An avid outdoorsman and self-taught photographer, Zack has been photographing the natural world for over 15 years, and has been shooting professionally for the past five years. He grew up in the small town of Corinth, NY, often referred to as “The Gateway to the Adirondacks”. Fascinated with wildlife, and nature in general, he captured his first photos at a very young age using a traditional SLR film camera. Nowadays he prefers to shoot exclusively with a digital SLR, and is skilled in post-production in the digital darkroom.
Zack's passion for photography has taken him all over the United States in hopes of capturing that once in a lifetime moment. His deep-rooted connection with nature, as well as a keen eye for composition, is what allows him to capture the beauty he finds in all things wild, and later turn this beauty into fine works of art. Zack's award-winning photographs have appeared in the pages of both regional and international publications across the globe. Zack Clothier currently resides in the Bitterroot Valley, in Montana. When he is not photographing, Zack prefers to spend his free time hiking, backpacking, and exploring the rugged and vast wilderness of Montana.
Thank you for taking the time to have a look at the natural world as I see it. Growing up in the beautiful Adirondack Mountains, my love of nature and wildlife started at a very young age. I would set out into the forest in hopes of documenting the secret lives of wild animals through the help of their footprints and sign. As I became more adept in tracking and reading sign I also started carrying a camera to record what I found. As time went on, I found myself wanting more than just photographs of footprints in the sand and decided to use my skills to locate and photograph the animals that made the footprints. I soon discovered this was easier said than done.
It wasn't until 2006 when I signed up for a Grizzly and Wolf tracking expedition in Yellowstone National Park, led by two well-known trackers, Jim Bruchac and Dr. James Halfpenny, that I realized that I wanted to become a professional nature photographer. For years I dreamed of moving closer to an area rich in wildlife, and wilderness. The mountains of Montana were calling my name.
I have always been intrigued by early explorers of these vast, untamed wilderness areas. It is the wilderness that brings me clarity and peace that cannot be found in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. My relationship with the land and the wild animals that live in these beautiful but hostile environments is what drives me to explore and capture these unique moments in time. My photographs are the result of many hours of patience and dedication on my part, and sometimes a little luck. Often times I am hiking, climbing, bushwhacking, or skiing into the backcountry to bring back something truly unique.
Through my work I hope to raise awareness for the continued protection of these wilderness areas so that future generations can enjoy all that they have to offer. We must never forget, wilderness is more than just a natural place; it is a place that we go to for inspiration.
"Without wilderness, we will eventually lose the capacity to understand America. Our drive, our ruggedness, our unquenchable optimism and zeal and elan go back to the challenges of the untrammeled wilderness.
Britain won its wars on the playing fields of Eton. America developed its mettle at the muddy gaps of the Cumberlands, in the swift rapids of its rivers, on the limitless reaches of its western plains, in the silent vastness of primeval forests, and in the blizzard-ridden passes of the Rockies and Coast ranges.
If we lose wilderness, we lose forever the knowledge of what the world was and what it might, with understanding and loving husbandry, yet become. These are islands in time — with nothing to date them on the calendar of mankind. In these areas it is as though a person were looking backward into the ages and forward untold years. Here are bits of eternity, which have a preciousness beyond all accounting."
- Harvey Broome