Jake Mosher is a multi-award-winning photographer from Montana, USA. He grew up in Northern Vermont, on the edge of a tiny village near the Canadian border, in the heart of some of New England’s wildest country. From a very young age, he found himself drawn to remote places, at home in the deep woods, falling in love with the natural world around him. Some of Mosher’s earliest memories involve seasonal change in the North Country – the calls of high-flying flocks of geese, the rattle of loose window panes during a winter snow storm, the heady aroma of fallen leaves, and the joyous transformation into spring marked by curls of steam billowing from neighboring sugar houses where maple sap was boiled into syrup.
Growing up in an era before virtual reality, social media, and high-definition video games, Mosher’s cure for childhood boredom involved taking a hatchet, some wooden matches, a thermos of hot chocolate in the winter or lemonade in the summer, and disappearing for hours into the wilderness that lay literally out his back door. He became a keen observer of nature, learning the names of plants and trees, the habits of wild animals, and studying the smallest details of the world around him.
By the mid-1990s, Mosher found his beloved Vermont changing. The small dairy farms that had defined its landscape for four generations were going under by the hundreds, land was being developed for new homes at an alarming rate, so, like pioneers one hundred years before him, Mosher headed west seeking bigger country. As his name was read at his college graduation, he was approaching the Mississippi River, going as fast as his beat-up car would carry him, determined to settle in the Rocky Mountains of Montana where he planned to become an author.
On the outskirts of Butte, Montana, renting a 50-year-old trailer where his bed sheets would routinely freeze to the wall on winter nights, Mosher found the frontier existence he was seeking. He worked as a logger, miner, substitute elementary school teacher, prize fighter, and big-game guide to support his fiction writing, eventually seeing two novels published. In a moment of weakness, he once applied and was accepted to law school, later burning his acceptance letter in his small, wood stove, determined to succeed as an artist. For more than a decade, Mosher lived a hand-to-mouth existence, immersed in the wilds of Montana, at home among its high mountain lakes, semi-arid prairies, and vast, unbroken tracts of wilderness.
As early middle-life set in, with the pressures to assimilate into a more “normal” lifestyle, Mosher became an explosives engineer, eventually running a large job, enjoying some of the financial freedom that a stable career afforded him, but at the same time straying further from what his heart truly wanted. As many of the same changes that had pushed him out of Vermont twenty years earlier began occurring in Montana, Mosher turned to photography to document the dwindling wild places he loves most. Through a camera’s lens, he found the perfect medium to present his unique view of the natural world, drawing on a lifetime’s love of the outdoors. What began as a hobby, turned to a passion and then an obsession. By photographing the Milky Way above abandoned homesteads, taking macro pictures of butterflies and flowers, and hiking miles through snow to capture a frozen lake at sunset, Mosher realized that his true calling in life was behind his camera.
On an early fall day, as strings of geese passed over Montana, their calls transporting him back to his boyhood home in Northern Vermont and the infant beginnings of his fascination with Nature, Mosher walked away from his job to pursue his photography full-time.
His work has since won national and international awards, been published in many magazines, and has provided him with what he has always sought – the perfect excuse to spend his life in the parts of the Earth he loves most. He believes that in Nature there is no such thing as the ordinary and that the world, particularly off the beaten path, is a wonderful thing to see.
I have always been captivated by the beauty of butterflies. For me, their magical emergence each spring is the personification of a world reborn and the end to a long, Northern winter. I’ll never forget the first one I saw, a mourning cloak, fanning its burgundy wings on a patch of bare ground the spring I turned three. I watched spellbound while it showed off its violet spots, remember thinking how its creamy wingtips looked like fresh milk, and was shocked at how fast it flew away when I reached to touch it.
Equal to my love of butterflies is my passion for discovery. I have panned for gold, searched for fossils, collected everything from old coins to antique bottles, and scoured the world of Nature for all things unusual. I have been a seeker my whole life, naturally drawn to macro photography as a way to reveal Nature’s hidden beauty.
These Metamorphosis images that I’ve created are an entirely new art form, part of photographic history, the likes of which the world has never seen. Through a complex process of high-magnification photography, using tiny sections of butterfly and moth wings, I create images that are the result of replicating, repositioning, revolving, and expanding or contracting many hundreds of individual photos. I never alter color, import any foreign designs, or do any type of artificial drawing. With precise attention to maintaining the same delicate symmetry butterflies possess, my images transform into visual showpieces as varied as the lovely insects that I photograph.
My work is photography and artistic design intertwined, and its results are pieces that yield new surprises each time you look at them. From complicated, geometric patterns, to sublime shifts in color, to the flowing feel of wings on a summer breeze, my images are a fitting tribute to one of Earth’s most beautiful creatures.
I believe that now, perhaps more than ever, in a world so punctuated by discord and division, we need the beauty of art. These images are my gift. They are rooted in the urge to discover, an unwavering love of Nature, and an innate desire to create.
2019 Royal Photographic Society Movement photo contest
2018 National Wildlife Federation Garden photo contest
2018 Fusion Art International Skies photo contest
2018 Insight Investment Astronomy Photographer of the Year contest
2018 International Fusion Art Color competition
2018 Shoot the Land International Nature competition
2018 Shoot the Wild International photo contest
2018 Motif Collection International Reflections photo contest
2018 Praxis Gallery International Monochrome contest
2018 Photographer’s Forum Sigma Spring Competition
2018 Juried Exhibition of night sky photography, Zoot Art Gallery, Bozeman, Montana
2017 National Wildlife Federation photo contest
2017 Juried Photography Exhibition, Old Main Gallery, Bozeman, Montana
2016 Smithsonian Photo Contest
Member of the Royal Photographic Society