About the Photographer

Wilderness-Press is the outgrowth of my fascination with wild lands, wild creatures and the natural forces that shape us all. A passion for slogging into forests, deserts, mountains, rivers, meadows, and lakes while toting a camera is the source for what these pages hold.

Edward Abbey wrote that, “The idea of wilderness needs no defense, it only needs defenders.”

The realization that it was necessary to veer off the path of least resistance came to me in my early 20’s when I was on my way to a Phd in American Literature. The day I decided to leave and abandon a comfortable graduate fellowship is the point where I finally realized I was heading in the right direction. Every moment I’ve spent keenly observing wildlife is a confirmation that I made the best choice in opting for a set of working arrangements that is largely outside the control of anything beyond my own volition.

Yes, I operate in the day to day, the social, the civic, and the commercial, I create and meet a schedule, and I make a living primarily by working with my hands, crawling under people’s houses, fixing broken plumbing systems. But there is another aspect that I leverage more ardently by actively engaging in projects with my wife and daughters at our ‘urban homestead’ here in Oakland, and by maximizing the time we carve out to make the connection to the natural world. The things that matter most in a life well-lived don’t have price tags attached to them— the types of experiences and encounters that expand your awareness cannot be purchased, yet they are never free. Everything that gives a grounded meaning to a life worth living must be pursued, and I’ve never doubted that I made the best choice in opting for a life of self-determination.

When you take the time to get out and away from the human-built reality, you open yourself to a different set of sensitivities that can yield moments of awareness about your own nature that you never knew were waiting for you. Time spent outdoors will also alter and inform the internal pathways that you are traveling—this is the abiding bond that is always waiting for us in the natural world. Get out there, move, see something that makes you wonder, and consider a different set of possibilities. Be part of something you can never control. 

If you want to get the shot you have to do the work and get down into it.

—Andrew Carothers-Liske