Skip to main content
email usour twitterour facebook page
The Wilderness Gallery - C.W. Banfield

About C.W. Banfield

     My photography career started with a love of nature and a wanderlust that lured me down 16,000 miles of hiking trails.  In the spring of 1994, I embarked on my first Appalachian Trail thru-hike (2,100 miles, Georgia to Maine).  The six-month journey changed my life.  But discontent with the narrow green corridor of the east coast, I turned my attention to the Pacific Crest Trail (2,700 miles, Mexico to Canada) and then the Continental Divide Trail (3,100 miles, Mexico to Canada) before returning to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail a second time in 2001.

     From the beginning, I carried a 35mm camera to record my experiences.  Eventually, as the photographic process became as important as the journey, I moved to medium format and eventually large format.  Lugging 30-40 pounds of camera equipment, in addition to camping gear, requires a strong back and a stronger will.  And getting the right light requires both research and luck.  I often go for days without making a single exposure.  But in the end, I can't imagine a more satisfying photographic process.

     I now work almost exclusively in large format (4x5 and 4x10) and print via a lightjet photo processor.  This method of printing is a unique combination of traditional and modern techniques.  I begin by capturing the image on transparency film.  After developing, I scan the film and color balance the resulting file to match the original transparency.  Finally, I output the image using the lightjet processor.  This device uses laser light to expose photographic paper, thus producing a true "photograph" - not an inkjet print.

     And while I followed a non-traditional path to photography, my method is quite traditional. I believe that the most important decisions that a photographer makes are in the field rather than in the darkroom or in the computer.  I therefore eschew color enhancing filters, as well as digital manipulation, and use only a minimal number of color correcting filters.

     Likewise, my education and background are also quite traditional.  I grew up on a small farm near Wadsworth, Ohio, and graduated from Adrian College in Michigan with a triple major in economics, history and political science, as well as a minor in philosophy.  Thinking law school was the ultimate goal; I moved to Washington, DC and worked as a historical researcher for the Supreme Court of the United States.  Later, I did graduate work in economics and history, and spent six years in U.S. Army Special Operations.  It was during my military tenure that I began to appreciate my time out of doors.  Eventually, I decided the world would do fine with one less lawyer.

Click on an image to see it larger
Site Mailing List  Sign Guest Book  View Guest Book 

The Wilderness Gallery, LLC
Upper Arlington, OH  43221
Phone: 614-565-9821