To share comfort and joy in the world,
to explore and learn,
and to share committing to it and caring for it.
Wings in the Light: Wild Butterflies in North America
My Yale University Press book, available March 26, 2019
David works from Ashland, Oregon.
Formerly from Astoria, Oregon;
U. California Berkeley, Malibu, and Pacific Palisades, California.
Light and Lens
We make photographs many ways. Usually persistent, thoughtful work.
Occasionally a quick, joyful catch. My favorite is quiet contemplation, allowing
my awareness to sink into the being of a place. Several concepts weave through
these bodies of work:
• Natural history and ecology
• Character of place
• Patterns & design found in contemplation
• Human interaction with wildness—Tourism, industry, and everyday life. Other themes show up occasionally.
I photograph in fascination with the natural world and our awareness and perception of it, to share this through love of light and lens.
My scientist father and artist mother raised me on the beaches, mountains, and deserts of southern California when they were wilder than they are now. I remember lying on Will Rogers State Park’s beaches, scorching my skin as I studied sand grains an inch from my eye, each a different color and shape. Family outings to the Mojave Desert first showed me how much bigger the land is, how the earth turns under the sky, and a sense of our position in the cosmos. To be honest, as a youth I was more kinetic than sensitive. Hills were for running around, and rolling boulders down. Ouch.
I moved north to the University of California at Berkeley expecting to become a scientist, and left with B.A. & M.A. degrees in mathematics, extensive study in philosophy, physics, and chemistry—and an abiding love and commitment to fine arts photography which I had studied with Dave Bohn and Roger Minick. What had happened? Nothing original: I found Ansel Adams' Sierra Club book These We Inherit.
In 1970 the great, romantic “back to the land” movement took me northward again, to Eden Valley, near Rosburg in southwest Washington. With a home in a clearing in the woods, I enjoyed learning the forests, birds, and butterflies.
I grounded myself in my new community during a two year, full time oral history project for the Washington State Archives, doing portraiture, copy work, and interviews. Then I became active politically as one of Wahkiakum County’s three elected Public Utility District Commissioners from 1980–1992. Later I moved to Astoria and finally Ashland, in Oregon.
Beginning in 1973, teaching photography at nearby colleges provided great satisfaction of helping students find their own voices exploring and expressing the joys and difficulties of life. In 2013 I retired to bring my own work to fruition.
Phases of work:
1966—1993. Black and white, silver-gelatin darkroom works.
• Classic landscapes in "tripod and meditation" mode.
• Oral history portraiture and copy work
• Ancient Forest Remnants of Southwest Washington, my first natural history exhibit.
1994—2003. Digital laser-printed color notecards, photo collages on canvas, and a treasure trove of color slides.
• Exploring new subject matter and color.
• Exhibit on drunken driving death, restorative justice, mediation, and healing travels widely.
— Butterflies join forests as main natural history topics.
2004—present. Digitally prepared archival pigment color prints, and adoption of digital capture.
• Add water and window reflections, while continuing butterflies and forests.
• Making exhibit prints.
2015—present. Focus on book publication.
• Wings in the Light: Wild Butterflies in North America to be published in March, 2019 by Yale University Press.
About David Lee Myers
Photo by Alexandra Myers
David Lee Myers is in Ashland, Oregon.
or use the form.
• available in each series
• butterflies—many North American species are available
Contributions to publications
• from Wings in the Light, inquire to Yale University Press
• all other photos
• group contribution
Presentations and Workshops
• where art joins natural history
• using art to respond to great hurts and injustices
• gallery quality archival pigment prints on fine paper