Hello

my name is Noah,

I'm a landscape and action sports photographer based in the American West. My work has been published and exhibited around the world. It's an honor to share my passion with you; conceptualizing moments when rare conditions collide, showcasing the surreal landscapes we explore, and bringing them to life in a way they've hopefully never been seen.

Thank you for supporting my work and giving me the opportunity to push my creative limits, revealing how I envision the beautiful world around us.

More About Noah

Growing up

       I was born in the small town of Ripon Wisconsin, one of six, raised by my parents Rick and Lorna Wetzel. Growing up in the flat lands, there wasn’t much to occupy my attention besides mainstream sports. Whether shoveling a patch of frozen ground and covering it with a tarp to ensure I could kick winter field-goals at the age of 12, enduring hot summer days running sprints on a cement basketball court shooting thousands of jump-shots, or grinding it out on the driving range sun-up to sun-down honing my golf game – at an early age, I realized I must rely on my personal efforts alone in life.

       Luckily, with a local ski trip on the horizon and motivation from a friend, my dad taught me how to ski when I was 13. That was the turning point. After saving up enough to purchase my own ski gear, the next season I fell in love with skiing - an independent sport, an outdoor activity…what freedom.

       Around the same time, my brother and I acquired 35mm film cameras. Why exactly, I'm not sure. However, looking back it’s easy to connect the dots, recognizing subtle influences, and tracing little decisions that eventually changed my life. My Grandpa, Elton Wetzel, passed when I was seven-years old, leaving his camera to my dad. Throughout my childhood, this camera (which lived in an orange faded case within the living room closet next to an archaic steel vacuum) was used to document family holidays, sports, recitals, and our local state-park camping vacations. These events unknowingly heightened my interest in photography with an osmosis-like effect. Although… upon second thought, perhaps my Grandma Rosie also played an inspirational role – documenting our birthdays with a shoulder-mounted VHS camcorder, sharing humor and delegation simultaneously, pointing with one hand as the other recorded the ground in a shakable fashion.

       Moving on. Throughout the early 2000’s, the sport of freeskiing was experiencing a global revolution fueled by rapidly advancing technology and a free-wheeling, unapologetic youth. Icons such as Shane McConkey and Tanner Hall were showcased exploring the world, pushing their physical boundaries, progressing the sport, and doing so with friends by their side. Films were made, companies were born, and brands were created that became the foundation of the ski industry, all together evolving the sport and reviving its culture. This was my period of initiation… what timing.

       With inspiration affixed, I continued to ski throughout high school, documenting the adventures of my close friends while passing the camera back-and-forth. It was the rebel-esque narrative that was attractive, the feeling of individuality, uniqueness, being one of a few. It was as if we were outcasts, exploring a new frontier. We had found a better way of living, one that isn’t commonly found amongst land littered with silos and corn fields. It was exciting and different. It felt right.

Getting started

       Upon graduating high school, I immediately moved west to Steamboat Springs, Colorado to attend Colorado Mountain College. I had never been there. I can’t even remember seeing pictures of the town before I arrived. Pretty funny.

       Hard at work, during those years I focused on building a start-up creative clothing brand (Lightpole), that aimed to inspire individuals to pursue active lifestyles with support from collaborating artists, musicians, and photographers. In 2007, I began splitting my time between Steamboat Springs and Salt Lake City. Shortly thereafter, I sold my video equipment and bought my first DSLR camera. My photography then began to evolve through shooting products and capturing action sports and landscape imagery to promote the brand. Despite the growing success of Lightpole, something was missing. Was I truly passionate about the industrial clothing manufacturing process, or should I pursue a different path altogether? Facing a fork in the road, I remained productive, slowly amassing more publication and photography jobs until one day it became clear. I’m a photographer. This is where my passion lies.

The way I see it

       Throughout my career, my passion has served as an amazing platform to explore new places, meet inspired individuals, and discover new interests. I’m attracted to the pursuit of art, the cultivation of an idea, and the in-depth process that makes it come to life. I believe art lies more within the craftsmanship than the final piece. I’m driven by the pursuit of technical imagery – capturing unique landscapes through a new perspective or conceptualizing action sports imagery that contains layers of complexity. Although there is artistic value in capturing a scene, I’m most fulfilled when I own a certain level of creativity within the image – focusing on vantage points, unique lighting (whether natural or artificial), pairing surreal locations with unlikely activities, or revealing rarely seen conditions within a common environment

       I’m truly at peace when alone in nature, overwhelmed by its infinitude, wandering within darkness, withstanding harsh weather, and finding humor in challenging conditions. It’s an unsettling comfort - an environment and force you must not fight, but rather embrace. Nature demands awareness and composure. Within these moments I see a different side of nature - a raw side. One that doesn’t encourage visitors, but somehow offers friendship in a strange way. Each moment, each experience, is mine alone to witness.

       Recently I’ve realized, my best ideas come to me in nature. It’s through exploration that I discover further inspiration, constantly analyzing the terrain features surrounding me through layers of creativity until the next imagery pursuit is born. It’s an honor to share those moments, revealing beauty that is, perhaps, always hidden – showcasing the way I envision the beautiful world around us.  

 

 

Photography Awards 

  • Red Bull Illume - Austria "The world's greatest adventure & action sports imagery contest."

    • 2019 - 1st Place - RAW Category (1/60,000 images submitted worldwide)

    • 2021 - 4x Semifinalist

    • 2023 - 1x Semifinalist

  • International Photography Awards - 2022 - New York City "The most ambitious and comprehensive photo contest in the photography world, held annually."

    • 1st Place - Extreme Sports

    • 2nd Place - Professional Architecture. Historic

    • 3rd Place - Winter Sports

    • 5x Honorable Mention

    • 20x Official Selection

  • Epson International Pano Awards - 2022 "The world's largest panoramic photography contest."

    • 4x Silver Awards

    • 10x Bronze Awards

  • Memorial Maria Luisa - 2021 Spain "International Mountain, Nature, and Adventure Photo Contest"

    • 1st Place - Adventure & Extreme Sports

    • 2x Honorable Mention

  • Endorphin Awards - 2022 Paris "International Sports Film & Photography Contest"

    • 5th Place Photography

  • IF3 International Freeskiing Film Festival (Santiago Chile/Montreal/Whistler/Chamonix)

    • 2017 - Official Selection "Dancing with Mountains"

  • Steamboat All Arts Festival - Steamboat Springs, Colorado

    • 2012 - Featured Artist

 

Donating 2% of artwork sale proceeds...

to organizations that protect wild places, empower youth, and educate our communities.

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