PUBLISHED: 11:21 AM on Wednesday, March 1, 2006
Photographer to display images of nature and travel

Photo by Steve Christianson
  Steve Christianson will display his photos in the Juneau Artists Gallery during March. His work features nature and travel such as Tahitian children jumping into pool on the island of Moara, French Polynesia.
Juneau Artists Gallery will introduce its newest member, Steve Christianson, and his photographs March 3, for First Friday, at 175 S. Franklin in the Senate Building.

Christianson said he uses subjects that "capture the beauty of the natural world, whether it be landscape, wildlife, flora or people."

His work shows "a passion for traveling and exploring other cultures."

"It is the one thing which drives me," Christianson said.

Some of the places he has traveled include Russia, New Zealand, Tahiti, Israel, Mexico, Hawaii and Canada. He looks for things that represent the spirit and character of each culture to photograph. He said he seeks out what makes "radiant, magical and uplifting images."

The ability to see the positive may reflect what he does for his day job with Juneau Youth Services, serving three elementary schools as a counselor and therapist. His 20-year counseling career in Alaska began in Bethel, then to Homer, Anchorage and Juneau. He's been a Juneau resident since 1990 and raised his two daughters. He began documenting his children's early development with 35mm photography, then moved to video camcorders and over the past four years digital photography. Christianson has used his camera to digitally record some of the culture and life of elementary schools in which he works and then share the photographic prints with the school, families and children. He has given away "thousands of photos" to these schools and families.

He said, "professional digital photography is complicated and constantly evolving," but it allows a photographer to get better pictures by vastly increasing the number of pictures taken. He often uses a Canon digital camera and a 75-300mm telephoto lens with image stabilization. This allows him to be more "fluid" while taking photos and avoid the need for tripods.

In Russia, he was asked to present information for Healthy Lifestyle Project, a government sponsored international conference. While at the conference, he was interviewed by a Yakutian newspaper in the Saha Republic. He told the reporter that he used photography to enhance children's self-image and esteem in his counseling practice.

Christianson said that he also strives to share uplifting images of children, families and nature, to illustrate that "the earth has become a global neighborhood and that people everywhere are connected."

"We need to get acquainted with our distant relatives," Christianson said.

"And have a sense that the world of humanity is one genetically and spiritually connected family."

His beliefs spring from the teachings of the Baha'i Faith.

Christianson's photo images of nature and travels will be featured from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays throughout March.