Ansel Adams described printmaking in musical terms: The negative is the score, and the print the performance. F­ew photographers understand this analogy better than classically trained musician/composer turned photographer Joseph Thomas. Thomas studied composition at the University of Northern Colorado School of Music in Greeley. While in Greeley, a burgeoning interest in photography was nurtured by frequent weekend forays into Colorado’s wilderness areas and National Parks. When Thomas wasn’t at the piano writing or performing in one of many instrumental and vocal ensembles, he was studying the books of Ansel Adams, Galen Rowell and other photography greats. “As a musician, you’re spending many hours each day locked in a small room writing or practicing. Going out into nature with a camera was a way of offsetting the cabin fever and reconnecting with what’s real.”

Upon graduating, Thomas focused most of his time on a successful musical career. In addition to touring internationally with his own jazz ensemble, Thomas became an affiliate professor of music at Metropolitan State University of Denver. Yet he never stopped nurturing his other passion: photographing the natural landscape.

After fifteen years of creating a substantial body of photographic work for nothing more than his own enjoyment, Thomas began submitting his images and was delighted to find his work featured in such prestigious publications as Outdoor Photographer and National Geographic. And beginning in 2013, the conservation groups Defenders of Wildlife and WildEarth Guardians began using his work extensively to galvanize support and illustrate their publications.

While being published in magazines was gratifying for Thomas, nothing compared to the satisfaction of producing a large museum-quality print. “The print is the ultimate expression of a photographer’s art.” explains Thomas. “It is the result of a convergence between technical excellence and artistic vision.” And artistic vision is a gift Thomas possesses in abundance. Whether depicting a grand vista or an intimate landscape, Thomas’ extraordinary artistic vision enables him to create stirring images that capture the essence of a scene and inspire a sense of wonder. His style is unmistakable, and his talent for exceptional captures of amazing light and ephemeral atmosphere imbues his collections with a sense of the epic, the majestic and the bold.