I live and work in the Washington, DC area. I make my living as a renewable energy lawyer, but I have been an active photographer since I was a child. For nearly twenty years, I have concentrated on landscape photography, primarily in Washington and nearby areas, including Great Falls, the C&O Canal, the Potomac River and the Chesapeake Bay.
Landscape images of the American west by Ansel Adams and others are very well known, and many photographers from the East Coast bemoan how far they are from those classic subjects. However, the Washington area is also full of excellent photographic opportunities. Washington itself is a beautiful city that many people travel thousands of miles to see each year. Great Falls is an outstanding natural photographic subject, and it is remarkable to find such a wild and unspoiled place in the midst of so much urban sprawl. The C&O Canal and the Potomac River are peaceful counterpoints to the wildness of the falls. And the Chesapeake Bay offers almost limitless possibilities. I have been photographing these subjects for years, and every time that I think I have exhausted their photographic potential, the weather will change, or the water will rise or fall, and a world of new images will open up. Clyde Butcher, the famous Everglades photographer, has said that photographers have to accept that we can’t all live and photograph in Yosemite (Ansel Adams' home for many years), and that our best photography will come from exploring subjects that are close to where we live, no matter where that is. I have been fortunate to have photographic subjects like these so close to my home.
My photographs represent a modest effort to capture the beauty of these subjects, but they also demonstrate their fragility, since even though these images are only a few months or years old, many of them could no longer be taken due to changes that have occurred since they were made. For example, “Lock 7 in Fog”, which has been one of my most popular photographs, would look very different now, since the National Park Service has had to add braces to stabilize the lock walls. Similarly, many of the photographs from Fletcher’s Cove could not be taken today because man-made changes to the Potomac River upstream from the cove have caused huge silt build-ups in the part of the cove where these photographs were taken.
My most recent project has been to photograph the countryside around the Chesapeake Bay, with particular emphasis on the places where land and water meet, and which are most vulnerable to rising sea levels due to the combined effects of land subsidence and climate change. Working on this series has brought together my passion for photography and my professional commitment to sustainability and the development of renewable energy. This project was featured in a solo exhibit entitled “Chesapeake Bay – Endangered Landscape” at the Delaplaine Center for the Arts in Frederick, Maryland in the fall of 2013. Photographs from the Endangered Landscape series are now on permanent display in the Maryland House of Delegates Office Building in Annapolis.
Like many photographers, I learned my craft using a variety of small, medium and large format film cameras, and developing and printing black and white photographs in a traditional darkroom. However, recently I have been exploring the creative possibilities offered by digital photography. While I like the detail and the rich tones that I can achieve with traditional film, I am drawn to the flexibility offered by the digital medium. The images on this site have been taken with a variety of classic and contemporary cameras. Currently, my day-to-day photographic tool is a Nikon D800e 36MP digital camera.
You can follow me at www.facebook.com/leegoodwinphotography.