Local photographer Nolan Nitschke has opened a new gallery on Mammoth’s Main Street
Photographer Nolan Nitschke has spent the better part of his 30-some years chasing storms with his camera in the High Sierra. Nitshcke was born and raised in Bishop, and was first drawn to photography when he saw Galen Rowell’s photographs on display at the Mountain Light Gallery on Main Street. When asked to characterize his style and the types of places he’s drawn to photograph, he said simply, “When everybody else is leaving the high country because of the weather, I’m usually heading in. I check the weather daily for any kind of turbulence, or storm, something peculiar.”
When Nitschke was seventeen, his parents bought him what was then the latest in point and shoot camera technology: a Canon PowerShot with a “whopping three mega pixels” of resolution power. He grew up fishing and backpacking, and proceeded to take the camera with him on every adventure he went on that summer. “I was addicted, immediately,” said Nitschke.
Nitschke studied at Boise State University, where he double-majored in Graphic Design and Philosophy, and continued to study photography in his free time. He bought his first DSLR (Digital single-lens reflex) camera when he was a freshman in college, and quickly started focusing on digital photography. He traveled the Sawtooth Mountains in Idaho, shooting basins and ranges in stormy weather, and studying light and composition. In the summers, he returned to Bishop and photographed the Eastern Sierra. He spent hours studying the photographs of Galen Rowell and Ansel Adams. “I started looking really closely at their photographs, and I thought, I know these places, and I think there are other ways to photograph them. I think I’ve seen what they saw, but I’ve also seen them differently.” He set out to capture those differences.