return to articles
Envisioning Habitat
Cheryl Medow

I focus my lens on the avian world to heighten awareness of the importance of these sublime creatures. Since early childhood, whether tending chickens or mimicking the sound of birds, I have always had an affection toward these beautiful and sometimes prehistoric winged beings.

The first stage in creating my images is to be out in nature, traveling to places where the birds live. Sometimes it's as close as my backyard. But more often, the requirement is to travel to places far from home, either familiar or to which I’ve never been.  While waiting for the moment to snap the picture, I enjoy the beauty of the environment, hopefully uninhabited by lots of people but full of greenery and the water the birds I love. This allows me to see birds at home in their environment. Whether my subjects are looking for food, balancing on a tree branch, hiding from other predators in the bushes, building a nest, courting or even fighting for territory, these moments are fascinating and allow me an opportunity for my curiosity and imagination to find expression.

The second stage takes place in my studio.  This is where the many images photographed in the field come together as new, imaginative scenes through the use of modern technology. A set of stormy clouds from the Galapagos, the landscape of Death Valley or the Masai Mara, the heightened color of the birds during mating season, the surreal result conjured by placing the bird somewhere it's never been, all through the lens of Photoshop, are the tools I use to composite and create my imagery.

The beauty I sees in nature is an element in every image I create. I desire to share the beauty I see with the hope that once the magnificence of this planet and its amazing creatures is seen, the desire to preserve and protect it will find expression in the viewer. We can all be stewards of a sublime environment in our everyday lives.

- Cheryl Medow

This series was a Portfolio Award winner in the 2018 San Francisco Bay Photography Show.

Cheryl Medow studied ceramics at the famed Chouinard Institute and received a BA in Art from UCLA, concentrating on life drawing with charcoal and pastels. Continuing her art education, she studied printmaking at Hand Graphics in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and digital printmaking with Mac Holbert and John Paul Caponigro in Santa Barbara. With this classical training in the arts and her new found twenty–first century tools, including digital photography and Photoshop, Medow found her calling: traveling around the world searching for birds to photograph and creating new images in her studio. Both worlds engage and enhance her curiosity about birds and puts her into the creative flow of life.

Since first exhibiting her work in 2006, Medow has received many accolades and her work is held in many private collections. There have been numerous articles written about her work including Proof.National Geographic - An Altered Reality by Becky Harlan and Inspire Adobe Photoshop For The Birds by Alyssa Coppelman. Medow was a featured artist in the August 2017 publication of LensWork #131.

Medow is represented by PDNB Gallery in Dallas Texas.

Visit Cheryl Medow’s site