About Ron Gaut
Ron Gaut spent 30 years as a Civil Engineer working primarily as a designer and project manager of public works. But at an early age, he discovered the outdoors and developed a deep passion for wilderness and photography. Not surprising, with Ron’s engineering background and thirst to learn about photographic processes, in the early 1990’s, he began to experiment with many of the available films, developers, silver papers and alternative processes. He quantified much of his work by sensitometric analysis to determine the film/developer and paper/developer combination properties for different film and paper development methods. The results were submitted as thesis papers at a local college that he attended.
Influenced in his early work by Ansel Adams, John Sexton, Lynn Radeka, Ray McSavaney, and other contemporary “west coast” landscape masters, Ron traveled and photographed the southwest with his 4x5 camera. Although Ron’s focus during the late 1990’s and 2000’s was to his engineering career and young family, when the kids left for college he reignited his smoldering passion for photography and the wilderness, and began to venture out again, this time with a digital camera. “I have to admit that I enjoy using a digital camera. It’s much easier and quicker to setup than the 4x5, and that translates to greater opportunities especially when the light is fleeting. However, there was a steep learning curve to becoming proficient in the digital darkroom”.
Ron uses Lightroom for global adjustments and Photoshop to fine-tune his images before printing. “Although digital photography received a bum rap in the early days, it’s now almost universally accepted. Digital cameras have tremendous dynamic range and digital prints are sharper, last longer, and if printing in color, lend to more accurate colors than was previously possible”.
Although photography is the means by which Ron communicates his wilderness experience, another benefit of this endeavor is new friendships. “I am very fortunate that because of photography, I have met and developed lifetime friendships with kindred souls, who share the same sense of absolute fascination with the wilderness and adventure”.
Now semi-retired, you can find Ron on the less traveled roads of the California deserts, the Colorado Plateau, and hiking in the backcountry of the Sierra Nevada with friends and family.