Artist's Statement

   As an avid hiker and naturalist, I took my first photographs of the Superstition Wilderness Area in 1964.  In the almost 50 years since these first photographs were taken, I returned to this location hundreds of times to seek out and discover the cause for my insatiable fascination.  During these countless visits, I gradually developed an ability to see into the wilderness and learned to discover small but unique features that can be found nowhere else.  The goal of my photography is to give viewers an intimate portrait of the wilderness and to dramatically explore and amplify details which most observers fail to notice.

   My photographs capture singular moments in the wilderness, some subtle and some dramatic.  My work reveals textures, weather and plant life in sensitive, yet powerful images intended to draw viewers to the wilderness and present them with a unique and distinctive look at objects and landscapes that mystify and entrance.  Whether viewing a droplet of summer rain on a desert flower, a patch of snow capping a giant saguaro, or a grotesque arrangement of giant boulders lining an isolated canyon, my images provide the viewer an opportunity to experience a closeness with the wilderness and to discover a special instant in time and light captured in a fleeting moment.

   I have become intimately acquainted with the many moods and atmospheres of locations within the Superstition Wilderness Area; it is this intimate acquaintance that I desire to give to others through my work.  My photographs allow me to share sensitive moments captured with subtlety and force; I hope that they will provide viewers with the opportunity to gain a sense of the beauty and fragility of this vast range of natural treasure.

   Although I hope that my photography stands by itself as a statement of artistic endeavor,  much of my energy in the preparation of these works is the result of my devotion to raising awareness of both the beauty and fragility of the wilderness.  I continue to devote considerable amounts of time to conservation efforts dedicated to the preservation and protection of this area.  To this end, I support the goals of Leave No Trace (LNT) and the Superstition Area Land Trust (SALT).  The mission of the Leave No Trace (LNT) program is to promote and inspire responsible outdoor recreation through education, research, and partnerships.  SALT is a non-profit agency whose members work to preserve land in and around the Superstition Wilderness Area.  For further information about joining or supporting SALT, please write SALT at P.O. Box 582, Apache Junction, AZ 85217-0582, call (480) 983-2345 or visit SALT.
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Fred Koehn

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