Photographer Joey Waves has made a splash in the Southwest Florida art scene. The Marco Island based artist who is best known for his vibrant landscapes, attention to light and color, and unique moving photographs, recently celebrated the grand opening of his first-ever solo exhibition. It’s titled Big Prints @ Big Cypress and is on display now.
Joey Waves is a part of a small team of handselected photographers assigned to the Big Cypress National Preserve in Ochopee, Florida. The photographs featured in Big Prints @ Big Cypress showcase the natural beauty of the protected land as seen through Joey’s eyes.
Each photo in the series offers a glimpse of life out in the preserve. Together the images work to create a feeling or impression of a place that is largely uninhabited by humans. They’re diverse, colorful, and detail-oriented, exactly the kind of work you would expect from the artist.
“Most of the people I know in real life and on social platforms never get to see these areas in the preserve,” Joey said. “It feels good to be able to show them places they will most likely never see in person or hopefully it motivates them to come out and explore more.”
For Joey, exploration is all a part of the gig. He’s spent many solitary hours out in the preserve. The quiet swamplands have become a refuge for the photographer.
“The reason I like coming to the preserve is to get away from everything,” he said. “It is swamp therapy to me.”
The Big Cypress National Preserve is about a 30 to 40 minute drive from Marco Island. Though close in proximity, the two areas share little similarities. Joey says that whenever he feels the urge to get away, he grabs his camera and heads out in to the isolated swamps.
In terms of motivation, Joey says he’s driven by a desire to capture images that he can then share with the world via his social media platforms. The photographer can be found on Instagram (@joey_ waves) and Facebook. For more information visit www.joeywaves.com.
“I am lucky to live close to such a beautiful area and I am glad to be a volunteer for the National Park Service,” he said. “It is really an honor.”
Check out Big Prints @ Big Cypress from 9 AM to 4:30 PM daily at the Big Cypress Welcome Center, 33000 Tamiami Trail East, Ochopee. Call 239-695-4758 for more information.