Photographer Tyler Anderson has been named the 2017 Emerging Artist of the Year by the Bluff Country Studio Art Tour. His rich images capture the Driftless Region with thoughtful precision, showcasing a part of Minnesota often overlooked. We managed to grab an interview with him to get a glimpse into his art.
What is your creative process like?
The general intent of my photography is to show off the natural beauty of the area in which we live. Sometimes I’ll have a particular shot in mind that I’ll leave my house with the intent of capturing. There are other times where I’ll leave my house with no destination in mind. I just wander the backroads of Fillmore and Houston counties. If I see something that appeals to me, I’ll stop and take a picture. I’ve only been using a DSLR camera since last summer so I try to get out every day and shoot. I’m still learning, and part of my creative process is learning more about my camera and what I can do with it.
How long do you spend editing your images?
It varies. Sometimes as short as a minute or two. Sometimes longer. Considerably longer. It depends on what “mood” I want to convey with a particular image. There are times that I get almost exactly what I envision in my head straight off of the camera. There are other times, however, that I approach a particular photo as more of a piece of art where I use the editing process in Lightroom to give the photo more visual flair.
What is your favorite subject to shoot?
Anything outside. Forests, fields, streams. I’m always a sucker for a good sunrise or sunset. Big skies, clouds and wide open fields. I’ve found myself drawn to roads lately. The open road is very symbolic for me. It represents endless possibilities.
What do you want people to take away from your images?
I want people to realize that there’s more to Minnesota than the North Shore, Lake Country and the Twin Cities. We live in a very gorgeous part of Minnesota. The Driftless Area is very special and I aim to make people more aware of it’s unique beauty.
What do you most enjoy about living in southeast Minnesota?
I like the slower pace of life. I enjoy working in the city (Rochester), but I get to go home to a very picturesque, peaceful small town (Lanesboro).
What other artists in the area do you admire?
Sue Pariseau’s pottery is wonderful. She’s been a wonderful mentor to me as I aim to grow my photography into a professional business. Erin Dorbin is another artist who has been a strong voice of encouragement and who has constantly challenged me to push myself creatively.
What is something unexpected about you, beyond your photographs?
We (my wife, two kids and myself) left Minneapolis for southeast Minnesota a little over two years ago. We met while going to college at the U of M. Both of our kids were born in the metro. We lived there for over 15 years, but one day realized that’s no longer where we wanted to plant our roots. The city just didn’t feel right for our family anymore. In the fall of 2014, we made the jump and left the “big city” for quiet, little Lanesboro.
You can see more of Tyler’s work on Instagram, @driftless.visuals.