About Dennis Frates Photography

My Story | Artist's Statement | Testimonials | Samples | Books | File Names | Stock List

My Story

I pored over photograph after photograph in National Geographic, Sierra Club, Audubon, and others, almost forgetting to breathe. I thought this kind of photography was unattainable for the average photographer.

At age 14, after saving for a long time, I purchased my first camera for $100.00 with money earned from a paper route. Full of youthful exuberance, I took pictures of nature and scenic subjects that occurred in my small world. I was so disappointed with these early photographs. If I couldn't dazzle people with my pictures like National Geographic, then it wasn't worth the effort, I thought. I gave up, put my camera in the closet and literally went fishing.

In college, my passion raged on for the natural world. I studied landscapes and ecology, and received a master's degree in these areas.

Later, over twenty-five years ago, I felt compelled to revisit my love of photography. I remember it so clearly. I was fly fishing in Montana, and, in between catching 20" brown trout on the Madison River, the thought came to me, almost as if by divine communication, "when I get home from this fishing trip, I'm going to start shooting pictures professionally." I know this sounds like the old, "It came to me in a vision at stream side" story, but I'm not making this up.

I've always yearned to bring emotion to my life, and to that of others. Photography allows me to do this. Now, with a staggering amount of work, my photographs have made the pages of National Geographic, Sierra Club, and Audubon. They have brought emotion to art directors and their publication audiences all over the world. I take great pride that I have been able to help my clients look good. I can't say, "I've arrived", but I can tell you I feel an immense satisfaction that my work touches the lives of others.

— Dennis Frates

My Story | Artist's Statement | Testimonials | Samples | Books | File Names | Stock List 

Artist's Statement

A fine art photograph should be visually stunning not only technically, but capable of calling up a deep emotional connection with the viewer. Recall that feeling you have when an inspiring piece of music is played, and you have a visceral reaction to it. Well, that is what I strive for in every fine art photograph I create. I want my images to sing to the viewer in the same way a beautiful musical composition does.

I believe my photography achieves this level of excellence because I have a great eye for composition and color, and I work extremely hard. I travel extensively each year to photograph and have done so for over 25 years. During these travels, I discipline myself to capture one of a kind, unique landscape images by photographing during the first and last light of the day, and during unusual weather events. Also, I often visit the same location many times until I get the image I am after. I usually know when I come upon this kind of emotionally powerful scene because, while creating the image, I literally begin to shake, and I start babbling about how great the scene is, even if no one is listening. I am so absorbed in this process that I have on occasion accidently cut or bruised myself on a rock or a piece of equipment and not even been aware of it. I photograph the drama of nature, and my goal is for you to experience a little of this when viewing my photographs, minus the cuts and bruises of course.

But this is only the beginning of creating a fine art photograph. The full impact of my images appears only after post processing the original raw file capture. I first correct the tonality and colors. Then I make sure the image is as simple in composition as I can make it. To do this, I clone out distracting elements, and at times I will stretch the image to hide unwanted parts or strengthen the composition. I then use a variety of image editing programs to enhance contrast, make colors pop, and generally alter the picture so that the image emerges into an affirmation of the emotions I felt when I photographed it. Only then does the image become a fine art photograph. I am very careful to maintain believability, and when you view my images they look totally plausible, even though they are different from what you would have seen through my viewfinder when the initial capture was made. My images go beyond the literal interpretation of a scene, replacing it with the personal vision and emotion I bring to my photography. In other words, my images are created by me, not just my camera.

Even though I have photographed for many years, I honestly feel my work gets better every year. The inspiration I feel when photographing has never abated — I simply love what I do, and it has been, and continues to be, my life’s passion. I shoot almost exclusively with a medium format digital camera, and my goal is to capture as many landscape and nature images as possible in the coming years with this extraordinary camera. I feel my greatest work is before me.

My Story | Artist's Statement | Testimonials | Samples | Books | File Names | Stock List

What others are saying about 
Dennis Frates Photography

I have just spent all day reviewing photos, twenty five submissions ­ all rejects. Then I came upon yours. It was like a breath of fresh air ­absolutely beautiful.

— Barb Grano, Photo Editor, Northwest Travel Magazines

He’s a brilliant photographer (ask the folks at National Geographic, who obviously admire his work) and knows how to freeze time & beauty, landscape and emotion within the frame of his lens.

 Oregon Statesman Journal book review

He has become known for achieving intense color saturation in his landscapes and sharp close-ups of flora and fauna.

— Portfolio review in Photomedia Magazine

Dennis Frates' remarkable nature photography is very popular with Second Nature's customers. We feature 22 of Frates' nature photographs in a screen saver collection. His photographs have excellent clarity and truly reflect the beauty and diversity of nature at its finest.

 Dorothy Hitt, Vice President of Licensing, Second Nature

As a stock agent, I see thousands of images a day. Yet the quality of Dennis Frates' images never ceases to amaze me. He captures the essence of the moment and brings the viewer into his world every time. From dramatically-lit landscapes to bold and graphic intimate nature shots, Dennis' photographs are sheer perfection!

— Pat Bruno, Positive Images

The person behind the camera is more important than what is in front of it.

ArtVisions has been representing Dennis for about a year and his photography is some of the best we've seen. It is technically supurb -- color, and composition are spot-on — but key for us, is that Dennis creates an emotional impact that just knocks you over!.

When we first saw his portfolio we thought, "WOW! We have to get this guy." We usually just skim through portfolios to get a feel for an artist's work. Dennis' work is so compelling that we looked at image after image and eagerly went to the next.

Just as important, Dennis is a delight to work with. He is responsive to client's requirements and keeps his promises.

Dennis perfectly exemplifies ArtVisions motto: "Exceed expectations."

— Neil Miller ­ President, ArtVisions(tm) Fine Art Licensing

As an magazine photo editor I have been very fortunate to work with Dennis Frates. Our publication has chosen to showcase his work consistently over the past decade. He has captured so many surprising details from the Oregon coast to Hawaii. I love the color, composition and clarity of his photography. He has a wonderful view of nature and it's awesome beauty.

Over a long term relationship with some photographers, I feel as if I have seen many of the same images repeated, however Dennis' work has remained fresh. I always look forward to working with him, he is extremely professional and easy to work with. His images appeal continually to our audience and we look forward to publishing many more of his images in the future.

 Marcy Shultz "Discipleship Journal"

Wow! That's what I say when I look at Dennis's film. Working on a stock photography site I get to see hundreds of images per week. But Dennis' always manage to stand out. His images are majestic and the quality is flawless. I always look forward to seeing Dennis Frates' work just so I can feel "Wow."

 Randal Cumming - CTO CGI Backgrounds

Your long association with Ideals Publications speaks to our opinion of the excellence of your photographs and our cordial business dealings. Thank you for providing "just the right photos" so quickly and efficiently.

The last Ideals Publications picture book illustrated solely by your photographs was absolutely gorgeous and was, I am happy to report, very well received.

We look forward to many more years of mutually successful association with you in producing IDEALS magazine and many more beautiful books.

 Patsy Jay, Ideals Publications

My Story | Artist's Statement | Testimonials | Samples | Books | File Names | Stock List

Published Samples

I have had thousands of my photographs published over the last 25+ years. My images have appeared in numerous publications including books, magazines, calendars, posters, greeting cards, CD covers, catalogs, brochures and advertisements. Here are a few samples:

My Story | Artist's Statement | Testimonials | Samples | Books | File Names | Stock List

Published Books

I am the sole photographer for these books.



My Story | Artist's Statement | Testimonials | Samples | Books | File Names | Stock List

Cameras used:

Digital cameras

Leica M9 (18 megapixels)
Leica M (240) (24 megapixels)
Sony A7r & A7rII(36 & 42 megapixels)
Pentax 645D & 645Z(40 & 51 megapixels)  
Canon 1ds Mark III (21 megapixels)
Canon 1ds Mark II (16.7 megapixels)
Canon 1ds (11 megapixels)
Sony A7rIII (42 megapixels)
Sony A7R4 (61 megapixels)

Film cameras

Toyo 4 x 5 field camera
Pentax 645


Imacon Flextight scanner

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Stock List

Location Coverage


Kalgin Island
Bear Creek Lodge
Denali Highway
Elliot Highway
Gracious House
Gulkana River
Lake George
Manto Flatts
Mount McKinley
Mount McSanford
Nenana Highway
Shoup Bay
Talachulitna River
Tangle Lake


Antelope Canyon
Cathedral Rock
Glenn Canyon National Recreation Area
Lee’s Ferry
Monument Valley
Secret Mountain Wilderness
Saguaro National Park
Vermillion-Cliffs Wilderness
White Pocket


Alabama Hills
Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest
Anza Borrego Desert State Park
Antelope Valley Poppy Preserve
Bear Valley
Big Sur coast
Bodie Ghost Town
Burney Falls
Carrizo Plain National Monument
Death Valley National Park
Devil’s Postpile
Eastern Sierra Nevada mountains
Joshua Tree National Park
Kern County
Klamath Falls National Wildlife Refuge
Lake Tahoe
Mono Lake
Mt. Lassen National Park
Napa Valley wine country
Northern California coast
Palm Desert/Palm Springs area

Point Lobos State Reserve
Pacific Grove
Red Rock Canyon State Park
Redwood National Park
Yosemite National Park
17 Mile Drive/Pebble Beach


Animas Forks
Colorado Rockies
San Juan Mountains


Hawaii Island


Hell’s Canyon Nat. Recreation Area
Sawtooth Mountains
Seven Devil’s Mountains
Shoshone Falls
Targhee National Forest


Glacier National Park
Nevada City
Quake Lake
Yellowstone National Park


Great Basin National Park
Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area
Ruby Lake National Wildlife Refuge
Ruby Mountains
Black Rock Desert National Conservation Area
Valley of Fire State Park
Cathedral Gorge State Park


Torres Del Pine National Park

New Mexico:

White Sands National Monument
Tent Rocks National Monument
Historic churches/structures

South Dakota:

Badlands National Park


My coverage includes all geographical areas in Oregon, including detailed coverage of its mountains, valleys, ocean, deserts, farmland, rivers and lakes too detailed to mention here. Oregon is my home and, therefore, my coverage of the state is extensive.


Antelope Canyon
Arches National Park
Bryce National Park
Canyonlands National Park
Glenn Canyon National Recreation Area
Goblin Valley State Park
Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument
Lake Powell
Vermillion Cliffs Wilderness
Zion National Park


Bellevue Botanical Garden
Bird Creek Meadows
Defiance Park Gardens
Duncan Gardens-Manito Park
Gaiser Conservatory
Kubota Japanese Gardens
Lake Lenore
Lake O'hara

Lavendar farms
North Cascades National Park
Mt. Baker Wilderness
Mt. Rainier National Park
Mt. Shuksan
Olympic National Park
Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden
Ruby Beach
Second Beach
Skagit Valley tulips
Takhlakh Lake
Tatoosh Mountains
The Palouse farmland
Volunteer Park Greenhouse
Washington Park Arboretum
WW Seymour Botanical Conservatory 


Grand Teton National Park
Yellowstone National Park

The Caribbean:

St. Thomas
St. John
Turks and Caicos
Yost Van Dyke


Agness Lake
Banff National Park
Bloedel Conservatory
Bow Lake
Butchart Gardens
Consolation Lake
Fawn Lake
Jasper National Park
Lake Louise
Medicine Lake
Moraine Lake
Mount Edith Cavell
Mount Robson
Mount Rundle
Mystaya River and Canyon
Nitobe Japanse Garden
Park and Tilford Gardens
Peyto Lake
Red Rock Canyon
Waterton Lakes National Park
Van Dusen Botanical Gardens
Victoria, BC Yoho National Park, Opabin Plateau


Punta Mita

South Pacific
Bora Bora



 My Story | Artist's Statement | Testimonials | Samples | Books | File Names | Stock List