California Nature Photographer Ruby Pacheco
Jul 28, 2016 10:23AM
By David Norby
Widely known as a California nature photographer, Ruby Pacheco first began snapping photos while on trips to Pebble Beach and Carmel with her husband David. After taking postcard-like pictures, the artist began honing in on how gorgeous the scenery she captured was and how it made her feel. “I began to see so much more depth in the beautiful nature there—and everywhere else I went—and began capturing it through photography in a whole new way,” Pacheco shares. “So now, everywhere I travel—and locally—I take photos that don’t just capture the beautiful scenery, but also reflect my unique view of it.” Pacheco’s stunning images will be on display at the Folsom Arts Association’s Members’ Show through September 11 at the Harris Center’s Bank of America Gallery.
HLB: How have you improved your art over time?
RP: I’ve developed an eye for photography. I take much better photos now, and my editing skills have advanced. I’m constantly learning new ways to enhance my photos so I can convey to the viewer how I felt at the time I took it. To me, it’s not just about sharing a beautiful photo, but also sharing my personal experience. I think that’s a fresh take on nature photography.
HLB: Bold, beautiful sunsets, horizons and nature scenes are common themes throughout your work. What magic do those images hold for you?
RP: Personally, I see creation. The oceans, skies, mountains and trees are all sacred elements of this world that man alone can never create. I’m truly in awe of it all. I always say, “I hope you’re inspired by my photography, as you see the world through my eyes,” and I sincerely mean that. I always enjoy hearing other people’s interpretation of my work. One particular client really touched my heart. She was looking at one of my photos of a tumultuous cloud formation, and she got very emotional. She has bipolar disorder and told me the photo reminds her of the erratic feelings and behaviors she can experience on any given day. The photo is soothing to her; it makes her feel understood. How great is that?
HLB: What initially compels you to shoot a particular image?
RP: If my heart is pounding, I know I want to capture that nature scene and make the moment freeze in time; it’s affecting me in some sort of personal, emotional way. After, I use editing software to intensify the colors and enhance the textures of what I experienced at the time. I never add anything to the photo that wasn’t originally there.
HLB: What advice can you give those looking to find their artistic niche?
RP: One of the reasons my favorite artist, Christian Jequel, inspires me is because he’s an unapologetic, self-taught artist. He said no one could teach him because he has his own style, and now he teaches it to others. I think the moral of the story is that it’s important and enriching to learn from others, but don’t try to copy anyone else’s work. It’s more important to connect personally with what you’re photographing. If it comes from your own heart, you’ll never imitate anyone else. Be yourself.
Heather L. Becker / Artist photo by Dante Fontana. Art images courtesy of Ruby Pacheco