My name is Steven Woodruff and I want to welcome you to my Second Impressions website. I thank you for your interest in my work and hope you enjoy the experience as you explore my galleries and images. This site was just launched in early 2019 and remains an ongoing endeavor at this time. More information regarding purchasing or licensing my images will be added but in the meantime please contact me for information or any questions you may have regarding my work.
As a photoartist inspired by predecessors like Henri Cartier-Bresson, I also want to share with others those remarkable moments in time and place that I capture as a photographer of the world around us. The same curiosity that compelled me to explore the woods, streams, and fields around my Findlay, Ohio, childhood home has remained the impetus for me to constantly appreciate the beauty and wonder that surrounds me every day.
My evolution as a self-taught photographer began in the late 1970's. Since my early teenage years I'd been excited by peering at the world through different 'lenses'...binoculars, microscopes, and telescopes. I was fascinated by the 'new worlds' I was seeing for the first time through these instruments. These inspirations eventually led me into academic interests in biology and finally into a career in medicine. I was spending much of my professional time as a head and neck surgeon performing procedures with the aid of operative microscopes which I enjoyed very much. So when I wished to relax with my camera and explore outdoors, macrophotography caught my eye initially. It was a near-magical experience of how even mundane subjects were transformed into works of art through the macro lens. Also having a great love of birds since boyhood as well, I was drawn to wildlife photography, capturing with telephoto lenses what my binoculars had made visible for years.
Outdoor photography became my mental health elixir and although my portfolio continued to grow, I realized that the quality of my photography had reached a plateau. To hone my technical and artistic skills, I attended workshops and arranged one-on-one mentoring sessions with highly regarded professional photographers
In 1995, I began to promote my work professionally and started Second Impressions Photographic with a maxim that remains: Ordinary Things, Often taken for Granted, Hardly Noticed, Until they make Second Impressions. I had long before realized travel to distant venues was certainly fun and adventuresome but was not necessarily a prerequisite to find images that dazzled and inspired. By taking the time and allowing my curiosity to open my 'artistic eye' I could see 'the ordinary' and find its veiled beauty everywhere.
Thoreau’s Walden Pond—now considered a naturalist’s paradise—demonstrates the magic that an ordinary landscape reveals through the power of observation. Committed to this awareness, I strive to produce images that will allow one to see the world in a transformed way.
Since my 2013 retirement from medicine, I have expanded my photographic skills and expertise in post processing which is vital in this digital age to present my images as 'my artist eye' saw them in the field. This has allowed me to expand my portfolio into Fine Art landscapes and panoramic photography.
I am particularly excited about my evolution into a technique of “image capture,” utilizing intentional camera movement (ICM) and slow shutter speeds. One of this technique's pioneers is William Neill, the renowned Yosemite photographer and student of Ansel Adams, with whom I had the opportunity of mentor with in 2016. The resulting images emphasize colors, patterns, and lighting to impart a vivid, more 'painterly' compositions and move away from the stark realism of traditional photography without compromising the essential subject matter. This realm of “photographic impressionism and abstraction” challenges the imagination and expands the viewer’s perspective.
At my core as a person and as a photoartist, my fundamental belief is that Nature provides a limitless bounty to explore and learn from and beckons every generation to discover and partake of what is vital nourishment for our souls and spirits...if only we have the 'eyes' to see and appreciate it.