About Colin Winterbottom

Romantic and haunting, dramatic and serene, Colin Winterbottom's photographs offer a fresh perspective on the nation's capital. Rather than documenting the city as we see it day-to-day, Winterbottom combines a heightened sensitivity to place with compelling compositions and unique perspectives to infuse the urban landscape with drama and mood. His photos seek to express not just what a place looks like, but how it feels to be there. He has applied the same sensibility to his photographs of New York, more limited studies of Paris and Moscow, and series featuring other areas of the U.S.

At the core of most Winterbottom photographs is an interest in vivid textures and composition driven by dynamic tension between subjects in the frame. He loves to make photographs with strong tactile quality – where by looking at the image the viewer may “feel” the texture with their eyes as though they were touching the subject itself. His emphasis on texture is reinforced by his continued use of film to imbue images with a pleasing, lively grain. Winterbottom generally scans his film and makes his own large format prints using archival digital methods. This mix of analog capture and digital output draws on the strengths of traditional and contemporary methods.

Winterbottom's most recent projects build on years of working from historic preservation sites, and especially from scaffolding erected to facilaitate stone repairs.  From his first trip up scaffolding during refurbishments at the Washington Monument in 1998, Winterbottom has watched for local historic preservations projects and made photographs from scaffold at sites including the US Supreme Court, the US Capitol, the National Archives building, St. Elizabeths Hospital, among others.  Those unpaid personal, artistic projects prepared him for work at Washington National Cathedral and the Washington Monument following the 2011 earthquake.  Photographs from those projects constitute his first museum exhibition, "Scaling Washington" at the National Building Museum.

Mr. Winterbottom has been awarded several fellowship grants from the District of Columbia Commission on the Arts and Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts, a juror’s choice award from National Geographic photo editor David Griffin, and an award from Black and White magazine. He has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions in Washington-area galleries, including The Alla Rogers Gallery, the Zenith Gallery, Vastu, the Ellipse Gallery among others; and is a frequent participant in the Washington Project for the Arts’ Hickok-Cole Art Night fundraiser. The Smithsonian Institute has included his work in its Photographic History Collection, the oldest museum-based collection of photography in America.

Mr. Winterbottom and his photography have been profiled in Preservation Magazine, the Washington Post, the Hill Rag, the Washington Post Magazine, the Washington Times and others. His work is in many public and private collections, including Washington DC's Art in Public Places collection; private and corporate collectors include Northrop Grumman, Skadden Arps, Russell Reynolds Associates, Nixon Peabody, Fleishman Hilliard, The Carlyle Group, American Bankers Association, Grant Thornton, PNC Bank, Capital One, Sprint Communications, P. N. Hoffman, General Dynamics, the New York Hilton, Hogan and Hartson, among others.

Mr. Winterbottom grew up in the Washington suburbs and has lived in the city for over twenty years. He earned an undergraduate degree in economics and master of arts in philosophy and social policy. He worked as a research assistant at the Urban Institute for eight years before committing to photography full-time.