The extremely large and heavy camera I have used for these images was custom made to use 8×10 inch film plates and was actually designed from a 100-year-old model. Today, most of the films are very hard to get my hands on and have been discontinued.
These images are unique, not only because of their technical approach, but for the fact that they are from rare moments of creation showcasing its amazing natural light and beauty. I did not do this… Nature, the Creator is the greatest artist! Fatali
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The Light Hunter
Fatali’s photographs are awe-inspiring works of art that capture the hidden essence of the Southwestern landscape. His remarkable affinity with and abiding respect for nature combined with his unique understanding of light to create images that are at once powerfully strong and spiritually evocative. His photographic canvases have a richness of hues and textures that harken back to the Italian Renaissance and a portrayal of light that rivals the Impressionist masters.
Fatali, the man is a fascinating mix of pensive artiste and Indiana Jones. With the spirit and fearlessness of a true adventurer he treks miles with heavy equipment until he finds the exact spot that captures his eye and moves his soul. “I was leaning precariously over the canyon passageway as I pitched a small stone, listening to hear it reach the canyon floor,” recounts Fatali. “I could hear only the sounds of my nerves starting to quiver as I was about to descend into a deep and dark crevice, perhaps bottomless, or the home of the king rattle snake. Dangling from a rope, I used my legs and hands to protect myself and my camera from smacking against the slickrock walls. With a few minor scrapes, I met the canyon floor in one piece. I’ll admit to being slightly crazed, but I am a believer of being half-mad in order to capture the holy light onto film”
Though at times he takes enormous physical risks, Fatali is also organized, thoughtful and disciplined—all of which are reflected in his work. He has chosen as his equipment of choice. “Using this oversized and somewhat primitive camera design is a romantic and creative way to become more intimate with my subjects,” Fatali admits. It also allows him a precision not readily available in smaller formats or from digital cameras. His custom built camera yields 8” x 10” negatives so his handcrafted prints—which are often 24” x 30” or larger—will maintain the intimate details he works so hard to capture. “The large format camera takes a great deal of self-discipline,” Fatali explains. “The methodical process requires careful attention to detail captured in the images. I spend a lot of time in an area studying at different times of day, just watching the light move across the land. I’m looking for something that brings an emotional response that I want to express in my photograph. I think that a passion for—and an intimacy with—your subject is key to producing something meaningful. In making fine prints for my gallery, I have chosen to work exclusively with natural light when exposing my images,” says Fatali.
Using only natural light, Fatali both captures and creates astounding images, which he then refines in the darkroom. His hallmark process includes using extremely rare, high-resolution optics to capture images on large format film, followed by hand printing them on Cibachrome silver-emulsion paper in his personal darkroom. “I find it more pleasing to control the desired result in my darkroom.” For over twenty-five years Fatali has worked seriously on his printmaking process. He prints on classic Ilfochrome, formally Cibachrome materials to assure the richness of his colors and details first captured on film, and then interpreted on the photographic paper. This enhances the beauty and enjoyment of viewing the final image.
Fatali was born in New York’s urban jungle, but when he was six his family moved to Southern Arizona. There, on many hiking and camping trips with his father, Fatali developed his deep love for the spectacular landscape of the Southwest. The loss of his mother when he was fourteen helped strengthen his intimate relationship with the natural world. Communing with nature in moments of peaceful solitude, his spiritual connection to nature’s majesty deepened. From the experiences of Fatali’s personal healing journeys, he has become a Grief Coach for Spirit Quests that guides teens using their creativity through the spirit of nature. Fatali’s purpose is to be a spirit guide back to the earth, helping others develop their own spiritual awakening.
Only rarely does Fatali disclose the exact location of his images. “I find that the intimate relationships with nature are enhanced when time is spent quietly with the natural world. Let there still be places kept secret for the next that awaits the journey of discovery,” he says. Fatali invites a small group of people to join on his Earthscapes Safaris around the world.
In 1991 Fatali opened his first gallery in Page, Arizona. Several years later he changed locations, establishing himself on the edge of Utah’s Zion National Park where thousands of people visit his gallery each month to admire his magnificent prints. A few years ago, he has opened a second gallery in Park City, Utah. In this quaint and busy tourist town, many may experience his unique images that awaken the senses and increase one’s appreciation for his earthscapes collection.
Fatali is an image-maker of the spirit of nature. He has devoted the last twenty-five years capturing on still film, through many remote locations in the Desert Southwest. He listens to nature, in a very passionate and instinctive way. His gift of expressing the Earth’s spirit is believed by many to translate into a language that speaks to the soul. He immerses himself completely with his subject, with a study of it, and becomes intimate with it. In every stage of production, he is closely involved, from visual concepts, designing sophisticated equipment, the art of the darkroom, and to framing each displayed image as a work of art. The raw beauty and power of Fatali images have lead him in a classification of a world’s top landscape photographer.
Throughout his career, he has donated a very large value of images to charities worldwide to help raise money and to bring awareness for the healing beauty that comes from the spirit of nature. “It brings me great pleasure to have my image serve as a testament to God’s marvelous creations while helping to lift the spirit and reconnect our relationship with the earth”
Through his renderings of light, untouched by computers, color filters or other forms of alteration, the viewer is immersed in the healing grace and beauty that Fatali captures. His images are not just to be seen, but they can be felt!
Fatali’s elegant eye for spirit and light has become his unique signature on the world of photography. He is renown as an innovative artist in all mediums in which he works, and is recognized as a pioneer in photographing previously unseen locales throughout the southwestern landscape. His dedication to scouting and studying his subjects, oftentimes-waiting months to capture the scene in just the perfect light, resonates through every piece that Fatali produces. His images are collected by patrons worldwide and appreciate in value and demand over the years. His collectors are from a diverse audience from vacationers, celebrities, and to the president of the US. Anyone can enjoy and appreciate the beauty of the natural world that Fatali captures and shares with us.
For the last few years, Fatali has focused his passion and vision into a 70mm motion picture film experience. His specialty is the creation of non-verbal, art-reels both in time-lapse and motion capture that focuses on the spirit of nature. His subject and cast are simply the light, beauty, and wonders of our world. It is exciting to think about what he will do in motion picture and what we will see in his films to come!
His Wife Morgan is Fatali’s partner in running their galleries in the southwest. “My wife has played such an important role in helping me use my photography as a voice of making a difference. She is such a compassionate soul and has deeply inspired me”. The family resides in Utah. It is their mission to share the healing energy and beauty from our natural world. They consider it a privilege to share their twenty-five year collection. The Fatali family invites you to experience the hidden sanctuary of stunning photographic images of mysterious landscapes, infused with a phenomenal beauty and spiritual energies of our world’s natural wonders.