Photography by George Payne

My process is not very esoteric. I take my camera everywhere I go and I pay attention to things that I want to experience later on. It’s really that simple. As an independent teacher and artist, I feel absolutely no pressure to conform to other people’s standards or expectations. When I’m shooting, if my subject fascinates me, that’s all that matters. I leave it up to viewers to judge whether it has any artistic value apart from my own selfish wonderment. Having said that, I do consider myself to be a nature photographer at heart. Most of my pictures are of animals, insects, trees, rivers, waterfalls, clouds, rocks, stars, and other elemental forces “out there.” If these pictures succeed, it is because they sometimes come close to soliciting the innate sublimity of these common landscapes, creatures and organisms.

Another passion of mine is nonviolence. When not working outside in nature, I tend to seek out pictures that express the spiritual dignity and social power of nonviolent direct action. Over the past decade I have photographed demonstrations and rallies, sit-ins, teach-ins, pray-ins, hunger strikes, boycotts, art builds, vigils, and even violent political confrontation. I am grateful that my work has been recently published by organizations dedicated to social justice, including The Fellowship of Reconciliation, Campaign Nonviolence, Veterans for Peace, the M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence, and several others.

George in NYCGeorge Payne is a philosopher, social justice activist, and free- lance artist. Since 2010 he has taught philosophy courses as an adjunct instructor at Finger Lakes Community College in Canandaigua, NY. In 2014 he founded an online network for environmental justice activists called Gandhi Earth Keepers International. In addition to his work as an educator and activist, George writes blogs and essays for a variety of local and national publications and hosts his own radio program on Rochester Free Radio 106.3 FM. You may contact him directly at 585-703-9230.


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