San Antonio based photographer Aubra Franklin has spent the past decade traveling the world in pursuit of magical moments, a spectacular sensation he calls soul light. His majestic images of landscapes are not only the result of perfect timing, exotic locales, and expert compositions, but reveal the photographer's keen sense of space and depth.
As a professionally trained architect, Aubra sees beyond flora and fauna in a beautiful landscape. Thirty years of experience designing and building have informed his distinct perspective on natural phenomena and epic destinations. As a student he became engrossed in architectural photography and over the years gradually expanded his repertoire beyond illustrious monuments and celebrated buildings to include images of magnificent seascapes and idyllic woodlands. Much like an architect meticulously visualizes his design long before pencil is put to paper, Aubra visualizes how a particular sight and feeling will appear on a print, to capture billowing clouds and towering canyons. Through his lens a grove of flowering trees becomes a collection of grandiose columns and cornices.
Aubra's diverse portfolio ranges from photographs of remote Croatian waterfalls to the soaring Maroon Bells Mountains. His travels have allowed him to capture the serendipity of a perfect sunrise in Utah's Canyonlands, and the serenity of ships at sea near the Galapagos Islands. Each trip provides viewers with the opportunity to witness Aubra's vision of landscapes as natural architecture and to experience the mysterious wonders of nature.
Aubra's work has been regarded as, "exemplary in both composition and spirit," by his private collectors, which range from entrepreneurial moguls and cattle barons to creative directors and curators. His limited-series works have attracted much attention, with collectors vying for multiple pieces. "I'm not surprised by the desire for Aubra's work," says mentor and friend, Jeff Mitchum. "In architecture, you have to be spot on. Detail, with everything in its proper, arranged location. You have to create and visualize. You have to have vision and foresight, to anticipate how everything will work. All of that visualization and planning requires a hyper mind. Aubra has that mind. He has intuitiveness, technical skill and focus. He feels and knows what great light is. He's the embodiment of what I call 'soul light'. And that soul light is marvelously experienced through his visual journey in his photography."
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I've never been surprised by the desire for Aubra's work. In architecture, you have to be spot on. Detail, with everything in its proper, arranged location. You have to create and visualize. You have to have vision and foresight, to anticipate how everything will work. All of that visualization and planning requires a hyper mind. Aubra has that mind. He has intuitiveness, technical skills and focus. He feels and knows what great light is. He's the embodiment of what I call "soul light." And that soul light is marvelously experienced through his visual journey in his photography.
One other unusual quality Aubra has that is reflected in his work is the evidence of patience. These images are not a careless act, but a deliberate one. If fine art photography is the willful intent to create what is in the artist mind and heart then you see the successful result through Aubra's prints.
It is refreshing to hear and see an artist seeking to create the new from the old of our natural world. Even more so with integrity of field skills and a compelling form needed today in a world of mundane things.
~ Jeff Mitchum