“I like to capture heartfelt beauty in any form. That could be a coal miner or a graceful athlete, as both have beauty and an energetic radiance in equal measure. I love the challenge of telling a human story within an environment, whether that’s in a single still image or in a cinematic story,” says photographer and filmmaker Tyler Stableford of his style. But Stableford is uncomfortable attaching words to his or anyone else’s art. To him, descriptions of something so fluid, so intrinsically otherworldly, fall flat. Or worse, the explanations place a label on or a box around something that is supposed to be free-flowing. That label is never the truth. And Tyler Stableford’s work is all about truth.
The 42-year-old now calls Colorado’s Roaring Fork Valley home. Stableford’s love for adventure started with his father. They constantly explored the mountains and lakes that surrounded his childhood home of Burlington, Vermont. When Stableford was 14, he was introduced to climbing and mountaineering. “I was swept away by the experiences of risk and freedom high above the ground,” Stableford explains. “That’s what inspired me to pick up a camera and document the beautiful places I was experiencing.”
Rock climbing is still very much in his blood. Whenever and wherever Stableford goes to shoot, whether it’s stills, video, a national TV commercial, a short film, or a TV episode, he brings his climbing shoes. Just as his father passed along outdoor passion to him, so does Stableford introduce his two children to the wonder, excitement, and beauty of time outside. And his work illustrates that same drive to inspire and capture splendor.
“Wherever I go as a photographer, my goal is really to capture a sense of the human spirit,” he describes. “To see and to share the true beauty and radiance of my subjects. I hope that shows in my work. I am just a conduit for their true beauty.”
Adidas athlete Ben Rueck climbing a roof crack on Independence Pass above Aspen, Colorado. I used powerful strobes to augment the light in the image, as I love blending strobes with natural light in a captivating way.
A fine art image from my personal series “Into The Deep” of athlete Ashley Mosher swimming with whale sharks in the Caribbean. No compositing or retouching was done on this image, as I wanted this project to reflect the real moments.
Mark Jenkins explores a rare ice cave in the Langjökull Glacier in Iceland. The dark striations are layers of volcanic ash deposited from eruptions over the millennia.
Portrait of athlete Ben Rueck in Escalante Canyon, Colorado.
Self portrait while flying with F-16 fighter pilots of Buckley Air Force Base.
Fly fishing, photographed on the Roaring Fork River, Carbondale, Colorado.
A portrait from “The Farmers” series, featuring fine-art images of farmers and ranchers around the country. The project was part of a Canon campaign and I have continued it as a personal project for many years.