As a young, impressionable boy running through Yosemite Valley in the legendary footsteps of Ansel Adams, life and wonderment surrounded me. My philosophy of life was created in these early days with a simple phrase from Ansel himself: “Find your own Yosemite Valley. Create and show the world the need to embrace these places.” Those words are seared in my mind more than anything else I have ever heard. I was meant to visit places and people with the greatest need. My friend Larry Ruvo, who has the same heart as Ansel Adams, came to me in May 2011 and shared the “Yosemite Valley” he found. Larry’s father, Lou, died of Alzheimer’s Disease. One of Larry’s friends donated money in Lou’s memory, and Larry decided to make a big difference with that money. Larry shared his vision with architect Frank Gehry, and Gehry designed an amazing portrait of beauty from ashes: The Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health. It’s the world’s No. 1 brain research facility, treating people with this debilitating disease. When Larry asked me to create an iconic image, he never gave directions, only the freedom to paint my film with light. I shared many evenings in solitude with this architectural wonder and considered all of the people it represents before I finally settled on a composition. I believed the resulting image would be much more than a captivating photograph; it would be a metaphor for everyone’s labor of love. As the moon rises over the Lou Ruvo Center, we see different phases symbolizing important facets of the center such as fundraising, research and commitment. Since seven is the number of completeness, each moon represents the evolution of the healing process. It begins with the sliver of a crescent and culminates with the stunning luminescence of the full moon. Each is part of the journey to the full moon, where the mind is restored and the battle with Alzheimer’s is won. Welcome to what “Triumph of Light & Hope” is about, the mind complete! Thank you, Larry, for giving us all your heart and hope.
Jeff Mitchum is one of the great American and international landscape photographers who rose to success in the recent years. He is often described as the “Ansel Adams of color” in the fine art photography world. Self taught, Mitchum is known for his compositional mastery and the keynotes in his work are the use of natural light and subject matter. His aesthetic is simple – to capture the stunning beauty of nature and dramatic landscape and bring it to people’s everyday lives.