Artists Inspired by Bonsai:Episode 3, Stephen Voss

In this edition of Artists Inspired by Bonsai, we will be taking a look at some of the work of DC based photographer Stephen Voss.  He has a very impressive amount of experience as a portrait photographer including portraits of many well-known political figures in addition to working with several famous media sources and organizations.

Photographer Stephen Voss.  Toringo Crab Apple, in training since 1905

Photographer Stephen Voss. Toringo Crab Apple, in training since 1905

Lately, Mr.Voss has been working on a book titled ‘In Training: a book of Bonsai’.  The book is a collection of various abstractions, portraits and interesting views of bonsai.  He uses trees of the National Bonsai and Penjing Museum as his subjects.  After viewing the images, its easy to agree that Mr.Voss has a great eye for capturing the subtle features of a tree, those little things that give the bonsai personality.  Additionally the composition of the photos is impeccable, displaying a very tasteful ability to balance each shot. In a recent conversation with Mr.Voss, I asked him about the process of this project.  Just to give me an idea about what it takes to put a book like this together.  Some of the details included over 50 visits to the bonsai museum during the course of about 2 years, to collect the necessary photographs. Not to mention the countless hours he likely spent editing the photos and designing the book.  Just imagine all of the interesting treasures a person could find, spending that kind of time in the bonsai museum with a camera and a mission.

Photographer Stephen Voss.  Chinese Quince, in training since 1975

Photographer Stephen Voss. Chinese Quince, in training since 1975

At the time of writing this article. Mr. Voss is involved in a ‘KickStarter’ campaign with hopes to fund a high quality 1st edition production run of his unique bonsai book.  For anyone who is not familiar with KickStarter, it is one of several reputable websites dedicated to organizing and gathering funding for creative projects, using a method known as crowd sourcing.  Basically it connects people who are looking to support cool stuff, with people who are creating it.  If enough people are interested and contribute the funds as a group, the project can move into the production phase.  Everybody wins.

Photographer Steven Voss.  Bald Cypress, in training since 1972

Photographer Steven Voss. Bald Cypress, in training since 1972

Photographer Stephen Voss.  Chinese Elm, training date unknown

Photographer Stephen Voss. Chinese Elm, training date unknown

Photographer Stephen Voss.  Sargent Juniper, training date unknown

Photographer Stephen Voss. Sargent Juniper, training date unknown

Photographer Stephen Voss.  California Juniper, in training since 1985

Photographer Stephen Voss. California Juniper, in training since 1985

Photographer Stephen Voss.  Drummond Red Maple, in training since 1974

Photographer Stephen Voss. Drummond Red Maple, in training since 1974

To check out more photos like these and get information about Stephen Voss’s book ‘In Training: a book of Bonsai’ you can visit his KickStarter page.  Additionally, Mr.Voss has a very nice web page with plenty of incredible portraits that are well worth checking out.

Photographer Stephen Voss.  California Juniper, in training since 1985

Photographer Stephen Voss. California Juniper, in training since 1985

Ok so I know this article turned into a bit of an advertisment, but I don’t care.  The photos are amazing and I’d really like to have one of these books! I suspect a few others might feel the same way.  So lets see if we can help get it made.

Thanks for reading!

Until next time…

Danny