December 6, 2016

Dan Van Winkle's Interview

" Define my own style ? Never. My style is constantly changing, otherwise I'd be a static and bored photographer. I could never do the same thing over and over." Dan Van Winkle

"Sublime Nudes 17"
Art Model Iris

"Lily 02"

"Hard and Soft"
Art Model Sarah Ellis

First off…a definition : sublime, adj.
Characterized by nobility ; majestic.
Of high spiritual, moral, or intellectual worth.
Not to be excelled ; supreme.
Inspiring awe ; impressive.
Archaic : Raised aloft ; set high.
Obsolete : Of lofty appearance or bearing ; haughty : “not terrible, /That I should fear . . . / But solemn and sublime” (John Milton).

So, I guess that seems a little bit arrogant. I’m really not an arrogant guy, but I try to make my nudes sublime.


That is… inspiring awe, or impressive. Whether or not I achieve that is solely up to the viewer. I have created images (with the help of awesome models) which I feel are tasteful, artistic and an exploration of the form.

"China Camp 015"
Art Model Kat Love

Dan, tell us how did you get into photography ?

My passion began in watching my grandfather who was a professional photographer. Unfortunately, he died when I was fairly young so I was never able to learn from him.

I really began in earnest in High School when I bought my first 35mm SLR and was the photographer for the school newspaper. My mom has an article from a local newspaper form when I was in high school which quoted me as wanting to be a photo journalist.

Somewhere along the way, I lost my way and ended up being an electronic engineer.

That's life... So you didn't learn photography in an art school ?

Nope, I am completely self taught.

"Sort of Classical"
Art Model Sarah

Who are your greatest inspirators ? And your favorite photographers ?

For nature work in my opinion there is none finer than Ansel Adams, although I am also a big fan of Galen Rowell's work. For nudes, I'm drawn to some of the work of Kim Weston, but I really enjoy the work of Andreas H. Bitesnich.

Are you a compulsive photographer ? Sincerely, how long could you be far from your camera ?

Not long. 1 week max.

"Day with a muse 22"

"Day with a Muse 2"

Dan, you shoot indoors, outdoors, in color or BW, your palette is very wide... But do you feel particularly inspired by a type of location ?

I love the outdoors. I find the challenge of shooting nudes outdoors to be particularly fulfilling when I'm able to pull it off.

"Marin Headlands 013"
Art Model Kat Love

Something more about your preferences ?...

I have two preferences. Outdoors in wild locations and indoors with natural or artificial light.

My jury is still out on whether I prefer black and white or color.

I find color nudes to be of a more erotic and sensual nature and black and whites to be more of a fine art style (something you might hang on your wall).

"Sublime Nudes 16"

I agree. A difficult question : could you find some words to describe your style ? How do you see it ?

My own style ? Never. My style is constantly changing, otherwise I'd be a static and bored photographer. I could never do the same thing over and over.

I guess if I had a style, it would be to attempt to use natural fantastic light whenever possible. I also have to admit that I love the way that oil/water and skin play together in the righ light.

"Even the most uncomfortable"
Art Model Lily

Don't guess : you have your own style !... By the way, is your photography mostly nudes ?

No, I would say the vast majority of my work is outdoor landscapes. I get the most positive feedback on my nudes though.

"Day with a muse 28"
Art Model Iris

What is your process of creation ?

I rarely am able to pre-visualize what I'm going to end up with. I pick a location, time of day and model and hope for the best. Usually this process works pretty well.

And your favorite theme ?

Yes. I have a big fantasy of one day doing a backpack into the high sierra with 2-3 models and doing a fantastic study of nudes in extreme locations. I doubt it will ever happen though.

"Day with a muse 13"
Art Model Iris

Many dreams come true. Some words about your models ?

I have throughougly enjoyed working with every single model I've ever worked with. I'd like to think they think the same.

Every model has taught me something and been flexible and fun to work with.

I think my favorite shoot to date was with Iris in Oahu. She was pretty expensive and would only reduce her rate if I hired her for a day. So I did. She was fantastic, and we had ton's of fun dodging surfers and working in the studio. It was a fantastic shoot.

"Second Shoot CRW"
Art Model Sarah

"Marin Headlands 001"
Art Model Kat Love

How do you feel at the end of a shooting ?


I can understand. Are you working on a special project, maybe a challenge you're dreaming about ?

I mentioned it above. But other than that, just to keep working my craft and getting better and better.

Have you scheduled your next exhibition ?

I wish. I am showing some nature shots in a local art guild show with my local camera club and that's very exciting for me.

A book to come ?

I have not... though, one is in the works. I started it but have not had the opportunity to finish it yet. Soon, though.

I know how it's a tough job... Keep us informed ! Besides shooting, have you another passion ?

My latest passion is climbing at the indoor gym with my son. My wife and family though, keep me pretty busy, so I guess you could say they are my main passion !

"China Camp 020"
Art Model Kat Love

A message to send ?

No matter what difficulties you face, follow your dreams and be true to yourself.

A wonderful message... Thanks a lot Dan ! I appreciate your support.

"On the edge devart"
Art Model Kat Love

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