Preston Cornutt is fairly new to Bozeman, and just as new to the photography scene. With just under five years of photography experience under his belt, he strives to improve his photography by the old school method of practice, practice, and more practice, along with studying online through various photography websites.
“My inspiration for the type of photography I enjoy the most is credited to my love of animals, and especially the kind found here in Montana and in Yellowstone National Park. Grizzly bears being at the top of the list.”
What started out as just a hobby in early 2009 quickly escalated into a passion to capture anything he could on hundreds of trips into Yellowstone National Park. Preston started out with just a KODAK EASY SHARE camera. It was okay for a while, but he wanted more. Going to Yellowstone 4-5 times a week, if not more while living in Emigrant, the little KODAK wasn’t allowing him to get the photos he wanted of the wildlife he was seeing. “All those pro photographers and their expensive cameras with big telephoto lenses made me want those “close up” wildlife shots you see in magazines. Especially those of Grizzlies.”
“I recall seeing my first Grizzly in Lamar Valley. All I had was that little KODAK, and I was surrounded by people with expensive cameras and lenses that were a foot long. When I transferred the images from my little camera to my computer, what I had hoped to see, images of this Grizzly, was just a small dot in a brown pasture. You could hardly tell it was a bear, it looked more like a dog. I knew I had to have something better.”
With the purchase of a NIKON D5000 along with two lenses in the summer of 2009 Preston was hooked. Finally he was able to get up close without the risk of being in danger of bears.
In September of 2011 Preston took a break from Montana to spend time with his daughter and three grandsons in Oregon. After being gone for seven months, the urge to come back was too strong to resist. After returning to Bozeman, staying with friends and living in his car with his dog, Preston’s trips to Yellowstone were few and far between. Quickly he learned that Bozeman had another of his passions to photograph; music. To be more specific Pink Floyd. “I learned that there was a tribute band in town, and that they were pretty good. I attended a show of theirs in September 2012 in Big Sky, and photographed it. I discovered a whole new world of photography.” Since then Preston has photographed several of Bozeman’s musicians, as well as the 2013 Bozeman Bucks American Legion baseball team.
Preston now photographs anything that catches his interest. He has started hiking and snowshoeing as often as he can, and he takes his camera with him every time he hits the trails. In just the short time he has been photographing Preston has taken close to 30,000 photos.
“As a photographer trying to break into the pro ranks in a community where there are so many good photographers I am honored to have been chosen the Artist of the Month for Bozeman Magazine. This, along with my Bucks team photo is just the start to what I hope to be a new career.”