Redbud above a rapid in the Merced River, CA, USA

Redbud above a rapid in the Merced River, California

My mother grew up in the Panama Canal Zone, in the hills above Panama City, running and playing all year in the tropical weather, watching sloths in the trees outside her bedroom window, shaking her shoes out each morning to make sure there were no scorpions inside.

When she was 13 years old her family moved to Queens, New York, but later, in the early years of her marriage, she and my father migrated to the outer suburbs, and once again she was surrounded by nature. She would often point out beautiful things she noticed to my brothers and me: the first buds of spring, a sunset, ice-coated branches, a bird singing, autumn leaves starting to turn…

As a child I got to play outside in woods and fields near our suburban homes, so I was immersed in nature all the time. But I don’t think I would have developed such a strong appreciation for the beauty around me without my mom’s influence.

Both my mother and father also loved art, and classical music. Looking back, it’s easy to see how I developed my love of nature, and art, and connect those early influences to the present, where I make my living as a nature photographer. My job is to look for beauty, try to show that beauty to the rest of the world through photographs – and help other people do the same.

Parents influence their children’s lives in powerful ways. To all you moms out there – Happy Mother’s Day!

— Michael Frye

Related Posts: Soft Images in a Harsh Landscape; The Primeval Forest

Michael Frye is a professional photographer specializing in landscapes and nature. He is the author or principal photographer of The Photographer’s Guide to Yosemite, Yosemite Meditations, Yosemite Meditations for Women, Yosemite Meditations for Adventurers, and Digital Landscape Photography: In the Footsteps of Ansel Adams and the Great Masters. He has also written three eBooks: Light & Land: Landscapes in the Digital Darkroom, Exposure for Outdoor Photography, and Landscapes in Lightroom: The Essential Step-by-Step Guide. Michael has written numerous magazine articles on the art and technique of photography, and his images have been published in over thirty countries around the world. Michael has lived either in or near Yosemite National Park since 1983, currently residing just outside the park in Mariposa, California.