“Florida is more than just swamps and Florida man.” Miami photographer Luis Garcia Falcon is in pursuit to make the people see. “I would say I am on a mission of truth to expose these natural areas this state has to offer.”
Falcon’s first camera is what ignited the genuine passion of the environment he has today. He used to “…just walk for miles to practice photography”. These scenic walks slowly led to a newfound appreciation of the outdoors. Now majoring in Environmental Science at Florida International University, he allows his photography to run wild. The shared enthusiasm Falcon has for photography and the Earth’s beauty drives the vision he has for every photo.
Around that same time, he took advantage of opportunities to go camping in Central Florida and whitewater rafting in Tennessee. Falcon recalls he “began to enjoy the slow-pace calmness… [as well as the] utter chaos of nature and its ability to offer me something real.” It was the combination of these experiences that drove the point home. He dropped his original major, biochem, and committed himself to be able “to conduct research and document natural artistry… and be able to share that with people.”
Pause and think. Consider the brutal state of global biodiversity right now; every effort counts. Not only do people get a closer look at the treasures that could be ultimately lost, but also have the chance to recognize that not all is lost yet! Photography like Falcon’s highlights places to visit, to help save, and to fall in love with all over again. This aspect is one of the fundamental differences between Falcon’s brand of nature photography and (what most would refer to as) landscape photos.
Landscapes are romantic and beautiful; vast, sweeping vistas that are immense and make you feel small. They take your breath away. Nature photography is gorgeous in its diversity. It portrays a closer view into our little mortal realm of existence. Examples of this include tight, close-up shots of animals and photos that revel in the unrivaled perfection of a tree, plant, or ecosystem. We are small beings and, to an extent, so are these. We coexist, growing old side by side.
Executing what feels true to his personal style, Falcon has developed a budding mastery of both nature and landscape photography. He does an amazing job at them within his gallery. As you wander around the photos, you find yourself learning tidbits of information. The carefully appropriated shots allow you to see new life (not everyone is a zoologist/botanist/ecologist, after all).
“I try to arrive at an ideal time, whether it be sunrise or sunset if I’m trying to shoot something open like a prairie or pine forest. Other times, I go a couple of hours after sunrise or before sunset to get good lighting in dense cypress domes or tree hammocks. From there, I try to compose images that not only represent that type of ecosystem, plant or animal but also include some artistry to it.”
This artistry translates to a vast variety of color palettes throughout Falcon’s work. Each photo covered in every inch of the rainbow; harmonizing consistent tones, lighting, and shadows. The sky remains a wildcard, adding special, unpredictable magic to photos where the sun breaks the horizon line. These pieces burn hot pink, orange, red and purple, kissed with blues and indigos. His methods make his work memorable and appealing, but that is not the focal point of Falcon’s pieces. For that, look to the small burrowing owl in a field, the red-winged blackbird as it flashed by, or the tranquil drifting of river water through a sawgrass prairie.
Falcon aspires to inspire. He is influencing awareness. As we look towards the splendor of Florida, we are reminded “that it is a state that host’s an abundance of biodiversity that rivals many places on Earth. That while we may not have staggering mountains and spires of red rocks, we have emerald springs, hundreds of endemic species and prehistoric wildlife. That is worth protecting, respecting, and cherishing as much as those mountains and spires.”