Ernie portrait 12 24 2015-1 copy.JPG
Ernest J. Schweit

My work is all about communication; not with words, but with a camera. With every image I create, I am trying to communicate my experience, what I see, both with my eyes, but more importantly in my mind. I focus on the beauty of the natural world. It might be a tree-lined lake, cloaked in an early morning mist, a dessert sunset casting a soft yellow glow on the cacti, or racing rapids with streaks of milky white water rushing down a waterfall. My images rarely line up with reality, though. Like a painter wielding a bush or a palletknife, I will play with colors, shapes and textures, molding them into the mental image I saw when I hit the shutter. My creative process always involves chasing the perfect light, I love shooting in the early morning, when the blues of dawn brighten to a golden yellow, or in the late afternoon, as the sun drops below the clouds, sending streaks of gold across the landscape. My days don't need to be perfect; I am excited to shoot on a foggy morning, or on the tail end of a storm; even when its so cold, I can hardly turn the camera dials. Its all part of the experience, part of what I communicate in my work.

About me
My journey
My photographic journey began when my dad handed me a film camera for my 7th birthday. 
Along the way, there was a lengthy detour in the newspaper business, with photography relegated to fits and starts between gigs as an editor and writer.
That all changed in 2009, when the Great Recession forced me into the ranks of the unemployed. So I picked up my camera and off I went.
There quickly followed a photo book, "Wisconsin Barns," a stint teaching photography, time in the commercial photo world, and the opportunity and freedom to explore the artform. With influences like Ansel Adams, Edward Weston, David Plowden and Sam Abel, I set out on the journey of developing my own "voice."
I quickly realized--and continue to believe--that the camera is an amazing tool; it can give you exactly what it sees, or it can give you what you see. And what I see as a photographer is never what the camera sees.
My vision is based on my personal experiences; what I see in the work of others, the shapes and textures that attract me, even the feelings of the places in which I exist; that can be at home or in a far off local like Paris.
Adams called that visualization; using the camera to produce your vision.
That's what I try to bring to every image that I make and to each picture I offer on this website: a unique view of my world.

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United States