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“A life well-lived can be the greatest act of creativity available to us. It takes an artful finesse to navigate the requirements of modern life while staying true to one's dreams and making it all work.”
Jeff Diener’s photography reflects his passion and love for the outdoors and is rooted in adventure and exploration. Originally from rural upstate New York, Jeff was not actively involved in art until his 20’s when he was gifted a manual SLR camera for his college graduation. From there, Jeff began his journey, self-taught, learning the skills needed to compose and capture his images. Jeff expresses, “This first camera came with me everywhere and managed to survive extensive travels through the mountains of India and Nepal where I began to find my photography groove.”
Jeff lives with Type 1 Diabetes but instead of seeing this as a setback, he embraces it for how it has positively affected his life. He describes, “Being diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes was the best thing that ever happened to me.” Jeff goes on to say, “That might not make sense to some, but my diagnosis 27 years ago was the spark that pushed me to seize the day and follow my dreams. Diabetes affected every aspect of my life. Learning and understanding how to balance my daily schedule, meal choices, activity, insulin dosage, etc was a full-time job. I became an expert at managing this because I soon realized that my long-term health and daily quality of life all depended on me…it’s a disease that’s always there, every minute of every day.”
This diagnosis was a true moment of clarity and motivation for him. He reorganized his life to manage his diabetes and focus on his dream of becoming a full-time professional outdoor photographer. Since college, Jeff was drawn towards outdoor adventures and the beauty of nature. Jeff shares, “Skiing, climbing and hiking in the mountains, I continually found myself in places with the grandeur to make you feel small and take your breath away.” He soon dedicated himself to capturing these magical scenes to share with others.
“Searching out these moments and creating the images found its place in me, something that always felt natural. It was like finding a missing puzzle piece. I make art because I love it and I'm driven by the exploration of the natural world to find new locales, fresh compositions and inspiring light.”
Jeff carefully plans his photography excursions in hopes of capturing the perfect shots. Captivated by the beauty of wild, rugged landscapes, he often pre-visualizes a location or scene, mentally preparing for his desired image. Jeff describes, “The click of a camera shutter takes an instant, but the coordination of visualization, planning, travel and weather can take weeks or months until that moment finally happens.” When the light, texture and composition all come together as planned, Jeff feels most fulfilled.
Many of Jeff’s compositions are influenced by the range and movement of light which can drastically alter a scene. Often, he uses lighting to direct the viewer’s eye within a photo, and aims to create a clean, minimalistic image. To Jeff, this means only including elements that add to the image instead of cluttering it, which can be a delicate balance. “Years of honing my abilities allow me to start from the idea of an image and create a final, living photograph to match a desired composition with all elements of lighting and brilliance,” he shares. Patience and passion has allowed perseverance through many challenges and contributed to his success.
For Jeff, appreciation of his work is the greatest gift. He explains, “It confirms that all the energy and vision used to create an image was valuable and I was able to give something meaningful to others.” He’s excited about the potential to reach a new audience through Art Lifting, as well as be a part of a group that represents diverse artists nationwide.
Based in Boulder, Colorado, he often travels to new states and countries for shoots, always striving to capture and share the images he loves. In his spare time, he likes to adventure in the mountains with his partner Laura and dog Jupiter, as well as volunteer to help elderly individuals in his community. ArtLifting is proud to support Jeff in his quest to share the natural beauty of the world with others.
ArtLifting champions artists impacted by homelessness or disabilities through the celebration and sale of their artwork. Learn more here.