Born in Syracuse, NY, in 1949, Huntington Witherill moved with his family to California, in 1953, where he began training in classical music. With intentions of eventually becoming a concert pianist, Witherill entered college as a music major in 1968, but soon became interested in the study of two-dimensional design. The shift in artistic pursuit eventually led to a career in fine art photography beginning in 1970.
Having studied photography in the early 1970’s with such notables as Ansel Adams, Wynn Bullock, Steve Crouch and Al Weber, Witherill has remained faithful to his classical roots while progressively transitioning toward a more contemporary approach to the medium. Since 1975, his work has been featured in more than one hundred individual and group exhibitions in museums and galleries throughout the world.
Indicative of a diverse approach to the medium, Witherill works in both color and black & white, and his subjects include classic landscapes, studies of pop-art, botanical still-life, urban architecture, abstracts, and digital imaging. His photographs have been the subject of three award winning hardcover monographs titled: Orchestrating Icons (2000), Botanical Dances (2001), and Photo Synthesis (2010). In 1999, Witherill was the recipient of the “Artist of the Year” award presented by the Center for Photographic Art, Carmel, California.
Witherill’s photographs are maintained in numerous distinguished public art collections including; the United States Department of State: Art in the Embassies, Fundacióe Van Gogh d’Arles, Arles, France, the National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto, Japan, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA, Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, NY, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara, CA, and the Monterey Museum of Art, Monterey, CA, among others.
Since 1975, Witherill has also continued to teach photography for a variety of institutions and workshop programs throughout the United States, including the University of California, the Friends of Photography, the Center for Photographic Art, the Oklahoma Arts Institute, and the Ansel Adams Gallery, among others.
My approach to photography is one of seeking to discover and reveal the particular qualities of light that can best serve to define the unique and often enigmatic nature of each photographic image, regardless the chosen subject matter. After all, it is the light that ultimately determines the visual character of all physical forms.
As is also the case with any form of art, photography is a form of communication. Through my photographs I seek to tell a visual story that can compel the viewer to experience heightened states of visual awareness and spiritual realization. At the same time, because the very nature of the photographic process dictates that photographs, themselves, are but stylized interpretations of reality (lacking the fundamental factual information with which to confirm or deny the absolute truth or reality of anything depicted within the frame) I must also continue to depend upon my imagination to permit me to follow Mark Twain’s sage advice; Never allow the facts to get in the way of a good story!