|Last time you ate a pancake?
Funny you should ask, I had a Huckleberry Stack in Government Camp, OR on November 10th, 2012 prior to going up Mt Hood!Favorite day of the week?
Thursday, it’s similar to Friday but the potential for hatching last-minute weekend plans is much more promising and full of hope!
Favorite website besides your own?
Give us a brief description of you and your work.
I went to school in Florida and got an engineering degree. I took one class in black and white photography. I loved shooting with a fully-manual camera but I wasn’t a fan of long hours in the dark room playing with the enlarger while everyone else played outside. I saved up and eventually got my first DSLR. This coincided rather conveniently with my move to the Pacific Northwest. I am now a freelance photographer and I shoot a bit of everything but the mountains are my passion. I think it has something to do with my growing up in the flattest state of the union. (I can confirm that, yes, the grass really is greener!)
What drew you to landscape and adventure photography?
When I first moved to the Northwest 4 years ago I had never been on a “hike” before. But I decided if I wanted to get the truly unique photos, I’d have to really get after it. Eventually I moved on to the “harder stuff” (mountaineering/rock-climbing/ice-climbing/etc) and I’ve never looked back. I’m very fortunate to finally have two passions that mesh nicely with one another.
How do you manage your photography gear when you are on a mountain side, rock face, or trampling through rugged terrain?
My “system” for managing all the photography gear (in addition to the climbing gear) is constantly evolving. Currently, my camera wears a rubberized coat at all times that still allows me to access all the buttons and dials. While climbing I have this strapped to me in a neoprene “fanny pack” type of carrier so that I can quickly get my camera out as the situation warrants. I’m told that fanny packs are making a comeback and that someday I might not look like such a dork. I tend to only take two prime lenses with me most of the time, a fast 50mm prime and a wide-angle prime. Accidents do occur; I recently dropped my trusty 15mm fisheye lens 3,000 feet off the east face of Steens Mountain. I am auditioning potential replacement glass.
You shoot a lot of wildlife photos. Have you ever gotten too close or felt threatened by an animal?
The first time I ever went backpacking I encountered a cow moose with a calf, we were both on the same trail and a standoff ensued. Mom decided to charge me and I ran off trail until my lungs hurt. I turned around and there was no longer a moose behind me so I guess I did the right thing?
Do you prefer shooting at sunrise or sunset?
SUNRISE! In mountaineering, you often do what is called an “alpine start”. This means you’re spending hours climbing before the sun comes up (usually to ensure solid snow/ice conditions or a good safety margin should something go wrong). When it finally does the emotional toll it takes is huge. You instantly realize that all of the suffering was worth it and are treated to incredible light that, sadly, most people will never get to see.
What's your goal as an artist?
Is this a cliché trap?! I know it sounds cheesy, but I guess it would be to inspire people. Everyone loves hearing compliments about their work but I imagine it’s something else entirely when people are getting out and doing things because of a photo that they saw. If a Floridian engineer can take up climbing and photography, what kinds of things can you do? GO DO THEM!
Why do you chose to show your artwork on Plywerk?
I like how Plywerk gets right to the photo and eliminates all the fluff (and luckily so do my clients). The whole bamboo thing is a good fit for the nature (terrible pun, sorry) of my work. Also, it doesn’t hurt that I also get *brownie points* for supporting a local business!
Favorite type of melon?
I know this is going to be a controversial answer but, I’m not big into melons. Particularly the orange and green-fleshed varieties (that shall remain nameless), as they take up valuable real-estate in fruit salads which could be better served by pineapple! I guess I’d have to go with the watermelon, since eating one means you’re probably having some SUMMERTIME FUN.
How do you like your eggs prepared?
I’m not a picky eater, but I’m extremely picky about my eggs! I only like ‘em scrambled (or incorporated into something else, like a brownie)! I like to smother them in Secret Aardvark sauce so people don’t think I’m *too* boring. Pepper-maple bacon is a preferred garnish.
Mt Shuksan (don’t tell Mt Hood!)
Top three movies of all time?
Fight Club, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Ghostbusters (Venkman 2016)
Canon 50mm f/1.4, don’t leave home without it!
Does thinking of Plywerk give you love butterflies in your stomach?
Yes, and I have yet to lay my eyes on one of those 30x45 monstrosities! Sigh, some day.
Favorite coffee drink?
I’m just a classic drip-guy; if I’m feeling crazy-adventurous I’ll get an Americano.
What was the last full album you listened to?
Ben Gibbard – Former Lives
What kind of jelly do you like on your PB&Js?
Congrats on winning the Redman Cup, presented by the Mazama Mountaineering Club. Could you tell us a little bit about it and what it means to you?
The Redman Cup was established by Margaret Griffin Redman on her 105th birthday (who was a Mazama member for 77 years) when she presented the club with a silver cup that was “to be awarded to the member who has created a notable work of literature, art, music or photography devoted to the purposes of the Mazamas”.
I was pretty shocked to win the award, honestly, I was completely blind-sided! Growing up in Florida on steady diet of asthma-medicine-infused yogurt (no joke!), I was always envious of places with snow. I never expected I would be out regularly playing in it, let alone climbing mountains. The Mazamas have always been such staunch supporters of my work and have helped immensely in getting my name out there. It sounds dramatic, but I sincerely would not be shooting what I’m shooting today were it not for them.
When I moved to the Northwest and saw all these bright-white, glaciated volcanoes towering over the cities, I knew I wanted to climb them…and I also knew I didn’t want to die. I started researching how one could safely get up them and that’s how I found the Mazamas. I took their Basic Climbing Education Course (BCEP) in 2010 and now I’m not really sure what I used to do before I was into mountains. People sometimes say things like “that’s really great that you’re getting out there”, and I usually tell them some version of “I’m addicted, I can’t help myself, I don’t know how else to be now”
I will be giving a talk/presentation/fireside chat about mountaineering photography at the Mazama Mountaineering Center on December 19th, it’s totally free and you should go.
More about Andrew
Andrew Holman is a self-taught, freelance photographer based in Portland, OR. A classically trained engineer, he took up photography to flex atrophied right-brain muscles and document his hiking/climbing addiction. When not out taking copious quantities of photographs, he can be found on a glaciated peak or in a Portland breakfast spot.
Andrew's photography has been featured in digital and print formats by REI, Mazamas, American Alpine Club, Oregon Field Guide, Portland Rock Gym, Bruce Carey Restaurant Group, Base Camp Brewing Company, Beer West Magazine, and others.
Win a Andrew Holman print on Plywerk
Post a comment below and you will automatically be entered in a drawing to win an Andrew Holman print mounted on 3/4" bamboo Plywerk!!! We'll select a winner at random at the end of the month so make sure you come back to the blog in early January to see if you won and to check out the new featured artist! We'll ship it anywhere in the continental US for free. If you win and need it shipped internationally, you're on the hook for shipping costs. Sorry to be so mean.