Meet the Member: Linda McKnight, Photographer
With Rock Creek Sports Club membership number #100, Linda McKnight jokes that she was a member here before the club was even built — “when it was just some guy in a trailer in the parking lot.” Fast forward many years later… Linda says never misses Rachel’s Spin Class or Hannah’s Yoga Class, and when the weather no longer allows her to get in her favorite outdoor activities — biking, hiking and kayaking — you can also find her in our boot camps and dance classes! Linda is also the resident artist at the Club’s neighboring restaurant The Daily Dish, where her photographs will be on display until the end of September.
Now let’s get to know her a little bit!
RC: How long have you been interested in photography, and how did you get your start?
LM: I have actually been photographing since someone gave me a Brownie camera at the age of 10. Professionally, I have been working as a graphic designer with photographs for over two decades. I was a book designer at the Smithsonian Institution Press, Time Life Books, and National Geographic. I have designed photography books for those three institutions as well as for the Library of Congress, Harry N. Abrams, and Harper Collins. The past 7 or 8 years, I have primarily been designing wayside exhibits for various National Parks around the country. Here is my professional website, that shows some of the work that I just mentioned: http://www.mcknightdesigngroup.com/pages/work.html
RC: Tell us about your latest work.
LM: This past year I have been experimenting with high dynamic range photography. This process involves taking 3 shots for every image — one underexposed, one overexposed and one in the middle. Then all 3 files are combined to create an image that both holds details in the shadows and holds clouds and colors in the sky. Ansel Adams used to control his images in the darkroom, now we have software. (Below) are two images that show how the technique allows one to hold onto the details in the shadows and the clouds in the sky.
RC: What inspires you?
LM: Being outside in nature is where I feel most alive — especially during the transition from winter into spring. There is a tremendous shift in energy from the non-movement of the cold months to the incredible burst of growth that happens in the spring. In between the two seasons is the transition time of faint color on the trees—pink, green, orange, red mixed in with still sleeping grays— as beautiful as autumn, but much more subtle. One time another photographer and I traced the seasons of Rock Creek and created a calendar. We started at a natural spring in Laytonsville, MD in a snowstorm in January (this is the beginning of Rock Creek) and followed the creek during the seasons; ending up across from the Kennedy Center in December, where Rock Creek empties into the Potomac River.
Linda’s photographs are also for sale on her website: http://lindamcknightphotography.com/ The photographs are available in several sizes and are custom made Chroma prints on archival paper, signed and printed in an edition of only 10 prints.