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Photographs by Frank Ruggles Inspire Travel Plans to Our National Parks
Frank Ruggles talks about his photographs at the opening reception. © David Galen
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Chris Deering, senior associate dean and associate provost, introduces Frank Ruggles at the opening reception. © David Galen
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Reception guest ponders beauty of photograph by Frank Ruggles. © David Galen
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Reception guests examine photographs by Frank Ruggles. © David Galen
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Frank Ruggles speaks about his photography exhibit at the opening reception. © David Galen
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View of crowd at opening reception for the Frank Ruggles photography show. © David Galen
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Frank Ruggles speaks with reception guests about his photography. © David Galen
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Guests at the Frank Ruggles opening reception. © David Galen
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November 12, 2013
This Land is Your Land, a stunning photographic journey through the US National Parks, was created by critically acclaimed photographer Frank Lee Ruggles. His goal is to celebrate the parks and inspire others to recognize the treasures we have in them. The show, hosted on campus this fall, featured 29 black and white photographs, which created an astounding sight of natural beauty for visitors.
Frank Lee Ruggles, is a local artist, author and former Eminent Photographer for the National Park Service. Like Ansel Adams, his hero who held that title before him, Ruggles constantly seeks the perfect shot, often making heroic efforts to achieve it. Using his training as a former member of the US Paratroopers 82nd Airborne Division, he has hung off cliffs, scaled waterfalls, and hiked active volcanoes while capturing the unique features of our national parks through his camera lens.
While working for the National Park Service from 2007-2010, Ruggles logged 25,000 miles through 150 national parks on his photographic journey that took him to some of the most spectacular places in the country. The photographs in this show document his awe of nature. “I want to get something no one else has even shot before. I want to hear people say, I want to go there,” Ruggles said.
Chris Deering, senior associate dean & associate provost for the GW Virginia Science & Technology Campus, gave welcoming remarks at the opening reception on Nov. 6 and introduced Frank Ruggles to a crowd including members of the local community, photography clubs, corporate leaders, and GW students, faculty and staff. "This dramatic and magnificent collection of photographs fulfills Ruggles' own wish—they make the viewer want to have that same adventure,” said Deering.
Ruggles spoke about his photographs and how such “thrill-seeking” photography combines his passion for hiking and camping with art and education. He discussed the special reproduction techniques he chose to use for this show, using new technology developed by Larry Spevak of ColorBurst Systems in Ashburn. The result is archival-quality prints which have an estimated life of 400 years. The technology uses a proprietary software package to gain an unusually high level of control over the digital output using superior color management and ink management tools. Several of the images were re-printed up to eight times until they were fine-tuned to perfection. The process was arduous, including removal of tiny dust spots, but in the end Ruggles said, “less is more,” when it comes to reproduction.
This exhibit was created to celebrate our national parks. Ruggles has personally committed to documenting and sharing the beauty of our country, as well as protecting it through education and fundraising for preservation foundations. His goal is to inspire others to recognize the treasures we have in the national parks.
“Disney is great, “Ruggles said, “But don’t go there EVERY year. Skip one year and take your family on a vacation to a national park. You won’t regret it.”