Don Rommes (Blaine, Washington), a neonatologist by profession, long ago embraced photography as an outlet for creative self-expression. His initial explorations of the remote canyons of southern Utah with a large format camera served as the perfect counterbalance to the stressful environment of an intensive care nursery. Over time, Don continues to explore the canyons, but digital photography and post-processing have replaced film and darkroom, and the printing of single fine art prints has largely given way to the publication of books and eBooks to tell stories.
Don is an authority on photographing southern Utah and is thoroughly comfortable in its remote backcountry. His photographs have been displayed in the Smithsonian and in BLM visitor centers in the Southwest as part of efforts to protect sensitive public lands. Don’s printed book, Cliff Dwellers of Cedar Mesa, serves as a focal point for a multi-cultural collaborative effort that led to the creation of Bears Ears National Monument. The book continues to be important resource in the struggle to re-establish the Monument’s original borders.
The companion eBook In the Shadow of Bears Ears greatly expands on the material in the printed book. It is an inventive and highly interactive multi-media production that provides an entertaining way to learn more about the Ancestral Puebloan people.
Don was also involved in the initial movement to create Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument and is now contributing to the effort to re-establish its original boundaries. His self-published, hard-cover book, Canyon Reflections, a collection of photographs and personal anecdotes from his 20-year study of the Escalante Canyons, is a good introduction to that portion of the Monument. An expanded and updated eBook version, Downriver, is also available. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of that eBook go to Escalante Partners, a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting the Monument.
Don and his wife, Nancy, have recently created Iris Arts, a web-based company that provides evidence-based photographic Art of Nature to the healthcare community.
Don has considerable knowledge of the art and technique of photography (both black and white and color, traditional and digital), is successfully exploring ways to create and distribute photographic projects in the electronic age, and shares his insights and experiences freely. Perhaps more importantly, he’ll get you safely into the Escalante wilderness, and back.