Owen Roth is a photographer based in Corvallis, Oregon. He has lived in and traveled to many places across the Americas, New Zealand, Iceland, and Western Europe. He specialises in action-adventure photography, landscapes, and lifestyle imagery.
Hi Owen. Thanks for talking to us. Please tell us a little about you and your photography
I've always been one who loves traveling, adventures, and getting outdoors. I also grew up wanting to be a filmmaker. When the Canon 5D Mark II came out I bought it with the intent of using it to make films. Through that camera, I quickly discovered the joy of outdoor photography. In more recent years I've started to focus on combining my passion for outdoor adventure sports with photography to create images that inspire others to get outdoors. My photographic style is to create clean images through simple composition and a strong use of contrast.
Why photography? What does the medium mean to you?
Photographs have the powerful ability to convey a lot of information and emotion in just a few seconds of viewing them.
I love being able to think about how I want to take a photograph. The placement of the subject, the location, the lighting, everything that goes into the image. I'm a problem solver at heart and this allows me to think about how to translate a feeling I'm experiencing in the moment into a 2D image. Despite the potential complexity of creating a photograph, it's a very accessible creative medium too. I could work on a project to create a single image for days, and the following week I could make an equally impressive image in under a minute. That's part of the reason I enjoy it so much.
Do you have a photographic philosophy?
I only want to create images that I feel convey some story or emotion. I take my camera bag most places I go but many times I don't even take my camera out of the bag. Sometimes I just don't see any potential photographs I want to take, even if I'm in a place I enjoy. Not everything needs to be photographed for the sake of taking a photograph.
Where is your favorite place to shoot and why?
Anywhere with nice natural lighting and untouched natural elements. There are too many locations to pick a single favorite.
Tell us about your most memorable or challenging shoot
I was working with a friend to create a series of images of splitboarding in Lassen National Park. I was new to working in the winter backcountry. Hauling my photo gear around on top of my snowboard, snowshoes and other supplies was exhausting. I was lucky to be working with a very capable athlete who was willing to do a lot of hiking laps up hills until we got the perfect shot. We had to keep moving because with every run we were tracking up the fresh powder and I was looking for clean snow. It was a lot of fun and we made some great images, but it was definitely a physical strain.
What inspires you?
The feeling of gratitude mixed with excitement I get when I'm experiencing beautiful places. I could be paddling on an open lake in the morning, or stepping out of my car to view a mountain vista at sunset. The feeling is the same, and it's that emotion I want to inspire others to desire when they see my photographs.