was able to purchase my first DSLR, a 6mp Nikon D70.
Hiking, backpacking, and traveling throughout Idaho, I was able to hone my photographic skills and develop and eye for composition, color, and light. I would travel home, back to Bishop and the Eastern Sierra, and apply those new found skills on to the mountains I grew up with.
On one fateful day in Yosemite National Park, as a thunderstorm slammed onto the iconic Half Dome, I was able to capture a scene of epic proportions. One that not only changed my life forever, but defined how landscape photography had become an intrinsic part of who I was and who I was to become.
As my skills and eye improved, my focus turned to the state of Utah and its many canyons, textures, and light. Here is where my true ambition came to fruition. Studying this unique landscape and the effect of light upon it, I was able to gain an understanding of how the eye and the camera interpret light and composition.
After college, I took a job with the United States Forest Service and the Inyo National Forest, right in my backyard. Currently, I work on a Wilderness/Trails crew which consists of numerous nine days stints in the backcountry building trail, restoring meadows, and clearing trails of fallen trees. Killing three birds with one stone, I am able to work, photograph, and give back to an area that has given me so much in my life.
Since 2004, there has hardly been a day that landscape photography has not consumed my thoughts and driven my life. With the support of my amazing wife Lauren and an undying motivation to capture and conserve the range of light and its most epic moments, I will continue to bring a new and unique interpretation of the Eastern Sierra, and all landscapes, in the hope of inspiring others to conserve and protect these areas for future generations to come.