An avid outdoorsmen and self-taught photographer, Zack has been photographing the natural world for over 12 years, and has been shooting semi-professionally for the past four of those. He grew up in the small town of Corinth, NY, often referred to as “The Gateway to the Adirondacks”. Fascinated with wildlife and nature in general he captured his first photos at the age of 13, soon replacing the old 35mm point and shoot with a manual SLR camera. He presently shoots with a digital SLR all of the time. Although a majority of his work is of the Adirondack State Park, his love of nature and photography has taken him all over the United States including Montana, Wyoming, Minnesota, Wisconsin, North and South Dakota, Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont. His photographs have appeared in the pages of several regional and international publications all over the world. Zack Clothier resides in the Silver Gate, Montana, just outside Yellowstone National Park.
Thank you for taking the time to have a look at the natural world as I see it. Since I was a young boy I have always been fascinated by nature's unique moments. I began studying photography at a young age. I would set out into the forest in hopes of documenting the secret lives of wild animals through the help of their footprints and sign. As I became more involved in tracking I also started carrying a camera to record what I found. As time went on I found myself wanting more than just photographs of footprints in the sand and decided to use my skills to locate and photograph the animals themselves. I soon discovered this was easier said than done.
It wasn't until 2006 when I signed up for a Grizzly and Wolf tracking expedition in Yellowstone National Park, led by friend and well-known tracker Dr. James Halfpenny, that I realized that I wanted to become a professional nature photographer. I knew the path to success would be a long and difficult one, but that did not stop me from reading everything I could get my hands on regarding the subject. Now having many publications under my belt I feel that I am on the right road.
In 2013 I moved from the beautiful Adirondack Mountains of New York to Silver Gate, Montana, just outside Yellowstone National Park's northeast corner. My dream had finally come true. I have always been intrigued by early explorers of these vast, untamed wilderness areas. It is the wilderness that brings me clarity and peace that cannot be found in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. My relationship with the land and the wild animals that live in these beautiful but hostile environments is what drives me to explore and capture these unique moments in time. My photographs are the result of many hours of patience on my part, and sometimes a little luck. Often times I am hiking, bushwhacking, or climbing into the back-country to bring back something truly unique.
I have made it my goal to raise awareness for these wilderness areas and to help protect these natural places for future generations to come. We must never forget, wilderness is more than just a natural place, it is a place we go to for inspiration.
'Without wilderness, we will eventually lose the capacity to understand America. Our drive, our ruggedness, our unquenchable optimism and zeal and elan go back to the challenges of the untrammeled wilderness.
Britain won its wars on the playing fields of Eton. America developed its mettle at the muddy gaps of the Cumberlands, in the swift rapids of its rivers, on the limitless reaches of its western plains, in the silent vastness of primeval forests, and in the blizzard-ridden passes of the Rockies and Coast ranges.
If we lose wilderness, we lose forever the knowledge of what the world was and what it might, with understanding and loving husbandry, yet become. These are islands in time — with nothing to date them on the calendar of mankind. In these areas it is as though a person were looking backward into the ages and forward untold years. Here are bits of eternity, which have a preciousness beyond all accounting.'
- Harvey Broome