Of Heaven and Earth


David Shannon-Lier is a photographer from Massachusetts who has exhibited and been published nationally and internationally. He earned his BFA from The School of The Museum of Fine Arts, in Boston and his MFA from Arizona State University. He is currently traveling the United States with his wife, Alison, their son, Emmett, and Dog, Olive.


Grassland Moonset, Gila National Forest, New Mexico


Juniper Moonrise, Tonto National Forest, Arizona


Charcoal moonrise, Mesa, Arizona


Chalk Moonrise, Muley Point, Utah

These photographs come from Of Heaven and Earth, a series of long exposure photographs of altered landscapes. Altered elements in the landscape interact with movements of heavenly bodies in the pictures.

This beautiful, land art-inspired photography series was given the 1st place, Series award in the LensCulture Exposure Awards 2015. They feel particularly touching due to their seamless combination of understated simplicity and cosmic proportions. The work stems from gap between the knowledge of the vastness of time and space and the unshakable notion that the tiny acts we engage in each day matter.

“I address my place on both the human—and cosmic—scale. The photographs are constructed by marking the land in front of my camera in such a way that the path of heavenly bodies interacts with the marks that I have made. To orchestrate these interactions, I must take very careful measurements based on my camera position and the position of the sun or moon in the coming hours.

“To produce each photograph, I leave open the shutter for a very long exposure. The result is an image of the moon or sun playing off of an altered landscape. In this way, the heavenly meets with the human, the immense with the intimate and one of the most constant forces in our world—the movement of the solar bodies—interacts with a line of rocks or grass: a mark that is small and completely fleeting in meaning and form.”


Taraxacum Sunrise, Livingston, Montana


Vineyard Sunrise, Dallas, Oregon


Bisti Moonrise, Bisti Badlands, New Mexico


Sweetgrass Moonset, Mc Leod Montana


Rooftop Moonset, Vancouver, British Coloumbia


Reflection #2 (Transit of the Moon), Autumn Mesa, Arizona


Transit of The Sun, Canyonlands, Utah


Transit of the Sun in Two Man-Made Pools, De-Na-Zin Wilderness, New Mexico


Reflection #7 (Transit of the Sun) Autumn, Mendon Brook, Vermont


Reflection #9 (Transit of the Sun) Winter, Wolf Flats, Idaho


Reflection of the Rising Moon Over Our Home, Mesa, Arizona

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