More About William Toti and the process he uses to create his incredible photographic images:
William Toti is an award-winning, global landscape fine art photographer with a style that straddles the gap between a hyper-realistic, journalistic style, and scenes of fantasy.
Growing up in a dreary steel town in Ohio, William didn’t first see the ocean until he joined the Navy at 17. Aspiring to be an astronaut, William attended Annapolis where he spent his early years immersed in physics and engineering, eventually being nominated for the astronaut program, before being rejected for failing to meet NASA’s strict medical standards. He then spent years on and under the ocean as a submariner, eventually rising to command the nuclear fast attack submarine USS Indianapolis.
Then 9/11 happened.
William was on duty in the Pentagon when American Airlines Flight 77 slammed into the building about a hundred yards away from where he was standing. Several of his friends were killed, but William survived. Although he would spend five more years in the Navy after 9/11, the memories of that day continued to burden him.
Until he discovered photography.
He discovered that when he was confronted by the challenge of photographically memorializing a majestic vista, immersed in composition, lighting, and the technical aspects of capturing the image, his mind cleared, and memories of 9/11 weakened. Then he learned that he was pretty good at the art of photography, so what started out as a method of therapy transformed into a passion and a way of life.
Stylistically, William seeks a unique photographic perspective, even for images with common or familiar themes. He begins by making a scene his own, putting his distinctive touch even on images explored by the greats, learning how to approach a scene, nail the composition, and perfect the exposure. He then labors for hours in post-production on each of his selected images. This is where the art is applied, transforming the digital stream of ones and zeros that comes out of the camera into a visually remarkable piece.
When not grounded by conronavirus, he travels the world to capture images of ocean and land in some of the most photogenically graceful locations. He has captured images on all seven continents and all of the seven seas.
His inspiration is to create images that have the ability to draw viewers out of the trials and tribulations of their everyday lives, into the magnificence of creation. He searches for that fine line: creative, even slightly surreal, but realistic enough to reach out and touch. He chases the “decisive moment” in landscape photography, and succeeds when the viewer, if only for a moment, becomes lost in the image, is filled with wonder that a place such as this might actually exist, becoming immersed in thought or reflection.
It’s William’s desire that viewers achieve the same sense of escape that he did when he created the image.
His work has been published internationally, including in Landscape Photographer, Nikon Asia, and N-Photo Magazines, and some of his best African images were published in the book "Safari!," available on Amazon. His image, “Serpentine Vapors at Yosemite” has won first place awards in several photography contests and was included in the National Parks Conservation Association’s 100th Anniversary collection of photos, “A Century of Impact,” also available on Amazon.
His work can be found at williamtotiphotography.com