On The Road With Victor Banta

Photographer Announces Two-Part Plan to Combine Business and Art

(Ann Arbor, MI …) Photographer Victor Banta has been to over 40 countries, all 50 states, and Puerto Rico. Most recently he spent time in Germany, the Rocky Mountains, and the Netherlands. And he’s only just begun to travel. With his newly announced transition to full-time photographer, he plans to visit the places he’s missed, and revisit his favorites. “Whether for business, pure art, or humanitarian reasons, photography captures the beauty and the essence of the moment,” he says. “I want to continually expand my business and my influence outside the bounds of Southeast Michigan.”

A life-long lover of the art form, Banta started his photography career in 1973 as Pinckney (Michigan) High School newspaper photographer. He continued his studies of photography as a fine art at The University of Arizona in Tucson while earning B.S. and M.S. degrees in Electrical Engineering (with specializations in digital image processing, Infrared sensing, remote sensing, and planetary sciences). While in Tucson, he studied photography masters such as Ansel Adams, Annie Leibovitz, and Bruce Weber at the Center for Creative Photography, home to the national archives of Ansel Adams. Then, in 1991, he opened his first photography studio, where he specialized in fashion, movie/film stills, portraits, and product photography.

During that period of his life, he began his love affair with international travel while also immersing himself in the first of many humanitarian activities that would continue into the present. Naturally, they included photography but often in a secondary role. They included a NASA research trip to Brazil in 1985, a supply run to Tucson’s sister city in Nicaragua, work with wildlife biologists at several research stations in the Amazon rain forest, and a visit to Haiti three weeks after the 2010 earthquake,

“On the 1989 trip to Nicaragua, six of us drove medical and plumbing supplies to a village in the mountains,” he recalls. “The people cheered us on as we entered the country, including members of the military who were still in foxholes. I went as photographer, mechanic, and driver. In Haiti I joined a group of physical therapists in a M.A.S.H.-style unit. Arriving three weeks after the quake, there were adults and children with crushed bones and external fixators, amputees, and people in body casts. We helped them walk for the first time since the earthquake. In both cases, my photography came second to assisting others.”

In 1997, he returned to Southeast Michigan to work as an infrared applications specialist/engineer in Dexter, just outside of Ann Arbor. “I was recruited to take over the technical side from the company’s founder,” he explains. “But the time has come to limit my engineering work to consult part-time and devote my full-time hours to photography.”

With such a diverse educational and professional background, he is ready to work with his clientele to create compelling and beautiful imagery that draws from his passion.. “I’ve studied everything that makes digital photography possible today: digital image processing, optics, remote sensing, infrared technology, and software design,” he continues, “My technical background as an engineer complements my photography skills perfectly.”

And so his business plan has two parts: “I’ll continue working as ‘photographer for hire’ as my business, including fashion, marketing and advertising, weddings, aerial, movie and film stills, portraits, and product photography. At the same time, I want to capture beauty all over the world and offer my beautiful photographs for sale as art, published books, and exhibit my artwork.

Near-term travel includes the Colorado Rocky Mountains; Jalisco, Mexico, as a photography guide on a tequila-tasting adventure tour; and New Zealand. After that, we’ll see where the next assignment takes him.

“As a photographer, my passion for culture and world travel combines with an appreciation of the natural beauty that surrounds us in our lives. There is no doubt, journalistic photography teaches us to be present ‘in the moment.’ Each of my images tells a deeply personal story. I hope my photographs bring as much enjoyment to others when they view them as they bring to me when I create them.”

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