Alan Nyiri: Acadia Volunteer Catches Light

Early morning landscape image of mountains with fog and rising sun

© Alan Nyiri. Used with permission.


Through summer 2022, Alan Nyiri and his wife Angele worked as volunteers talking with visitors at Acadia National Park in Maine. On evenings and lieu days, this lifelong accomplished fine art photographer got reacquainted with a landscape that he first photographed professionally for a book more than 15 years earlier. Many of those new images he has since donated for use in park webpages and publications. Enjoy a selection of 30 here with commentary from the photographer.

Artist Statement

"The artist’s vocation is to send light into the human heart."

– Robert Schumann

I have been seeking the light, chasing light, catching, and sculpting the light for most of my adult life. First, to illuminate my own heart in the way music has always done for me, and then to illuminate the world for myself and others whenever possible. Photography for me is the child born of clearly seeing, understanding, then connecting with the world around me. The world I seek to understand is the world as it was before human presence and will be after humanity has run its course. But that, of course, is no longer possible; there is no true wilderness left on planet Earth, only those wild places which man has deigned worthy of keeping in a semi-wild state or considered economically barren. But rather than lament a lost paradise (I do), I allow myself to be enchanted by the world which we still have and a hope for an enlightened future

I was fortunate enough to discover a “time machine” while I was still in grade school. That, of course, was photography. The way my mind is constructed allows me to view an image I have made days or even years later, and that becomes a portal to memories surrounding that event which otherwise are lost to consciousness. I am transported back to that moment and day, and the blank page of memory is suddenly filled with images surrounding the event that I did not record with a camera. My early snapshots of places and people hinted at a greater value for me.

I discovered that whenever I ventured out with a camera and the intent to photograph, I was learning to see things more clearly and in greater detail, with a corollary sharpening of memory. This would have been reason enough to pursue this hobby seriously, but I found that a beautiful world was opening to me in ways that I had never noticed and experienced, a world that I wanted to capture and remember. Photography was beginning to sustain my soul in a fashion similar to what music did for me.

I began to study photographers as I had studied classical composers, and quickly found several favorites. Ansel Adams firmly established himself as the grandfather of my adopted photographic family, Imogene Cunningham as grandmother, Philip Hyde as father, and uncle Paul Caponigro. But it was Eliot Porter who became my photographic uncle, my favorite uncle. I sought out workshops with each of these artists, to see what I might learn from time spent with them. If Ansel and Philip taught me How, it was Eliot who taught me Why. Ansel’s images possess power and strength and are impeccably pre-visualized and composed. But Eliot showed me the power of the spirit within an image, sometimes gentle and uncommanding yet with a force that grew stronger the longer the image was studied. That was the path I wished to follow. It led me to photograph the American landscape, the vanishing wilderness.

I was fortunate to find a niche market which no one was addressing, and soon developed a small business photographing architecture in the landscape, the college campus. Working every day with a large-format view camera gave me the opportunity to develop the technical skills needed to perfect my craft and the time to allow my artistic spirit to awaken. But I rarely had the time to purely devote myself to landscape photography as pure art. My first taste of what such a project might be like came with a commission from Down East Books to create a book of images made at Acadia National Park. Although I had only five weeks to produce the images, I was in my physical prime at 36 and had boundless energy and desire to fuel me. The process was terrifying and wonderful, and while I vowed never to repeat it, I was hooked and started on a second book the following year. More importantly, it was love at first sight and I was hooked on Acadia.

Acadia and Mount Desert Island were the subject of another book, years later, and featured in another book about the Maine Coast. Just a day’s drive away from my home in Vermont, it became my go-to destination when I wanted to just get away for a few days to photograph without the pressures of home, work, and everyday life. It became a place for me to connect my images with my emotions as my appreciation for its sublime beauty grew into an almost parental sense of protective stewardship for the park. That, in turn, led my wife and me into a retirement lifestyle of travel, volunteerism and stewardship in parks and wildlife refuges throughout the country.

Many photographers have found ways to use their images to promote the ideals of conservation, stewardship, and the protection of the natural environment. Adams, Hyde, and Porter were among the first, and that, beyond their artistic achievements, was a strong reason why I was attracted to their work early on. I am just finding my way to join the many who are doing such inspiring work. To start, I am printing limited-edition archival portfolios for each of the parks and refuges where we volunteer, with the hope that these portfolios will inspire future generations to recognize the value of conservation and wise use of our lands and will show the fragile beauty which we are so close to losing forever through development and the exploitation of wildlands
I believe that I profited from learning to photograph with a view camera and film, and then polishing my skills in the digital era. Working with the large formats required planning, pre-visualization and pre-exposure editing, patience, and economy of technique and materials. These mental disciplines carry over into the digital world favorably, with the added benefits of additional dynamic range, color accuracy, lens versatility and a pre-exposure histogram which allows for perfect exposures. RAW files and non-destructive editing allow for infinite choices in post processing, giving photographers image control unprecedented in the film era. Multi-exposure HDR and focus stacking to control and increase depth-of-field provide additional versatility for the digital photographer. And finally, increased sensitivity of camera sensors allow us to photograph in almost total darkness and create images invisible to the human eye. I joyfully use all of the tools now available to me to create images I could not possibly have made thirty years ago.

When we returned to volunteer at Acadia after nine years of exploration in the West and Alaska, it truly felt like a spiritual homecoming. I grinned and wept for days at the beauty of an Acadian spring, what I call Chartreuse Season, after years in the desert and Pacific Northwest. My sense of gratitude for the privilege of living here and sharing the beauty I see is overwhelming and beyond words. When I walk along the Otter Cliffs Path at sunrise and refrains from Tchaikovsky’s 4th dance in my mind, or when Debussy melodies weave between my tripod legs like a cat as I set up in the moss gardens of Blackwoods Forest, I feel the connections possible between humanity and its Mother Earth. I hope my work may inspire other to feel this connection as well.

– Alan Nyiri, February 2023


Landscape photo of shoreline at low tide with a small island thick with trees in middle distance, a lobster boat steaming across an inlet, and a mountain range in the distance

© Alan Nyiri. Used with permission

Had I been a painter, I almost surely would have been in the school of the Hudson River artists, like Frederic Church and Albert Bierstadt. They had a brilliance for capturing soft, dreamy light and using haze to create distance and space in their images, as the light does in this view of MDI and Acadia from the head of Frenchman Bay. While I don’t restrict myself to this Luminist’s technique, I will employ it whenever I perceive it, as on this particular day.

I was driving to the Schoodic Peninsula one morning when, glimpsing this view of Frenchman Bay from Route 1 in Sullivan, I was immediately captured by the quality of light and the compositional possibilities. Fortunately, there was a safe place to pull over and park nearby and an equally safe place to set up a tripod just over the barrier rail. I made a few quick “safety shots” in case conditions deteriorated, but an outgoing tide and incoming clouds promised for improving compositional elements. The two-masted sailboat held my attention for twenty minutes or so as it slowly twisted with the tide, but it was the shape of this little island and the color and texture of the rockweed which made this a compelling image for me. When I heard the little bay lobster boat chugging to my right and saw that it was on a perfect course to enter this composition, I knew I had the image I wanted about to present itself to me, and what a present it was.

Night photo of a rising red-orange moon just above the horizon spanning open ocean water with silhouette of trees and shoreline in foreground

© Alan Nyiri. Used with permission

Monument Cove is one of the most photographed locations along the Ocean Drive, and I have certainly added my share to that list, at sunrise, in fog, with big surf and capturing the details of the cobble beach. One image which has eluded me is a moonrise from this spot, due to weather, clouds, fog or angle of moonrise. Finally in July of 2022 I was able to plan for an image of the full Buck moon, which I’ve also referenced in another image. Unfortunately, my planning was only half baked; I failed to pack the tripod adapter with coupled my tripod with my camera, and I failed to pre-spray myself with mosquito repellant before leaving my parking spot. Although I arrived about an hour before moonrise and may have had time to return to home base to get my adapter, I didn’t want to take that chance and decided to stay put. I was even too stubborn to return to my car to get the bug repellant and possibly lose my spot to another photographer. Rookie mistakes, and quite embarrassing after doing this for 40-plus years. But I toughed out the swarming skeeters knowing that the discomfort would soon be gone and forgotten, and I practiced holding the camera steadily while unattached to the tripod for the length of time I knew I’d need for correct exposure. It all worked out in the end, and I relearned the lesson of the value of meticulous planning and execution, even when planning a relatively simple shoot like this. I got away with sloppy planning this time but made sure that it didn’t happen again for the rest of my time at Acadia.

Diverse stapes, sizes and colors of stones, from pebbles, gravel, boulders to granite ledges

© Alan Nyiri. Used with permission

Little Hunter’s Beach is one of my favorite places to visit and photograph. Geologically, it is a fracture zone where schists, diorite and granite formations converge to create a great variety of bedrock, boulders and cobbles. The colors of the rocks here are compelling, the textures are seductive and the curtains of rockweed at low tide are elegant. The cobbles shift around with every storm and tide, and if all of this were not enough, the sound of the wave-driven cobbles rolling over each other on this deep, “hollow” beach is mesmerizing.

I find it useful when I visit a new location, or one as complex as this, to just sit quietly for a time and look, and listen. It helps me to get a feeling for the place and get a sense of its rhythm. Before I know it, I find myself drawn to a pattern, a spot of light – something which is of particular interest for me, and then I can begin to make images.

Waves crashing against high rocks and wooded coastline

© Alan Nyiri. Used with permission

Just north of Thunder Hole is a stretch of cobble beach that I return to often. If there is active surf, it’s a great place to imagine the endless process of granite cliffs becoming granite cobbles. I try to time my exposures to include the ocean both draining from the beach as well as rushing in – it adds a great sense of motion and energy to the image. Cloudy days seem to bring out the tawny-pink color of the island’s granite, and a big crash of waves never hurts.

Night sky image with Milky Way bright in upper right, a tree silhouette at left, and water and faint rocky shoreline in foreground

© Alan Nyiri. Used with permission

One of the most interesting aspects of the Acadian shoreline for me is the profusion of beautiful spruce, hemlock, and pine atop the cliffs. Here their forms can be silhouetted against the sky at any time of day or night, and I’m always looking for attention-grabbing subjects. This cluster of living and dead spruce on the cliff above Little Hunter’s Beach seemed like a perfect companion for a late summer Milky Way image. I arrived early – a half hour before sunset –ostensibly to memorize the little trail over and through the tangles roots, but also because it gave me a good excuse to just watch the evening change to twilight and then to night.

Lakes & Forest

White tail deer with full antlers stands in wooded area with open meadow in distance

© Alan Nyiri. Used with permission

I was on my way to Monument Cove to photograph July’s full Buck Moon rising out of the ocean. The light of the setting sun through the forest along the edge of Sieur de Monts caught my eye and compelled me to stop; I immediately thought of the painter Maxfield Parrish and the color palette he loved so much. Just about the time that I had a composition in mind and was getting ready to make an image, this buck stepped out, unconcerned by my presence but with a wary eye on me. I made this image a moment before he decided that he was no longer interested in watching me, and he turned and flicked his tail, giving me the first of my full buck moons of the evening.

In dense forest, moss covers large pink granite bounders

© Alan Nyiri. Used with permission

A long dry spell in June and July of 2022 left me wondering if I would ever be able to make images of plush mosses and plump lichens in my favorite section of forest in Blackwoods. Finally, we enjoyed several days of good rain in August, and I had my opportunity. A foggy morning gave me perfect light and I spent hours wandering through the rocks and trees, looking for compositions which conveyed the spirit of this forest.

Grasses and floating plants create patterns on the calm surface of water

© Alan Nyiri. Used with permission

Autumn brings the maturing of the grasses growing in the Tarn, and often more than a few photographers too. The golden sunlight of early morning lights up Dorr Mountain which is in turn is reflected in the pond, making an irresistible attraction with endless composition possibilities.

Night sky image with Milky Way in distance, a silhouette of mountains and lake reflections in middle distance, and silhouette of a leaning tree in foreground

© Alan Nyiri. Used with permission

Of all the beautiful lakes on Mount Desert Island, I believe that Eagle Lake might wear the Queen’s crown. But in all fairness, I could just as easily argue that case for Jordan Pond too. However, Jordan Pond doesn’t wear its crown anywhere near this regally, so I will defend my claim. I had envisioned this composition long before arriving in Acadia in May of 2022 but did not anticipate the leaning tree. On my first scouting trip to the lakeshore I discovered that, much to my delight, this tree had started to tilt in the years since I had last been here and would perfectly mimic the angle of the springtime Milky Way. Rising in the southeastern sky between Cadillac and Pemetic Mountains on a crisp, cool June evening, the Milky Way is now a subject that digital photographers can use in our images which was unavailable using film.

Night photo with dark blue sky, silhouette of mountains in distance, and moon hanging in center with reflections in water below

© Alan Nyiri. Used with permission

A calm moonlit evening and the low lake levels of late summer allowed me to make this memorable image of Eagle Lake. The undulating outline of Cadillac and Pemetic Mountains, flowing into the Bubbles, North and South, and Penobscot and Sargant Mountains, accentuates the soft glacier-carved nature of the Acadian landscape.

Cadillac Mountain

Landscape photo at dawn with rocky mountain summit and small trees in foreground

© Alan Nyiri. Used with permission

Late one summer afternoon, I noticed that fog was starting to move in over Cadillac, so I checked with the app to check for an available reservation up to Cadillac. There were many, so I booked one of the last at 5:30 pm and drove up to one of my favorite pullouts. Over the next few hours I watched with fascination as the fog swirled in and danced away, presenting dozens of image possibilities. I wasn’t shy about shooting, but a few images stuck out for me. I love the overall cool tones here, punctuated by the reds and yellows of the diminutive setting sun.

Landscape photo with pink granite boulders in foreground and open ocean with islands in distance

© Alan Nyiri. Used with permission

While evening clouds may help to create memorable sunsets, clear, crisp evenings have their charm as well. Looking southwest from Cadillac, the Cranberry Islands stand out on the horizon and mimic the rounded bare granite in the foreground. When skies are clear like this with little to add to an image, I’ll often minimize it by placing it high in the frame allowing the foreground to take center stage.

Landscape photo with sloping granite ridgeline at left and numerous round tree-covered islands in an open bay in middle distance

© Alan Nyiri. Used with permission

Looking northeast from the summit of Cadillac as the sun sets, the Porcupine Islands stand out crisply in Frenchman Bay. I like this area both for the long views but also for the colorful lichens which seem especially prolific here.

Detail photo in low light of fractured pink granite boulder covered with lichen

© Alan Nyiri. Used with permission

Countless lichen gardens are found growing on the bare granite of Cadillac. Among the first organisms to colonize bare rock, lichen is a symbiotic union of algae and fungus which work together to survive harsh conditions. Over 400 species can be found in Acadia National Park, often painting beautiful mosaics like this one. This image also demonstrates how the exposed granite fractures and how small plants like this three-toothed cinquefoil can get a foothold in the sparce soil created by the lichen.

Three separate small waterfalls trickle off a wide fractured cliff punctuated by green shrubbery
Cadillac Waterfalls

© Alan Nyiri. Used with permission

After a heavy rain, Cadillac Mountain just drips with water, due to so much exposed rock and the very shallow soils here. The waterfalls are brief and different after every rain, and with a little fog on the mountain, become very photogenic.

Sunrise & Sunset

Panorama of sunrise with bright yellow, red, and orange clouds filling the sky at right, a water inlet with islands at center, and the silhouette of a mountain ridge framing the foreground

© Alan Nyiri. Used with permission

This image presented itself about two weeks into the book project, Acadia Panorama. This cloud stream moved into the area around Tuesday noon and continued to stream along this same northwest – southeast line all afternoon and evening, never budging east nor retreating west. I knew it would be worthwhile to check them out again around 3:30 this next morning, and sure enough they were still there, zipping along the same line. I couldn’t imagine that this sunrise, like so many others, would fizzle out on me, so I drove up to a spot on the northern flank of Cadillac Mountain which I had scouted out days before, perfectly composed for the panoramic format. And sure enough the color arrived about twenty minutes before sunrise, more glorious than I could have imagined. I believe that I decided to make this the cover image for the book even before I saw the results, for I knew that such images rarely came along. I call it my Sunrise Liberation because it also freed me from “sunrise tyranny,” that compulsion to make that ultimate sunrise image from Cadillac. I would not have to get up at 3:30 am every morning in hopes of a promising sky; I probably already had the best of the summer’s displays.

Sunset view of open water, marsh plants, trees and mountains in distance

© Alan Nyiri. Used with permission.

Late afternoon clouds and pop-up showers suggested that conditions for image-make might become interesting and the weather radar showed a shower headed down from the north, tracking towards the eastern side of MDI. So on a hunch I headed towards Southwest Harbor, hoping to catch some good light. I got lucky and caught a splendid rainbow over the lupine field in Manset - but that’s another story. As that rainbow persisted, I could see this light beginning to gather towards the west, so I abandoned the rainbow to go over to the Marsh. I had scouted this exact spot just that afternoon, so I knew exactly where I wanted to position the camera. All the while, I felt that I’d stepped into a Frederick Church painting.

Vertical photo of sunrise with sun on the horizon spanning the ocean in distance and silhouettes of trees in foreground

© Alan Nyiri. Used with permission

I had been looking at the silhouettes of various spruce, hemlock and pine along the Ocean Drive and other areas along the shore. This young slender tree caught my eye, so the next time I went to the shore for sunrise I went to Monument Cove, hoping to make something a little different, a vertical sunrise image. Late-arriving clouds added unexpected color and made my idea even more interesting.

Landscape photo of sunrise along shoreline with light reflecting in a tidepool in foreground and sky filled with orange, yellow, and purple clouds

© Alan Nyiri. Used with permission

As hard to believe as it is, over the forty years that I’ve been coming to MDI I’d never checked out Seal Cove on the western side of the Island. After I’d seen a few pictures on the web, I decided that I had to explore the potential here. My wife and I were going over to Bernard for lobster one evening, so we swung by to check out the harbor, and I was immediately intriqued by the large mats of floating rockweed exposed by the ebbing tide. We continued on to our dinner destination and while we ate I noticed some interesting clouds moving in from the west. While I didn’t hurry our meal, I did decline dessert and after-dinner drinks: these clouds were getting very interesting. We arrived beck at Seal Harbor just as the color was starting to form and I had to quickly determine where my most interesting image elements were. I had time to make just three images, all with different foreground compositions, before the colors faded. I won’t say that I like this one best; we love all our children equally, don’t we? But I will say that on my first scouting trip here, I was extremely lucky to be here at all for this beautiful sunset. Beginner’s luck?

Ocean shoreline lit by low angle morning light with pink rocky boulders in foreground and calm blue water beyond

© Alan Nyiri. Used with permission

Nowhere in Acadia is the first blush of rosy sunlight more appealing for me than on the already pink granite rock shelves and cliffs along the Ocean Drive coast. Here the rock and the light compliment and accentuate each other. Although a few folks are up and about at this hour, it’s easy to enjoy a contempletive solitude here.

Black & White

Black and white panoramic landscape photo with mountains in distance, a pond with ripple reflections, and boulders in the foreground

© Alan Nyiri. Used with permission.

Like many photographers of my era, I started my lifelong love affair with photography making black and white images, inspired by Ansel Adams and many other artists of the day. It would be fair to say that I learned to see, photographically, in monochromatic tones. But as I got into commercial work, color became mandatory, and I drifted away from that mind set. The evolution of digital capture allowed for an easy rendition of any capture as either color or B&W, and I found myself returning more and more to my roots. Now I often recognize while in the field that a certain subject may have the potential to be either and I’ll try to open my mind to visually perceive both possibilities.
Black and white photograph of the silhouette of a large leafy tree in fog with light beams streaking through the branches

© Alan Nyiri. Used with permission

When I can, I like to start my day with a walk along the shoreline of Eagle Lake. The possibility of a heavy fog hanging over the lake while the sun burns overhead is certain to attract me there with the hope of finding a scene like this. With strong backlighting and high contrast, there was almost no color to capture so I immediately conceived this as a B&W image. It took a while, but the sun finally started to burn off the fog and produce a few sun rays which “completed” the image for me.

Black and white landscape photo of forest-covered mountains and billowing clouds with water rippling and reflecting in the foreground

© Alan Nyiri. Used with permission

The Otter Cove causeway is such a rich place to find images: the constantly changing tides and clouds create an infinite range of possibilities. On this particular day at mid-tide, I was first drawn to the variety of textures; water, foliage and clouds, each with a different feeling of its own but all complementing each other. The clouds whisking by overhead created interesting shadows and spotlights and I didn’t have to wait very long before I had a compelling composition.

High contrast black and white photograph of wet sand intersected with a rectangular stone and fine, interlaced ripples tracing across the surface

© Alan Nyiri. Used with permission

I like to use the B&W tone palette to explore what can be done with abstractions. This low-tide sand study at Sand Beach almost looks like it could an aerial study of drainage patterns in the desert, reimagined, and it challenges our stereotypical idea of what “sand” looks like.

Black and white study of light, shape, and fractures in a stone cliff face.

© Alan Nyiri. Used with permission

The granite cliffs along Ocean Drive are of an almost uniform pinkish-tan color – monochrome, in other words, perfect for reinterpreting in B&W. Taking color “out of the picture” leaves you with just form, line, texture and tonal variation to work with, and there’s an abundance of those elements in these rocks. Flat, overcast light allows me to “see” into the shadows and really focus on the texture of the granite blocks.


Landscape panorama of sunrise from a mountain punctuated with fog.

© Alan Nyiri. Used with permission.

There was not a cloud in the sky, except those below me; with warm air above and cold ocean air below, fog formed out over the Gulf of Maine and was drawn in over MDI. I watched with fascination from the highlands of Cadillac Mountain as fragments of the fog bank broke off from the main body and swirled in the valleys below. By composing this as a panorama, I was able to include both the golden light from the setting sun on the fog, as well as the cool colors where the fog was in shadow, a beautiful contrast. Panoramas are created digitally by making a series of overlapping frames, or panels, and then stitching them together in the computer using Photoshop or other specialty software to merge the separate images together.

Landscape photo of a clear pond with pink boulders in the foreground, wooded hills along the shoreline and mountains and billowing clouds in the distance.

© Alan Nyiri. Used with permission.

Panoramas do not have to be confined to a horizontal layout. Digital construction of overlapping images can be used to build a vertical panorama as well, as I did here at Jordan Pond. I loved the way the clouds almost mimicked the scattering of rocks in the water. The scene I wanted to create was larger than any single frame I could create, even with a very wide-angle lens When a pair of merganser ducks flew into the cove and began to swim around, I waited for a moment of action to make my first image, then added four more panels, or overlapping images, above and below the initial panel.

Landscape photo of a clear pond reflecting light with pink boulders and a weathered log in the foreground, trees lining the shoreline and mountains in the distance.

© Alan Nyiri. Used with permission.

A dry summer and low water levels in Acadia’s lakes and ponds allowed for some unique image opportunities. As I was setting up this eight-panel panoramic image, a pair of loons cruised into this cove on Jordan Pond, so I waited to see what they would do and focused my camera in their direction. I also switched the camera to high-speed frame capture, just in case. My patience was rewarded when one of them rose up for a “flap.” After recording this on one of several frames, I then returned to my original plan and made seven other overlapping frames, or panels, to complete my panoramic image.

Landscape photo of a pond shrouded in fog with weathered birch trees in the foreground and reeds and lily pads punctuating the water surface

© Alan Nyiri. Used with permission.

There are days where fog lingers all day long, especially on MDI’s south shores. Such was the case on this chilly July day, here on Little Long Pond. Something special was going on in the atmosphere – I don’t know what it was – that skewed the light towards the blue-violet end of the spectrum. It was mid-day, so it wasn’t the cool tones of evening. Whatever the cause, I received a unique opportunity to make a memorable image.

Landscape photograph of ocean coastline with rocky shoreline and trees on the right, open water to the left, and billowing clouds in the distance.

© Alan Nyiri. Used with permission.

There are so many places along the Ocean Path to create images of the rugged coastline and Otter Cliffs: this is one of my favorite spots. I love the confluence of granite shelves and blocks, accentuated by the dramatic cliffs in the background. But once you’ve made an image from one spot, isn’t that it? Well, not if you allow the clouds and the light to play as important a role in the image as the physical subject; those elements are always changing and creating new image possibilities for you.

Studio portrait of photographer Alan Nyiri
Alan Nyiri

Artist Biography

Alan Nyiri (born 1949) is a nationally recognized photographer and artist who, in addition to his fine-art landscape and nature images, has won acclaim for his architectural studies of some of America’s most beautiful campuses. His books of such prominent universities as Cornell, Stanford, Georgetown, UCLA, and USC are perennial favorites. His 2008 book, Acadia Panorama: Images of Maine’s National Park, received a national IPPY Award. Other books feature his photography of Cape Cod, The White Mountains of New Hampshire, and the coast of Maine.

In 2002, Nyiri was selected by the University of California president, Dr. Richard Atkinson, to create a comprehensive collection of images from all ten UC campuses as a 40th anniversary follow-up to a similar project commissioned to Ansel Adams in 1962 by then-president Clark Kerr. This work may be found online as the Atkinson Archive.

In 2008, Nyiri founded the Vermont Photographic Workshop, a program initially designed to help traditional film photographers make the transition to digital photography.

In 2014, Nyiri and his wife Angele, a college professor, “retired” to start their new careers as volunteers in the National Parks and Wildlife Refuges around the country. In addition to providing sorely needed service to these conservation organizations, this gives Nyiri the opportunity to live and photograph in some of America’s most compelling landscapes. From the shores of Maine to the Mojave Desert in California and from the swamps of the Everglades to the forests of Alaska, Nyiri now has the freedom to explore, record, experiment and create his vision of his native America, something he has dreamed of since growing up in suburban Connecticut. As a part of his legacy, he is printing limited-edition archival portfolios for each of the parks and refuges where he volunteers. In addition, he is planning a series of limited-edition, fine-art books which will expand on the concepts contained in his portfolios.

Nyiri’s exhibits include a 25-year retrospective of 70 prints at the Bennington Center for the Arts in Vermont (2007), and the major exhibits The Vermont Barn (2012) and The Vermont Church (2014) at the Southern Vermont Arts Center in Manchester.

Visit his website.

Acadia National Park

Last updated: March 31, 2023