Jory Vander Galien's dramatic Southwestern landscapes
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Jory Vander Galien's dramatic Southwestern landscapes

Lone Tree, 2012. Distant shafts of light and rain called virga across the clay hills of the Bisti Wilderness. 

Photo and caption by Jory Vander Galien

Like many fine art nature photographers, Jory Vander Galien says that his passion for landscapes was ignited at a young age through National Geographic and Ansel Adams. It wasn’t until he relocated from the flat plains of Wisconsin to the vast desert arenas of New Mexico in 2007, however, that he was able to make full-time photography a more reachable ambition.

As a lover of the outdoors, the arts, and 'bold, black coffee', Vander Galien is especially excited by photographing the stark but breathtaking wide-open vistas of his newly adopted desert home. He frequently finds himself at a location before dawn, ready to fight whatever conditions that the desert may throw at him in order to capture the landscape in its most volatile conditions. These often include lightning and dust storms with winds that can gust to more tha  70mph.

See more of his work in the slideshow above and read our Q&A.