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Paul Dressendorfer has always been very involved in outdoor activities, enjoying the many environments, sights, and sounds that the world has to offer. Early on, he embraced photography as a means to memorialize his experiences, and continued that hobby through many decades. But in his day job, he was a research scientist. This vocation required looking at things in new ways, discovering alternative approaches to accomplishing goals, and creating novel solutions to problems. Those skills carried over into his photography where he strives to provide innovative perspectives.

An interest Paul developed while in college was flying small aircraft. Unfortunately, that activity had been put on hold due to the demands of his job. After he retired, he rekindled his passion for flying by purchasing a small open-cockpit aircraft. This vehicle, officially called a weight-shift-control aircraft (more commonly known as a “trike”), uses a wing very similar to a hang glider. Suspended from the wing is a go-kart-like carriage which contains the engine in the back, with the pilot up front (and potentially a passenger behind). It is very similar to flying a motorcycle around the sky; it is highly maneuverable, lots of fun, and a wonderful platform for photography.

The trike provides a unique perspective from which to observe and capture images of the world below. It truly enables a “bird’s-eye view”, one which is difficult for many people to experience. It enables him to combine several of his passions – love of the outdoors, fascination with nature, photography, and flying. Paul’s award-winning work has appeared in a number of exhibitions and venues in New Mexico.

Artist Statement

It is difficult to describe the freedom, peace, awe, and general sense of wonder one experiences when soaring through the sky. Since I fly an open-cockpit ultralight aircraft, many of my images provide this “bird’s-eye view” of the landscapes of the Southwest, which many people are not lucky enough to experience on their own. I often aim to produce an intimate viewpoint by flying relatively close to the ground rather than photographing from high altitude, which frequently produces a detached view of the scene.

I am inspired by Nature, its many forms and formations, and the interactions of humans with it. My subjects include grand views, captivating patterns, striking colors, intriguing geology, the play of light on objects, isolated features, wildlife, and the overall majesty of the world as seen from above. My images range from being strictly representational to fine art interpretive works to abstract extrapolations. They are reproduced on a variety of media, including traditional prints on paper, gallery-wrapped canvas, and infused aluminum sheets.

My approach allows me to combine my passions for the outdoors, flying, and photography. Overall I try to provide a unique perspective of the magnificent world around us, and to enable the viewer to experience the same sense of marvel and amazement that I do when soaring freely above terra firma.

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