Profile Pix

Susan How

To describe the ecosystem of my life and work, I would claim a riverine environment known as “the braided channels.” These great rivers are not a single, charged flow, but several intertwined threads of water whose flow is subject to conditions of season, weather, and flood event. Sometimes new channels form, while others are abandoned.

At ground level, this can seem confusing and temporal, but from above….ah!….the channels weave across the flood plain like the silver threads they are, all the more beautiful for their seeming disarray and changeability.

The writing and photography you see on this website are informed by numerous devotions, representing career and life choices. I have been and am a agricultural and rural issues journalist and editor, an evolutionary ecologist, and an environmental activist most often in the service of land and natural resource preservation. I am a student of Buddhism whose interest was first captured by the writings of Gary Snyder.

Perhaps because all of this forms a very large watershed, in the past decade I have turned more and more to photography to express these beliefs and interests. Above all, I believe we inhabit common ground, and I find it takes both words and photographs to fully register our shared landscape. My choice of black and white traditional darkroom photography is an extension of my perspective on evolution and our various scaling of time.

My business is Sunrift Media, LLC, which, again, has a rather broad mission, encompassing my art and activism. It takes its name from Sunrift Gorge in Glacier National Park, where Baring Creek, the melt-off of Sexton Glacier, has carved a deep channel, intersected in human time by the Going to the Sun Road.

Sunrift Gorge is testimony to the changeability of even large geographic features. Sexton Glacier, just as all of the glaciers from which the park takes its name, will likely disappear in our lifetime, due to climate change. Even more rapidly, last summer’s Reynolds Creek forest fire tore through this area. I will be going this summer to assess how the fire has altered the gorge.

Two of the strongest currents of my life are ecology and art, and each deeply informs the other. My photographs appear on this website, grouped as “collections” rather than “galleries” in reference to the great tradition of biologists as collectors of flora and fauna.  The three collections which appear here – Arboriae, First Contact, and Loess – are all works in progress, and the content you see will be updated over time.

My blog, In View, is meant to be a still pool by which I hope its followers will find respite from their busy lives. It offers a weekly post of a photo and brief meditation on the nature of being.

I hope to hear from you. You are encouraged to leave comments on blog posts and/or to contact me via email on the form provided. My photographs are available for purchase, and I continually hope to reach a broader audience through shows and publication, so please reach out to me if you think my work is a good fit for your gallery, museum, or publishing endeavor.  My curriculum vitae also appears on this site. Or simply request to join my email list to be informed as I continue to update and expand my work.

Photo above by Karen Howard