MASTER PHOTOGRAPHER JOHN RICHTER
John Richter is a self taught landscape photographer and naturalist based in Vail, Colorado. Deeply connected to the natural environment and all of its lessons for practical life, Richter has spent the last two decades recording the natural history of the American west and beyond. It is in this environment that Richter finds his peace, a quiet connection to all living things, and in this state he transcends that passion and tranquility into the imagery that has inspired collectors and fans from around the globe.
Raised in a quiet rural suburb of the Detroit, Michigan area Richter was immediately drawn to nature. At an early age, his mother Claudette was instrumental in developing Richter’s artistic background. Immersed in numerous classes from a young age Richter studied many disciplines including paint, pencil, watercolor and sculpture. During summers, the family would often travel to the shores of Lake Michigan, a place that imprinted the importance of nature and conservation on the young artist. His mother, also an artist of her own right, was an avid traveler. As the family began to discover new places together Richter’s mind was filled with a sense of wonder that is still vivid in his persona today!
John Richter first discovered photography while completing a year long intensive design course while attending his senior year of High School in Brighton, Michigan. One quarter of that year was spent working in photography using 35mm manual *SLR cameras. The course gave Richter unlimited access to the schools darkroom where he would often work late into the night producing prints of his early captures and honing his craft of printmaking. This was a monumental turn for Richter and the events of that year set in motion a life and career path that he remains vigilantly dedicated to almost 25 years later.
Since 1999 Richter has been printing his work using a process known as “Cibachrome”. These traditional darkroom prints are of a Silver Halide base, which brilliantly showcases nature’s light in Richter’s images. As supplies dwindled in the early years of the new millennium, Richter began pioneering a new process created by Fuji called Silver Crystal Archive which he still uses today. The prints are known for their opalescent brilliance, unmatched tonal range and color, as well as their incredible archival permanence. This process coupled with the large format field cameras Richter prefers to shoot, have given his work an unmistakable signature teaming with superlatives of the craft. Having been part of a small group of photographers working in this medium from the earliest stages has set Richter’s work apart in an ever growing field of competitors and continues to do so today.
Father of two, Wyndom 16 and Sierra 13, John Richter has raised the two in the mountains of Colorado with his wife Dawn. First settling in the beautiful valley of Telluride, Colorado, both children were born at home far from modern medical facilities. Raising his children in the mountains has afforded the family an incredible life and Richter’s passion and enthusiasm is seen vividly through the eyes of the next generation.
In December of 2009, The Richter’s opened their first “John Richter Gallery” in the heart of historic Telluride Colorado's Main Street. Ski travelers from around the world were immediately enamored by the work presented and a following was born. Since 2004, Richter’s work has won both praise and recognition from the photographic community culminating in 2015 when he was invited to exhibit “Teton Meadow” in the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington DC. Teton Meadow also helped raise almost 2 million dollars for the Carter Center fetching over $20,000 for the piece at the live auction while the former president enthusiastically encouraged bidders to keep going higher! Richter has found a great sense of peace in using his work to promote positive change, environmental justice and ultimately social justice and he pulls from these experiences to continue his journey of self-awareness and the study of beauty.
*SLR- Single Lens Reflex camera