Keith Ramsdell

Keith Ramsdell

Ramsdell uses long-exposure photography to create minimal seascape washes. He relies on the essential aspects of minimalism—line, shape and texture—to form greyscale images that are affecting in their simplicity. His work represents natural elements and manmade structures in congruence, reducing these parts of the landscape to their purest form. Each image conveys an almost surreal sense of stillness and balance that cannot be disturbed.

"The ocean serves as my primary inspiration, and the predominant location of my work.”

A surfer since he was five years old, Keith has always lived and worked in close proximity to the water. His camera and surfing gear are never far from him. He attempts to capture his sensory experience of the beach, seizing on isolated subjects such as the granular surface of the sand, the undulations of the surf, a gnarled piece of driftwood, or the seemingly endless stretch of a dock. While his work comes from a deeply personal place, he hopes that his images also have a universal quality that makes them easily accessible and timeless.

"Working in black and white allows me to detach myself from the chaotic reality of color, and enables a broader interpretation of the environment, offering up a space that can be filled by the viewer’s imagination. The technique of long-exposure photography elicits the subtle gradations of light and shadow that permeate my nature studies as well as my architectural subjects.”

Keith settles into and gets acquainted with a chosen site, by observing a place from different vantage points and through shifting degrees of light over time. He shoots with a combination of film and digital equipment, relying primarily on a manual Hasselblad medium-format camera. Taking anywhere from minutes to several hours, these long exposures reflect a process that is slow and deliberate from start to finish. Keith often waits weeks for the perfect combination of elements to come together in a shoot. Through his lens, violent tropical storms or massive winter waves crashing on the beach are transformed into quiet, introspective moments. Spontaneous atmospheric effects, like a seeping mist, the changing of tide or descending cloud cover, can alter the initial idea of a piece entirely. In each resulting photograph, his aim remains the same, however: to strike a simple balance between the seen and the unseen—the stark realities of nature and the subtleties of personal perception. Keith has a BFA in photography from Loyola Marymount University. His work hangs in private collections in Los Angeles, Dorado Beach, Puerto Rico, the Bahamas and New York. 


Mono Chroma magazine

Hamptons Magazine, Holiday Issue 

B&W Minimalism, Issue 04, 2017

B&W Minimalism, Issue 01, 2016


International Photography Awards, Honorable Mention 2018

International Photography Awards, Honorable Mention 2017


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