Artist In Residence Application 2015
Agate Fossil Beds National Monument

Artist Profile

For a more complete profile of my artistic and creative work download this PDF document (Rademacher 2015)

Origin Of My Creative Vision
Many years ago I learned a lesson that has proven quite valuable to me as a speaker, educator, naturalist, and artist. It was a lesson about light. In important ways it defines why I have become and emerging professional photographer. The story takes place in Northern California.

I was working as a NPS interpreter at Lava Beds National Monument near Tulelake, California. One of my duties was to lead a late afternoon interpretive walk to a place called Mammoth Crater. This land form is a larger cinder cone on the slopes of the Medicine Lake Volcano. In preparation for the walk I had visited the crater several times, walked it's rim, sat on its rocky lip, and observed how light told its story.

Quite naturally my interpretive story for Mammoth Crater was full of facts; but had little energy. I knew this was a potential problem because it would have little relevance to a park visitor without an emotional connection. After a number of visits to the crater I grew impatient. But, on that late afternoon visit Mammoth Crater would revel the spark my interpretive walk needed.

I arrived at the crater in the heat of the afternoon. As I sat on the crater's edge I watched the shadows of cumulus clouds glide across the massive crater expanse...several football fields across. The sunlight was hot and the thin soil that the scraggly juniper trees and rubber rabbit brush stuck their roots into was dry and dusty. The glaring light and heat made the places seem lifeless. I worried what my park visitors would think of Mammoth Crater. How would they find beauty in a place like this? And then things changed.

As the sun started to drop the air began to cool and stir a bit. The swallows I had not seen before started to buzz the cliff sides. Insects seems revived. Life had magically returned to the crater. Then I watched as a giant shadow, like the passing hand of a clock, began to cross the giant crater's massive interior face...several football fields across. Near dusk and much cooler the last magical light of twilight inflamed the red and yellow lichen that gripped the black basalt rock near my perch on the rim.

I watched as the changing light changed my perception of this place. Light had taken my attention for a guided tour of the grand landscape of a cinder cone to the intimate experience of life on the basalt rim. And it was all fascinating. I knew this experience of light would be how I would punctuate the end of my interpretive walk. And so it went.

Every interpretive walk I did at Mammoth Crater that season ended the same way. After forty minutes of walking and talking about geology, facts and figures, and the National Park Service we would approach the rim of Mammoth Crater in late afternoon light. We each spread out to our own sitting spots. Initially some people chatted amongst themselves. Some continued to ask me, the interpreter, questions.

But as daylight passed people began watching the light. They watched as the shadow engulfed the crater. Some touched the lichens near them in the twilight. The evening fell before them. it had every day for as long as there had been a crater and light.

It was not unusual for people to gather after the sun set and talk with one another in hushed reverent tones. They seemed quite pleased to have witnessed how the light brought Mammoth Crater to life. It was the spark that ended the walk in a wondrous way. It had always been there. I just had to see it and understand it's impact.

Photography has been described as painting with light. That is very true. Yet to me it is more about seeing the light and understanding how it shapes experience. And that is what I try to communicate in my work.

Select Portfolio:

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Statement Of Purpose 

My artistic intent is to work creatively with the energy of light in a setting, in a performance, or in the flow of the natural world. Moving from perception, to concept, to creation my images become reflections of my experience of the world as a thoughtful participant observer. In this sense my images represent the capturing of a unique decisive moment that expresses my sense of the energy in a person, place or object. 

As an artist-in-residence my process will move through the following stages:

  1. First I would immerse myself in the residence place: It's geography, culture, and natural history.
  2. Study light dimensions and patterns within the setting.
  3. Establish an interpretive perspective and compose an image capture strategy.
  4. Capture and edit potential final photographs or photographic series.
  5. Develop and present a public presentation about this process or seeing the light of the place of residency.

The outcome of my residency will be to create a large format photographic image: At least 20" x 30" in dimension. I will work with the residency agency to determine the best method of presentation of this image.


Residency Date Request

Available for residence in any of the following two-week periods in 2015.

Listed in order of preference:

  1. June 8 through June 21
  2. August 2 through August 16
  3. September 27 - October 4