Nico van Dongen / Fine Art / Photography / Catching High Light
"Catching High Light" is an ethereal and inviting image that beckons you to step inside. The visual experience provokes you to re-examine time and place, allowing you to stand in the light, surreal and in motion.
A result of a six-week photographic exploration of trees and vistas, each final photograph is the result of hours of production work combining multiple exposures and layering as one image–with evocative results: where the mind floats between space and time for one moment.
When you see them in person, you'll notice the painterly way the images translate. The layers are there to create an initial doubt in what you think you're looking at. Once you see them you can turn them off, but at the same time you have to surrender to them. Feels like a mix of realism, magic and fantasy captured through the eye of San Francisco artist and educator Nico van Dongen.
Note, pending availability, there may be a 1-2 week delay to complete custom framing or custom printing of unframed photographs.
My intention is for this work to be about the visual experience and not let the tools stand in the way. The visual impact of the photography should speak louder than how it's been made, and you can filter out all those technical questions. This effect allows you to step into that image and be part of this transition of time and space in one moment. The layers just came–natural multiple images and multiple layers–whether you do it with negatives or in a digital camera. / Spending more time in Golden Gate Park during Covid gave Nico an opportunity for examination. "What struck me most was the density of the material of a tree. Trees contain both weight and lightness. A tree can hold itself up so gracefully–so effortlessly. So on my walks in the park and the Panhandle, I took pictures of trees and looked at them in my studio. I started to dialogue with the camera and a live object–the tree. I couldn’t portray it as a still image because nothing is still in nature. Nothing is still, 'change is the only constant'."
Catching High Light, 2020
Paper – archival*, Smaller size printed by Nico van Dongen; Large format printed by Charles Anselmo of Anselmo Image Works
Print 30H x 20W"; Dimensions Framed – 41H x 30W"
Print 19H x 13W"; Dimensions Framed – 24-¼H x 17-1/8W"
Frame – Gloss White Wood with Tru Vue Museum Glass, by Bob Woodrum of Sausalito Picture Framing
Unlimited edition, hand signed by the artist on front
See the last image for an example of the 3'x5' oversized print, that one is Fork Tree
Unframed prints and framed photographs are made-to-order and may take up to 2 weeks to complete. Note: your screen resolution and brightness may reflect subtle variations from the actual artwork.
* Smaller prints on HahneMühle Matte Fine Art Paper, smooth, photo rag, 308 gsm; utilizing Epson Ultra Chrome K3 archival inks. Large formats printed on Epson Premium Enhanced Matte Paper, heavyweight, bright white, ultra-smooth finish; utilizing K3 pigmented inks–formulated to avoid fading, metamerism and color shift over very long periods of display.
Made-to-order unframed prints and framing may take up to 2 weeks to complete. Items will ship within 5 business days once the produced artwork is ready. Shipping cost includes insurance.
San Francisco, CA
Meet the Artist
Originally from the Netherlands, Bay Area based Nico van Dongen is a designer, fine art photographer and college professor. The journey of the “Concerning Trees” project started in 2015; creating botanical studio photography taught Nico to closely observe and capture what grows in our natural world. “The transition from blossom to tree was enormous,” he tells us. “Capturing that inner feeling of release, as well as raised awareness, when you are amongst trees.” These time-based photographs allow you to stand in the light as Nico perceives it; surreal and in motion. The visual impression of the final multi layered image, allows the mind to float between space and time for one moment.