Welcome to the Sensitive Observer! I’m so excited to have you visit and I hope you’ll enjoy your stay while you’re here. My name is Kerry McGehee and I’m a fine art nature photographer.
In 2013, I started my freelance photography business and mostly used Facebook to showcase my work where I’ve gained a steady following of over 15,000 wonderful supporters. Then, I discovered the excellent photography galleries 500px and Instagram. None of these options allowed me to discuss my work at length, however, so I decided to start this blog where I can share meaningful discussion and education along with my images.
I’ve been an avid photographer since I was eight years young, primarily influenced by my beloved mom. I cannot recall a time when my mom did not have a camera in her hands – or in her purse. She was always taking pictures of everything! Because of her, photography has been part of my life for as long as I can remember, and it’s definitely in my blood. I am privileged to own many vintage photographs my family took, some over 120 years old!
My brother is, also, an excellent photographer. In fact, my first 35mm camera was the classic Canon AE-1, purchased at the camera store where my brother worked, at the time. But, my VERY first camera was a Kodak Instamatic and my first exposure (pardon the pun!) to nature and landscape was a trip I took with my family to British Columbia when I was nine. We drove from my hometown Chicago to Alberta, Canada and visited over 20 national parks, shooting all the way with my trusty, little Kodak. Needless to say, it was quite inspirational for my youthful eyes! But, it was the move from my home in Chicago to scenic California in 2001 that really brought me full circle, inspiring me to start my photography business.
Nature is so important to me. It keeps me grounded, happy and serves as a constant reminder of how we are all connected. I enjoy capturing all forms of nature, whether it be the tiniest of plant life or the largest expanse of landscape. Everything I photograph has a common thread, and that is sensitivity. I’m a very careful photographer and respect the land and the life on it above all else. The subjects in my images are never manipulated, but rather I shoot ‘it’ the way I find it. Photography is quite personal for me and something that has been a part of my life as long as I can remember. When I hold a camera in my hands, I instantly feel empowered, like a super human…very important and very special. All my life people kept giving me cameras as gifts for birthdays and Christmas or “just because”. The universe was trying to tell me something for a very long time. I finally listened at age 47 and started my photography business. I find that all of my life’s experiences have contributed in one way or another to my art form and images. One of my favorite quotes, by Ansel Adams, pretty much sums up my personal philosophy in photography;
“You don’t make a photograph just with a camera. You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved.”
My blog will be devoted to discussing my work, sometimes, in detail. I hope to share my techniques and camera settings from time to time. I will also share my philosophy on the art form, depending on the image. I’m always available if you have any photography related questions and happy to answer them. I’m an entirely self-taught photographer and am still learning many things on my personal journey and I’d like to share with all of you what I have learned. If you are interested in seeing my portfolio, please visit my website at kerrymcgehee.com.
There are hundreds and hundreds of photography blogs available to see, so I guess I’m a small fish in a huge ocean, but my eyes and my soul tell a story that is unique and I’m excited to share it with all of you. All the images you’ll see on this blog are mine, needless to say. I hope you’ll follow me as I venture down my rabbit hole, capturing nature as I see it.
Kerry McGehee is a multiple award-winning freelance photographer. She first fell in love with photography taking pictures with her Kodak Instamatic at age eight. Her education comprised the close study of art history, past masters, and contemporary artists. Some of her artistic influences range from distinctive painters such as Rembrandt, Chagall, O’Keefe, and Maxfield Parrish to brilliant photographers like Eliot Porter, Jay Maisel, Linda McCartney and best-selling photography book author/photographer Harold Davis, whom Kerry has studied under.
After graduating from college, Kerry worked with both the Terra Museum of American Art and the Circle Fine Art Gallery in her hometown of Chicago. Working on exhibitions and with other artists led to other positions with art galleries, and then a long career in advertising, where Kerry did commercial photography for her clients. In fact, that was her intro to the then-emerging world of digital photography, where she was the first to use a Sony Mavica, the world’s first electronic still camera, at her firm.
In 2001, Kerry moved from her Chicago home to her current home in Northern California. Indeed, she credits the move to beautiful California with providing the unshakable inspiration to share what she is fortunate enough to view each day. Kerry is deeply attracted to nature’s organic perfection. This attraction has led to her passion and first love, macro photography as well as landscape photography. She often trains her lens on the simple things- from everyday wonders in her backyard garden to the awe-inspiring views and landscapes near her present home. She sees the extraordinary where others see the ordinary. Her photos are known for their bright vivid colors and sharp details, drawing her viewers in for an even closer look.
As part of her commitment to nature as it spontaneously occurs, Kerry does not stage her nature images. She enjoys using her digital darkrooms, Lightroom and Photoshop, in much the same way as film photographers used their dark room; for cropping or perfecting contrast, creatively employing the use of Topaz and Nik’s Color filters in post, depending on the image. She has a love affair with her collection of vintage Russian and German lenses (Helios, Trioplan, and the rare Rubinar 500mm) finding a beautiful depth of field and creating lush bokeh, as well as her art lenses (Petzvahl 58mm), especially in her macro work. In her landscape and street photography, Kerry focuses on color, detail, shadow, and light. Her current gear includes her Sony Alpha 7R iii, a Canon EOS 5DS R, a Really Right Stuff Tripod, and her Lee Filters. She also has a lot of aerial fun with her DJI Phantom 4 Pro drone flying camera.
Many of her landscape and nature images have won numerous awards, including winning the prestigious “City of Livermore Special Award” twice, an “Outstanding Recognition Achievement Award” by the Olympic Gold Medalist Peggy Fleming Jenkins, in a juried art exhibit, been published in several magazines, including Wine Enthusiast Magazine and permanently hang in several public exhibits. Her corporate collections include Kaiser Permanente, Valleycare Medical Foundation, and the Tri-Valley Conservancy office, all located in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her work has also been selected for showing by prestigious jurors including Jack Fulton, Professor Emeritus of Photography at the San Francisco Art Institute, for various national and international juried gallery exhibits throughout California, and can be found in continuing exhibits at the Livermore Art Association Gallery, as well as in private residences in America, Australia, Japan and Europe. Kerry takes great pride in hand-printing her own images on the finest art papers. Her images are available for licensing and her archival museum-quality prints are available for purchase. You can view her website at kerrymcgehee.com.
- Livermore Patch 7/2018
- East Bay Times 7/2017
- East Bay Times 7/2015
- The Mercury News 7/2015
- The Independent 6/2017
- The Independent 2/2015
- The Independent 7/2015
- The Independent 10/2015
- The Independent 9/2015
- The Independent 8/2014
- The Independent 12/2014
Let me know what questions and/or feedback you have for me. I promise to get back to you as quickly as I can.
Thanks! I look forward to hearing from you.
To view Kerry McGehee’s photographs, please visit her website; kerrymcgehee.com