The Wild West Is Alive and Well in These Nature Photos

Montana photographer Miles Glynn's shots of buffalo, wild horses, and sweeping canyons look lifted from an old Western film.

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Jun 13 2017, 4:12pm

Hayden Valley of Yellowstone National Park. All images courtesy the artist

The hulking backside of a bison stands in stolid restfulness along a sloping hillside. Another animal appears as a large mass of dark brown in a golden field scattered with shadowy trees. These stately nature photographs, part of a larger collection titled Animals, are the carefully-tended work of Virginia City, MT artist Miles Glynn. With an innate appreciation for the grandeur of nature and the history of his state, the photographs are Glynn's way of establishing a connection with the wilderness and create a source of art for those who share his aesthetic mindset. Speaking to Creators, Glynn says it's forming these bonds with like-minded art lovers that nourishes his drive keep taking photographs.

Glynn favors a gauzy or sometimes grainy finish to his photos and says that he is consistently striving to make something original within the framework of his own style. "My aim in creating and maintaining my personal aesthetic is to create compelling images which no other photographer would have created," he says.

But despite his unyielding pursuit of originality, the best and most striking landscapes are also the most well-trod areas. He explains to Creators, "The things I photograph aren't necessarily very different from what others photograph. In fact, I shoot in some of the most heavily photographed places in the world, such as Yellowstone National Park. So my aesthetic is what I rely on to differentiate myself."

Mission Valley in Western Montana

Glynn's particular aesthetic is characterized by a purposefully raw, sometimes vintage look to his images. It pulls at the heart with strategic emphasis on color, rather than highlighting sleek, sharp focus. He explains, "A lot of the photography I see is focused [...] on being super sharp with extreme detail and high saturation. I prefer to go the other direction and instead I add a lot of grain, grit, and texture which can decrease the sharpness and my color pallets are often more muted. In the end, I'm seeking to get away from merely recording what I saw and instead presenting my interpretation of what I saw."

Taken at Grand Teton National Park
Taken at Grand Teton National Park

When life permits, the artist frequently takes a week or more to travel the state, taking large numbers of photographs. "As I've become an adult, I've become more self-aware and have realized that I have a certain ability to create things which are visually appealing, or which seem to make visual sense to me," Glynn says.

Taken on the foothills of Lake County in western Montana
A Blackfeet Reservation horse, taken on the foothills of Glacier National Park in Montana
Taken at the Lamar Valley of Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming fsdsf
Taken near West Yellowstone, Montana
Beartooth Mountains, taken at East Rosebud Lake, Montana
Taken at the Yellowstone River
Taken near the western Mission Mountain Range, Montana
Taken at the Platte River basin, Nebraska

Check out more work by Miles Glynn on his website and Instagram.

All year, we're highlighting 50 States of Art projects around the United States. This month, we're covering Wyoming, West Virginia, Kentucky, Montana, and Arkansas. To learn more, click here.

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