Elements of Light by Michael Castaneda Collection Header Image

Elements of Light by Michael Castaneda

About this series

For someone who hated nature growing up, you could say that the world sat under a veil of shadows for me. Once I was fully exposed to the amazing beauty of our natural planet, I was addicted and photography became a way for me to really showcase just how lucky we are to live here. Using Bierstadt and Kinkade as my inspiration, I grew a style that really focused on the daily battle of light and dark and the many colors the light would reveal.

For this project, my goal was simple: how to take my story and my style and merge it into one collection? I wanted to really show how the once darkened world I knew was finally exposed to the vibrant and colorful natural world that I had missed all those years. The revealing light symbolizes growth and appreciation from the darkness of a younger and more naive mindset. Absolute beauty comes from the masterful blend between light and dark and this collection was made to embody the emotion of that dance and really showcase the vibrance of our planet.

Michael Castaneda


Growing up, I was one of those people who really disliked going out into nature. I felt comfort in the city and had no passion to ever leave. When I moved across the country, I was exposed to what nature truly is and it completely changed my entire life. A camera somehow found its way into my hand and I decided that I wanted to start showing the world some truly amazing places in hopes of preventing anyone from ever being like my younger and very naive self. As I began to form a style, two painters were actually my inspiration, Bierstadt and Kinkade. Their ability to portray the dance of light and shadows inspired me to create images of a once hidden world to me and expose it from beyond the shadows.