Linda Washburn Roberts is an award-winning landscape, nature and fine art photographer based in Helena, Montana. She was born and raised in Southeastern Missouri, in the foothills of the Ozark Mountains, and has had a camera in hand since childhood, when she would borrow her mother’s Brownie to shoot snapshots of various family members as often as possible. That old Brownie and her mother’s Kodak box camera are charter members of her antique camera collection.
In addition to early formal training during the 1970’s, Linda had the privilege of being mentored by friend, co-worker, and professional photographer Vern Feurhelm in Redding, California. In 2008, she attended the Summer Intensive, Professional Studies, and Advanced Intensive programs at the Rocky Mountain School of Photography in Missoula, Montana. She is also an active member of the Professional Photographers Association.
Linda continues to challenge herself as a photographer and artist, not only by learning new techniques; but also, by attempting to see ordinary things in a different perspective. By challenging herself in this way Linda continues to grow as a photographer and artist.
Linda’s photography reflects her love of nature. She holds a deep appreciation for the endless circle of nature and life, from the smallest insect and plant to the largest of trees and animals, including humans. She attributes this sense of connection in part to her childhood on a small farm in the Ozark Mountains where her mother taught her to harvest wild plants for food as well as for health and healing benefits. This sense of connection and the concept of spirituality in nature has been a consistent influence throughout her life and is reflected in much of her photography.
My photography reflects my strong love of nature. I hold a deep appreciation for the endless cycle of natural life, from the trees huge enough to hold centuries to the briefest of insects. I find beauty in humans’ desire and ability to discover our own spirituality in the world that surrounds us. This connection between people and nature has been a consistent influence throughout my life and is reflected in my photography.
Whether I am photographing a landscape, a person, animals, machinery, or architecture I look for the details in my subject matter – literally or figuratively – to find the story they tell. By working around and with those details, I hope to bring that story forward in the image I am creating. When a viewer looks at my work and can see that story, or a piece of their own truth, I feel that I have succeeded as a photographer and an artist.
As an artist, I continually challenge myself by learning new techniques and to experiment with different ways to bring the emotion of a piece forward. I do this because I think of my finished work as more than just an image -it is a mood, a feeling, a breath. When creating, I love finding the place where that image can come to life – where it can truly breathe.
I “lived” with this image for several months before deciding on this particular presentation. The image is strong on its own, but I felt it needed a more dramatic presentation to achieve the effect I desired. When I decided to divide it into 5 sections and create this “multi-layered” visual piece, that truly brought it to life. I think it is striking and hope the viewer does as well.
Naming a piece is often a challenge. There were many naming iterations, but because of the beautiful golden reflections in the water, “gold” or “golden” was a necessary part of the title. “Oro Grande” rose to the surface many times and that became the name of this piece.