DELMARVA ALMANAC

Tony Townsend

by Dana Kester-McCabe

Tony Townsend is a photographer from Ocean City, Maryland, who captures the drama and beauty of scenes he visits throughout his travels. Two tragic events in his life set him on the path of becoming a photographer.

The first was the passing of a good friend. Tony had been playing around with photography without much serious thought. He had told him that he had a good eye and that it was something he should pursue. After this friend's passing Tony looked at his pictures and decided he was right.

Tony decided to go to school to become an automotive mechanic in order to have a steady day job and pursue photography separately. But in 2012 his younger brother passed away unexpectedly.

He had been a free spirit who traveled extensively "seeing more in his short life than most people do in a life time." He had encouraged Tony to pursue his dreams. After his death Tony decided life was too unpredictable to make excuses why he should not take a risk on his photography. He now has a tattoo to remind him of his brother's philosophy "WWND" which stands for: "What would Nick do?" This helps him to be sure "you are living your life not just existing."

So Tony took a cross country road trip that he had been dreaming about since he was a kid and began to concentrate more fully on his photography. He took six months and traveled 23,000 miles across 33 states and into Canada and Mexico. He has a website to sell his photography and is working on selling his work through stock image companies.

Tony's photographs are high contrast with extreme darks and highlights. Sometimes the colors have an eerie other worldly cast. This is not a detriment. Rather this artistic license gives them a powerful emotional quality.

Ironically Tony is completely color blind particularly when colors are close in tone such as in blues and purples.

Tony likes to show the grandeur of a scene particularly when traveling to places in the American Southwest with its amazing vistas and huge rock formations which he saw recently. He tries to show his interpretation of what he actually experiences with his imagery which is what he says is the artist's job after all.

Tony uses software to enhance his images much the way photographic master's like Ansel Adams used such techniques in the dark room to raise the level of artistry in their photographs.
Tony is completely self taught. What he has learned along the way has helped him capture the drama of subjects like the light on water at night in Ocean City: at the fishing pier and at Sunset park.

One of the things he likes best about photography is that there is so much to learn. He has read a variety of books and frequented websites like digitalphotographyschool.com which have free tutorials. He says also that experimentation is very important and the nice thing about digital is that you do not have to spend a fortune trying lots of new things.

Tony hopes to do another cross country tour mostly living close to the land. Most of the time he will be camping. He would like to go to New England, to swing through the south, and go back to the west particularly Canyon Lands in Utah.

Throughout his travels Tony will try to photograph his impressions of scenic majesty no matter where he finds it. Tony says he believes you can find beauty in almost anything, if you look for it. That is what he is trying to convey. His "number one thing" is to inspire people who see his work to travel and see the places he has seen. He likes a quotation by St. Augustine: "The world is a book and those who do not travel only read a page."

You can find out about purchasing Tony's work at his website www.tonytownsendphotography.com