StarflowerStudioNY: Flora, Fauna and Landscape Photography

Drew Monthie is fortunate to live and have grown up here in the Adirondack region, surrounded by amazing natural beauty. In the late 1960s and the 1970s, He spent his childhood playing in and exploring many of the then undeveloped natural landscapes of the region. His parents and grandparents all had gardens in their yards and were birders as well. He began growing plants around age 4 and helped in the family vegetable and flower gardens.

He attended the BOCES horticulture program while he was a student at Glens Falls High School and then went to SUNY Cobleskill to earn an A.A.S. in Plant Science. He worked in and owned nursery and landscaping businesses before returning to college in his early 30s to earn a B.S. in Ecology at SUNY Empire State College and then an M.A. in Historical Ethnobotany (the study of how cultures use plants). Since 1998 he has operated a landscape consultation and design business, Ecologic Consulting LLC, specializing in native plants, while continuing to take pictures. He has also been teaching in the Natural Sciences and designing courses at SUNY Empire State College since 2008.

You can view his work in his studio in the Shirt Factory (G09), at various exhibits including at the North Country Arts Gallery in the Shirt Factory and on his websites.

My work is digital photography, both black & white and color. I photograph plants, animals, landscapes and ecosystems. Some of the landscapes I photograph include the built environment. I shoot with Sony cameras, full frame and APS-C and a variety of lenses and sometimes with my iPhone. I began taking photos with my parents’ Polaroid camera as a child and continued with film photography in high school and college. When digital cameras became available, I made the switch and never looked back. I try to spend a few hours each day taking photos. I shoot at different times of the day in all kinds of weather. Plants are my passion and the objects of my lifelong work, study and education, but I am also fascinated by birds, insects, mammals and fungi. For each organism I photograph, I know or will learn its life history, the niche in the ecosystem it occupies, and the biotic interactions that are part of its existence. We can learn a lot from observing plants, plant communities and the organisms that they support. As more species and ecosystems come under pressure from anthropogenic activity, it is crucial that we record them for history and to help raise awareness to preserve them for future generations.


Check out his studio located at Suite 09, 71 Lawrence Street, Glens Falls, NY 12801!