Introduction for Book Project- After the Squall
Squall- n (skwôl) A brief, sudden, violent windstorm, often accompanied by rain or snow.
Before I started my career as a Photojournalist back in the early 1990's, I spent many of my early days photographing the natural world. I initially struggled with my attempts at capturing the beauty I saw around me while hiking, fishing, and kayaking the North woods of the Upper Midwest. My initial attempts were frustrated by a lack of technical expertise in the art of photography. During my years as a Photojournalist I worked very hard to polished my photographic skills, and when I wasn't photographing an anti-war protest or high school baseball game, you could find me wondering the parks and wild areas of the Upper-Midwest perfecting my abilities as a nature and landscape photographer. I found photographing Nature a welcome escape from the daily grind of photojournalism. When I retired from the photojournalism business in 2000, I had acquired a sizable library of images of the wild world. During the following years, as I had more free time to pursue my love of photographing the wild world, and my abilities and library grew by leaps and bounds. In 2004, I felt confident enough of my collection of images to take them on the road and exhibit my work at art fairs and festivals.
Some may wonder where the name for this book came from. By coincidence or otherwise, many of my best photographs were taken after short thunderstorms or squalls. This is particularly true with the images of "Nine Mile Lake" and the image named aptly enough "After the Squall," This Book is the product of 20 years the pursuit of capturing nature as I have seen it and to share my vision with a larger audience.
I started my photographic career back in the days when film photography was the only game in town, and digital photography was really more or less experimental. that was the late 1980's and early 1990's Now of course digital photography dominates the photography industry today. I experimented with digital extensively in the late 1990's before it became so prevalent as it is today, I was initially enthralled by the possibilities of digital photography technology, but later became disillusioned by the failings of digital photography Mainly the fact that digital photography is not archival. This became apparent after losing many images to crash hard drives, viruses and unreadable CDs, and for that reason I still prefer to use film to this day, but will use digital cameras when they are advantageous.
I cut my teeth on film photography and I still use film for most of my landscape and nature photography, that said, with a few exceptions, most of the images in this book were taken on film. I use many different kinds of film and digital cameras in my work. And do not believe in limiting my photographic talents to one kind of camera or technology. I prefer 35mm for it's speed , but also use medium format cameras in 4.5x6cm, 6x6cm and 6x9cm formats too. I also use panoramic cameras such as the Horizon and widelux; (The photo of Gooseberry Falls on page 000 taken with a Horizon panoramic camera.) And film cameras that are completely manual and are not reliant on batteries. I find these types of cameras useful for long exposures such as "Brule Lake Northern Lights and Star Trials," that was 4 hour exposure. I prefer to use negative film, both black and white and color for their greater latitude in capturing shadow and high light details. And today's negative films are as sharp as slide film. Digital cameras I find useful for Macro work where the extra depth field is useful and as a quick cheap Polaroid image for checking exposure and composing images. Digital is also very handy for images that have a limited life span such as stock photography, otherwise I still prefer film. -Michael Maltese
Caption-After The Squall. This lovely image was taken one early june sunday after a sales trip to Grand Marais. I was out looking for new vistas on the edge of Grand Marais when dark clouds appeared on the horizon. I then started to head back to my car, and with in a few minutes I was being pelted with rain and had to run the last 50 yards back to my car, but ended up getting soaked anyway. The storm passed within a half hour. I then hiked back to my original spot and this was the scene I found. Photographed with a Nikon N8008s film camera and Fuji 400 speed negative film.