rick bernsIn 1989, I earned a Bachelor's Degree of Art from the University of Wisconsin Parkside with an emphasis in Oil & Acrylic Painting and Intaglio Printmaking & engraved images.  My subjects have been primarily human figures, portraits, architecture and wildlife.  I have often employed the use of photography to plan the paintings, murals, engravings and drawings that I prepared for clients who have commissioned me.  Until the 1990's and the development of digital photography, 35mm print film was very time consuming with or without having access to a darkroom for developing & printing.  I have been using digital cameras now since the late 1990's and photography has become as much of a passion for me as painting & printmaking.  The immediacy of the results for digital photography is incredibly convenient and has nearly rendered 35mm photography obsolete.

The purpose of my website is to introduce people to my vision as a fine art artist and photographer.   Photography, in my humble opinion, is as much of an artform as painting or any other 2 dimensional medium.  Art and photography allows me to create very dramatic settings for my subjects through the manipulation of light, contrast and the vibrancy of color. 

Each of my photographic images of people & wildlife are the results of patient hours spent in the field, exploring, learning, feeling, and observing. Occasionally, all of the elements of resistance will align in my favor and I'll get to bring home meaningful images, but I enjoy every moment of photography regardless of the results.  Anticipating and capturing a dramatic expression before it occurs has become instinctive for me as a photographer.  Capturing my subjects personality, mood, and character while anticipating their actions and movements based on the environment and conditions is a constant but rewarding challenge.

Currently, my photography equipment of choice are the Canon 5D Mark III DSLR camera, Canon D70 DSLR, Nikon D800 DSLR, Nikon D300 DSLR, Nikon P900 SLR, 2 converted Infrared Sony DSCF828 SLR's and a wide array of lenses and editing software. This is an exciting time in photography, and I fully embrace the power of the digital darkroom to turn the raw camera data into works of art that have the emotional impact of a painting, but with the detail, authenticity, and direct connection to the character of portraiture & nature that comes with photography. 

The post processing of photographs is required to render the scene as it was experienced in person. I strive to make my art and photography honest to the original scene, with modest contrast and saturation adjustments for aesthetic considerations; I never add or remove significant elements.  Each photographic image and painting are unique and one of a kind and represent my fascination with light, contrast, color and drama that is rooted in the chiaroscuro style of artists dating back to the Italian Renaissance.