The Thought Behind The Shot: Four Photographers; Four Walls

Four Photographers: Scott Chieffo, Paul Kozal, Bill Oxford & Scott Sewell

An Exhibit by Four Photographers

Opening Saturday, July 3, 2021, 11 am to 7 pm. Members Preview Friday, July 2, 11 am to 4 pm.

Burnett Gallery at Gualala Arts.


The Thought Behind the Shot: Four Photographers; Four Walls

“What were you thinking?” (An introduction by the four photographers.)

As fine art photographers, we are asked this question virtually every time we show our work. Other common questions are: • How did you shoot that? • Where did you get that idea? • What’s the story behind that image? • Did the scene really look like that? • Did you shoot that with an iPhone? (No!)

It is also true that photography exhibitions rarely answer any of these questions and are notorious for presenting images with no explanation, location information or insight into the photographer’s thinking.

The fact is that we photographers have a lot to say about what we do and how we do it. It’s all we talk about when we get together. Whether the product of planning and design, fantastic or spontaneous notion or sheer luck and happenstance, every picture has a story, don’t it (to slightly misquote the inimitable Rod Stewart).

It is in this spirit that we present “The Thought behind the Shot”. Each of us has selected a number of our best images and included an insight or anecdote regarding each one.
We hope you’ll learn a bit about what goes into our art, whether it’s a better understanding of the creative process of photography, an appreciation of the effort that goes into making an image, or a tip you can use for your own photographic efforts. So, we invite you look over our shoulder as you walk around the gallery as we explain “The Thought behind the Shot”.

If you want to share what you’ve seen here today with others (please do) or view the photographs in our show at your leisure, please go to where you will find all of the images from this exhibition aon with their associated “Thoughts”.

We would like to thank Gualala Arts, the Exhibition Committee and David ‘Sus’ Susalla, the Executive Director of Gualala Arts, for allowing us to present this exhibition. We also want to give an extra special shout out to Kendra Stillman, the epicenter of all things GA and an unending source of help and advice.

The exhibit will open for a Members Preview on Friday, July 2, 2021 from 11 am to 4 pm. The exhibit opens to the general public on Saturday, July 3, 2021 beginning at 11 am.

In the 15 years that he has been living on the Southern Mendocino County Coast, Scott Chieffo has developed an intimate photographic relationship with its unique landscape. His images capture the subtle beauty of the coast and forests with a highly unique, “painterly” style that emphasizes the quiet solitude of these landscapes. Scott’s main photographic goal is to be able to communicate this unique viewpoint to others, such that they are able to look upon his images, and develop a new and stronger appreciation for life’s details. He believes
that a fine art photographic image is most powerful if it can be viewed with increasing pleasure repeatedly for many years, rather than simply have a strong initial impact. (

Paul Kozal, a Sea Ranch resident, has been contributing to the world of fine-art photography for over thirty years. His work has been featured in leading photographic publications and art magazines. Kozal’s photographs are in the collections of the Monterey Museum of Art, the Tokyo Cultural Center, the Cantor Center for the Arts at Stanford University and several corporate collections. His photographs are frequently selected for the Arts in Embassies Program. Kozal’s work has been exhibited in numerous solo and group shows throughout the United States. He is represented in several fine art galleries including his personal gallery, Studio 391 in Gualala, California.

The majority of my images are inspired by the beauty of The Sea Ranch, a ten mile stretch of land of the Sonoma coast known for it’s distinctive architecture and commanding views of the Pacific Ocean. My primary desire is to communicate the beauty of my surroundings – a ray of sunlight gleaming across the sea; sheep grazing in the meadows; wooden barns in the afternoon fog; giant redwoods and windswept cypress trees; bluff-top trails skirting the ocean – these are the indelible images I seek to capture through my camera lens.
Mr. Kozal’s work can be viewed in depth at


For 28 years, as the owner of The Oxford Group, a marketing design firm located in San Diego, Bill Oxford has created campaigns for hundreds of national and international corporations including IBM, NCR, SONY, Johnson & Johnson, AT&T, Fujitsu, Hughes/JVC and Raytheon.

In 2010 he began shooting stock photography for Getty Images, the largest photo licensing agency in the world. Success followed and Bill moved to The Sea Ranch where he continues to shoot for Getty, adding to his portfolio of over eleven thousand images.

Surrounded by the beauty of nature and stunning homes of the area, he soon aimed his lenses toward landscapes, seascapes and architectural photography and video. Bill states, “I love the challenge to learn new shooting techniques for capturing images that connect with people”.

You can view more of Bill’s photography and graphic design at

Scott Sewell is an award-winning landscape photographer who specializes in Coastal California, the High Sierra and travel photography. He likes rocks, waves, clouds, contrast, texture and black and white images but has been known to shoot people, buildings and in color.

A fourth-generation Californian and a lover of
the Western outdoors, Mr. Sewell has been roaming Highway 1 in Mendocino County and Highway 395 in the Eastern Sierra in search of images for most of the last decade. He has also spent many miles on the trails there, on foot and on horseback, because deep and intimate familiarity with the land he shoots is fundamental to his method. He does travel elsewhere but always returns to these two places as the anchor for his work.

A former IT professional, he is an adept user of the digital darkroom and prints, mats and frames all of his images himself. His frames are “old school” black Nielsen-Bainbridge Radials – slightly rounded – for a classic look. The glazing is UV-resistant acrylic for lightness and durability. The matting is conservation quality assembled with acid-free tapes. The fine art paper is Moab Juniper Baryta 305 semi-gloss and is printed with Canon Lucia pigment inks on twelve cartridge Canon 1000 Fine Art printer. This combination, with light and regular care, results in beautiful finished work that will last decades without fading or degrading.

His work is on display and for purchase at Point Arena Lighthouse, Coast Highway Artist’s Collective in Point Arena, Matson Mercantile in Elk, at Hunewill Ranch and the Bridgeport General Store in Bridgeport and whenever he exhibits at Gualala Arts. His complete portfolio and online store is on the web at

Mr. Sewell splits his time between the Mendocino Coast, the Sierra Nevada and Marina del Rey in the Los Angeles area and is often accompanied by his wife, June, whenever he can pry her loose from her law career to travel.