About Erin Babnik

Erin Babnik Portrait


Erin has been steeped in the arts her entire life. Born in California to a father who ran an ad agency, she learned early on about the power of imagery and also about the natural world that was so well represented in her home state. These interests–visual media and nature–came together for her first in the art of oil painting, which she often carried out in the plein air fashion during visits to national parks. She first started experimenting with photography creatively while completing baccalaureate coursework in art school, but these photographs were the raw materials for larger projects and were not end products themselves. It was not until she was working on her Ph.D. in Art History that she began to produce photographs with the kind of dedication that would result in a high level of both intention and technique. Her initial goal was simply to produce a high-quality archive of images for teaching and research, but photographing archaeological sites became a pivotal entree into the world of landscape photography–and the rest is history. Erin now divides her time between California and Slovenia, traveling extensively from home bases in both locations, always hoping for those magic confluences of time and place that lead to memorable pictures.



My eyes get especially large when I happen upon serendipitous collaborations between nature and culture. Although some of my photographs express one of these realms more strongly than the other, most of them are attempts at capturing a certain level of interplay. Nature on its own is often magnificent, but the best creations of mankind can serve as nature’s ultimate foil. Conversely, a manmade structure or artwork can gain a lot from mingling with nature, even when natural processes start to get the upper hand; nature has a way of reshaping and reclaiming cultural artifacts, often making them all the more venerable as unique, majestic, and iconic ruins. Since these medleys are perennial works in progress, most of them can never be captured the same way twice. My photographs are essentially a celebration of this reality.

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