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Through film, photography and more, Adam Bowen takes a winding journey: Baltimore Sun

Adam Bowen is a local photographer living in Finksburg.

“I became interested in drawing in primary school. I traced photos onto the computer and filled them in,” Bowen said.

Then Bowen started taking studio art classes. He took a class at Staub’s Studios in Catonsville. He learned charcoal, watercolor and pastels.

Adam Bowen is pictured with his photographs of Horseshoe Bend in Arizona and Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada.  (Lyndi McNulty photo)
Adam Bowen is pictured with his photographs of Horseshoe Bend in Arizona and Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada. (Lyndi McNulty photo)

“I switched to digital design in high school,” says Bowen.

He studied graphic design at the Carroll County Career and Technology Center in Westminster. They had a program to do commission projects for companies in Carroll County such as Westminster Fire Company. He also made a Fall Fest banner for a pumpkin patch a man had in his backyard in the fall.

“It was a good introduction to professional design for starters,” Bowen said. “It was good to have that experience when I was in high school.”

After graduating, Bowen took a road trip to Colorado with some friends and camped for two weeks. They went to four national parks, including Rocky Mountain National Park, Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, Mount Rushmore National Memorial and Badlands National Park. Bowen’s grandfather had given him his old Nikon camera.

“It was the first time I had a camera with me 24/7, and I was constantly taking pictures to see what America’s parks had to offer,” Bowen said.

Two bear cubs in the Mendenhall Glacier near Juneau, by Adam Bowen.  (Lyndi McNulty photo)
Two bear cubs in the Mendenhall Glacier near Juneau, by Adam Bowen. (Lyndi McNulty photo)

In 2017, Bowen attended Towson University and began focusing on graphic design.

“As I continued, one of my experimental arts teachers told me I should try to pursue a path in filmmaking,” he said. “I changed my main subject to a double subject in Film and Graphic Design.”

“I fell in love with filmmaking and started writing and directing short films during my junior and senior years in college. After my studies I didn’t know at all what I wanted to do with my life.

“I knew I didn’t want to stay in Westminster and Maryland. I had taken road trips out west and fell in love with it. When I graduated, I had the opportunity to work at a go-kart track in Arizona, just outside the Grand Canyon. After I made the leap there, I decided to take up photography full-time.”

While living in Arizona, Bowen had two 35-millimeter black-and-white film photographs exhibited at a film photography art show at Hidden Light, Flagstaff. A book was made from the photos from the show. He has also shown a short film at the 10 Minute Film Festival in Phoenix and Tucson.

Because Bowen’s job was flexible, he took three-day camping trips on weekends and drove to Utah. He hiked, camped and took photos. Bowen met a man from India at a campsite and helped him set up a tent and get firewood. Bowen was fascinated by the man’s story. The man had spent his entire life in India and had moved to the US to become a motorcyclist, his life’s dream.

Bowen also went to Joshua Tree National Park in California.

Seven months later, Bowen was back at Joshua Tree and saw the same man from India taking photos on the side of the road.

After that meeting, they sat down and talked about making a documentary series about desert people. He was off work for two weeks and had time to make a documentary about the motorcyclist with a friend.

“I hope to release a short documentary in the next six months,” Bowen said.

Whale named Tango, pictured in Juneau, Alaska, by Adam Bowen.  (Lyndi McNulty photo)
Whale named Tango, pictured in Juneau, Alaska, by Adam Bowen. (Lyndi McNulty photo)

Bowen was a photography guide in Juneau, Alaska, last summer. That strengthened his interest in photography. Every day he took photos of humpback whales, black bears and sometimes a rare coastal brown bear.

He decided to sell his photos. His mother and grandmother always sold crafts at the Carroll County Agricultural Center Farmers Market and craft shows. After returning from Alaska, Bowen’s mother and grandmother encouraged him to sell his photographs at the Agricultural Center Christmas Craft Show. He was successful.

Bowen currently plans to train as a photo guide in the West or Alaska.

Bowen’s web page is adambowen344f6c2.myportfolio.com.

Lyndi McNulty is the owner of Gizmo’s Art in Westminster. Her column Eye for Art appears regularly in Life & Times.