Justan Elk Artworks

About the subjects and how the work is produced

Over the last few years I’ve photographed in a number of regional areas including forest lands by Mt. Rainier, the Rainier valley, Seattle, the Oregon Coast and rural locations in East and Southwest Washington. Each area offers many unique rewards. Following is a brief summary of some of the image types.

Wilderness and Forest Lands

There are endless spectacular scenes around Mt. Rainier and capturing and reproducing selected moments from my many excursions has been a great pleasure.

There is said to be an Elk population of about 600 around Mt Rainier. Elk are remarkable creatures. They live in a challenging environment yet show a poise and strength that all admire. I've had the great fortune to observe groups of elk over a fairly long time span. Some of this collection illustrates their home and habitat end especially their dominant sense of family.

Elk have an obvious and very strong sense of kinship. They are territorial yet have a vast territory. Much of their time is devoted to insuring the safety of the group. Young elk play an interesting and dominant role within the family. They will often decide much of where the group spends it’s time. When a young elk decides it’s time to climb to a distant peak or lay down and take a nap, most of the others will do the same. Adults always stand guard. Clearly the older elk love to follow the young ones yet watch out for them. They like to see the world through their children’s eyes, just like we do! The elk’s sense of family and strength in groups helps to insures their survival in one of the most ruggedly beautiful places on our planet.


There are a number of breathtaking farm lands to be found in the area. I've captured delightful images samplings of several farms during different seasons, to illustrate the awesome beauty the area proudly offers. My explorations of this have extended to East and Southwest Washington .


Seattle, Tacoma, and Portland each offers remarkable vistas that combine city, water and expansive views. I've captured some of these in innovative ways reproduced them as dramatic, high resolution panoramic images that show many of the faces and moods of the areas.

Ocean and Water-Scapes

Panoramic images are the perfect format for capturing waterways and boats, to produce spellbinding results that simply wasn't practical in the past. The images are beautiful and highly unique. My ever growing collection of captured scenes by water are amongst my favorites, and they are often the most challenging to produce.

Panoramic Images

Panoramic photos are a recent addition to my art works. I really enjoy what this addition permits me to achieve. Panoramic photography takes the art of photography to the next level. A traditional work captures an image, and a panoramic photos capture a scene and enables a view that is closer to the way the eye perceives. Panoramic imagery is one of the best fruits of the digital age!

Panoramic images are far more complex to compose and print than traditional single image pictures. My panoramas or “panos” as they’re sometimes called, may employ between 4 and to 30 images that are assembled by a process called “digital stitching.” Due to this process, the images can be a lot bigger than a typical single image, are always very sharp. Panoramic images are often much wider than they are tall, and when seen at full scale they are very striking.

With traditional single image photography, if the photographer wanted to capture a broad vista, the primary choice was to use a wide angle lens and crop photo so that only the center portion remained. Then the center part would be enlarged. The end result was often an over-enlarged and often fuzzy image that suffered due to lack of fine detail.

In contrast to traditional photography, with digitally stitched photos, the images have substantially greater detail. Lets say that a typical single frame image is roughly 10 mega pixels in size. When a series of images is stitched together, the resulting images may be up to 300 megapixels. The end result is an extremely high resolution image. I take that several steps further and my owrk ends up being closer to a highly detailed painting than is traditional photography. When a stitched image is combined with smaller reproductions, the work takes on a stunningly unique character that you have to see to fully appreciate.

To precisely reproduce these on a web site would require that the images are too big to be practical. They would take a long time to load on your display and even with two big monitors side by side you would only begin to get a sense of the detail these actually have. To keep the image download times tolerable, I display the panoramic images as a little bigger than the others. Usually they are about 1200 pixels long by their corresponding height.

Materials Used in the Creation of These Images

The production of these images requires a wide variety of tools and materials, which are selected for their high quality and longevity. I use Hahnemuhle and HP papers for my fine art finishes, and high quality canvas media larger images. Acid free and lignin free materials are used whenever possible. I use HP Vivera inks which are said to be stable for up to 200 years. The Hahnemuhle Paper Company has been around since the 16th century and their papers add dimensions to the finished work that no other paper manufacturer can match. Their photo rag papers are said to be stable for up to hundreds of years. HP papers are expressly designed for use with their printers, are said to be stable for up to a hundred years. The canvas papers i use are designed to survive for generations with reasonable care and precautions.

The important detail to aid longevity is to keep the prints out of direct sun or high UV light and away from high humidity areas.

All my work is crafted with precision hand tools. My media and mat cutters are made by Fletcher-Terry. My photo lab consists of a large format, high resolution, 12 color inkjet printer, a few highly specialized software packages and various other tools. The cameras I use are made by Nikon and Sony. My frames are hand crafted in house by me.