Remember by TjThorne

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This is about a friend who left us way too early. This is for Jeff Swanson.

I am often surprised by how quickly I have formed deep friendships with some people in the landscape photography community. I have met numerous people in the past three years that have had a profound impact on not only my photography, but my life and the way that I think about the world. I am invigorated by the generosity and support that has come my way, and the memories and experiences that have been forged because of it. My friends have truly been a beacon of hope in some pretty trying times. They tighten my grip. They boost me up so that I can continue to keep my eye on the shore while I tread the waves of life and try to make it to dry land.

Jeff was one of those people. While I had only known Jeff for a short time, I felt a deep connection to him. Our friendship formed online over photography. Our shared passion for both photography and cheesy humor resulted in some pretty long threads where we traded bad puns and had a blast doing it. Jeff’s positivity and outlook were contagious and he pulled many people into that circle. I know I’m not the only one who had been impacted in a positive way by this dude over words on a screen.

I had the luxury of meeting Jeff in the Bay Area when he and another friend (who is now one of my best friends) came to support me for my first gallery show. I battle myself a lot on my creativity and my art. So to have two people I only knew online get in their car and drive somewhere to show their support for me really hit me. I’m sure they were enticed by the free wine and cookies at the opening reception, but I try to ignore that part.

The thing is… it never felt weird or awkward. I’m good at faking it but most times I don’t feel comfortable in social settings with a bunch of people I don’t know, and one of those settings where I am at the center of focus is even worse. I can’t explain the excitement I felt when I saw my two friends standing there. In that moment our friendship had grown immensely. I felt more comfortable in that big white room. I laughed genuinely instead of nervously. It felt like I had known them for years instead of months. The next day the three of us shared a photographic memory on Hawk Hill shooting the Golden Gate Bridge. While that kind of photography isn’t necessarily my jam, standing on the side of a hill with two people I enjoy, watching the weather move around us, experiencing that moment, laughing, talking, and using our cameras while the sun dipped below the horizon totally is.

That’s the kind of person Jeff was to me and I find it weird that I was affected by his death in the way that I was. But it made sense. He was a good person and he exuded that energy. I know everyone says good things about someone when they pass.. but from my experience.. it’s all true about Jeff.

I’m glad that I got to spend several more days creating memories and photographing nature with Jeff when he came to visit Oregon in the spring of 2014. I knew he was sick.. but I didn’t know that would be the last time I saw him.

I hope that he knew what kind of impact he had on people. I never got a chance to tell him.

To all of my friends reading this.. I love you.


Jeff passed at the young age of 30 due to complications from Melanoma. I encourage you to visit and donate to the Melanoma Research Foundation. You can also view some of his photography at a memorial website that has been donated by Smugmug by clicking his link: All proceeds from prints sold will be donated to the Melanoma Research Foundation in Jeff’s name. Every little bit helps. So far over $4,000 has been raised through this site.

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beyond imagination by maxvuong

This photo is dedicated to Jeff Swanson who passed away far too young. A wonderful guy with such a huge and warm spirit. I hope you will visit his site to see his beautiful work at Jeff’s memorial page Funds raised by the sale of Jeff’s prints will be donated in his name to the Melanoma Research Foundation.
Click here to find ways to support Melanoma Research

About this photo:
5-6 wide angle image stitch. Taken in a remote and fairly undiscovered territory with great friends Mich and Paul Rojas. Huge thanks to Paul for being such a relentless explorer and sharing his knowledge of these amazing places.

If you like my work, follow me on instagram and facebook |

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Singularity by snyder7

Private Lessons | Tutorial Video | Prints & Licensing | Signup To My Newsletter

Last year, the landscape photography community lost Jeff Swanson. A great artist and all around great guy to melanoma. We can all do a small part in helping to eradicate this disease by contributing to the Melanoma Research Foundation, or by purchasing one (or several) prints of Jeff’s work at

As for this particular shot, this is a slight rework of a previously released work. Thank you for looking and above all, thank you for your donations!

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Restless dreams by hillsee

In memory and honour of Jeff Swanson, an immensely talented landscape photographer. Jeff’s life was cut tragically short by melanoma ~ in his words ‘this nasty, as yet incurable disease.’
It is to also to further his desire to raise money to combat melanoma,
memorial page set up in Jeff’s honor

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Shine by tulatop

This one’s best viewed on black.

Abiqua Falls · Abiqua Creek · Scotts Mills · Oregon · USA

Click here to purchase a print and to read the full drawn-out story, including tech info.

But the real reason I’m posting a photo here again after saying a few months ago I’d never post another photo here again isn’t for my benefit…it’s for yours. And it’s not some egotistical thing about how my photography might inspire you…it’s about who inspires me, and who I hope might inspire you in turn.

Don’t know anything about Jeff Swanson? Or what it means to “Jeff it and be there”? Read my narrative for If Tomorrow Never Comes and hopefully you’ll understand…maybe even change your perspective a little on what it means to really live.

Every time I land on this page (and for whatever reason, that happens quite a lot), my heart aches the same way it did the day I found out he’d died. But it’s a good ache…a life-affirming one that lets me know that that four-chambered thing is still pounding inside my chest, pumping blood throughout my body, infusing me with abilities I have no right taking for granted.

I know there are a million and a half causes and campaigns you could take up out there in the real world, but if you’re so inclined, I’d ask that you check out and chip in to the Melanoma Research Foundation, or you can visit this memorial website generously hosted as a donation by SmugMug in Jeff’s honor.

I have to be transparent in saying that I largely left 500px because all too often it was about silly and petty competition. I return in hopes of reminding people that that’s not what art is about, as far as I know. Art’s about transmitting ideas…about connecting…one soul to another. Art’s about humanity. And life’s about living. Jeff Swanson helps reminds me of both those things.

All that said, I’ll go back to laying low here now, but you can still find me and follow me on Facebook. Please be good to one another out there.



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Jurassic World by dthompson

As I stood in the fog filled forest, I couldn’t help myself from thinking of dinosaurs chasing me through this forest! So childish I know, but the primeval mood of the forest was so enchanting. The mood was that of a movie set, that was deep within the forest. Occasion the inner kid comes out of me. Peace and Love

I also wanted to take a moment to remember fellow photographer, and a just a wonderful guy, Jeff Swanson, who passed last year to cancer at the young age of 30. Please, if you get the time, visit Jeff’s memorial website at:

If you’d like to get involved or would like more info on melanoma please visit the Melanoma Research Foundation (

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A Sierra Moment by landESCAPEphotography

This photo is dedicated to our friend and landscape photographer extraordinare Jeff Swanson, who had his life taken away from him when he was far too young for it. Jeff was an amazing guy, and I had the pleasure of shooting with him a couple times out in Death Valley. We were planning a Sierra backcountry trip, as it was one of our favorite places, but that opportunity got taken away from us. I hope you will visit his site here to see his beautiful work:

Funds raised by the sale of Jeff’s prints will be donated in his name to the Melanoma Research Foundation.

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Requiem by ErinBabnik

Life is too short. Too short to accomplish everything that you could want to do, to go everywhere you could want to go, and to spend enough time with everyone you love. I had the most painful reminder of this truth one afternoon while I was temporarily living in Portland, just over a year ago. As I was preparing dinner, I got a call from the wife of one of my best friends: Jeff Swanson, her husband, my shooting buddy and fellow sailing crew member, had passed away that morning. At the age of 30.

Anyone who knew Jeff, even just through photography circles on the internet, genuinely adored him. His inimitable wit, playful charm, and positive attitude made him an internet darling and, to those of us lucky enough to know him “in real life,” a cherished friend. We all knew that he had melanoma and was fighting it valiantly, but somehow I felt that nothing could bring down a guy like Jeff, at least not so soon. It’s really hard to communicate even an inkling of the pain that I still feel today, pain and frustration that this amazing world with all of its wonders and miracles couldn’t save this awesome person. Perhaps with more support, the Melanoma Research Foundation will achieve a breakthrough that will make a huge difference, maybe even a cure. Wouldn’t that be awesome? If you would like to help, please consider visiting the memorial page set up in Jeff’s honor and generously hosted by SmugMug, with all proceeds from print sales going to fund the MRF.


Of all of the photos that I could dedicate to Jeff right now, this one seems the most appropriate. It is about friendship, about photography, about the trials and wonders of life, and it perfectly encapsulates Jeff’s famous motto of “f/it and be there”.

While exploring some of the higher elevations of the Dolomites with my dear friend Ted Gore, we both caught a nasty cold from someone we had been shooting with earlier in the week. That cold took us down hard, and we spent days holed up in a tiny room of a refuge hut just big enough for two bunkbeds, feeling pretty sorry for ourselves as we sneezed, coughed, sniffled, groaned, and slept the hours away. We were completely off the grid, with no data signal or WiFi, and because we were in bunkbeds, we couldn’t even see each other. It’s about as close to solitary confinement as I’ve ever come, but there was great consolation in knowing that I was in fact there with my friend, and we were in it together.

Finally, we decided that we would try to “f/it and be there” for a sunset outing. Could we muster the strength to venture out, hike up a peak, and try to be creative? Would it even be worthwhile, given the thick weather that day?

Well, it wasn’t easy, but we got ourselves out and up the peak, and I soon found this spot to park my tripod and wait for a clearing. Just as it started to happen, Ted came down from where he had been scouting and asked if I wanted a figure in my shot. Of course I did, but I replied, “No, I think I like you too much for that.” The cliff where he wanted to stand would put him in a death-defying position with a drop of hundreds of feet beneath him, so I wasn’t thrilled about the idea of him standing there. He climbed up anyway and took a few photos of the drama unfolding before us, while I shot a couple of frames and held my breath, hoping that he would be sure-footed as usual. My concern amounted to a complete double standard, since I tend to be pretty foolhardy around cliffs myself, but I had already lost one close friend in the last year, and I couldn’t bear the idea of losing another one. I don’t ever want to lose another friend, especially not Ted.

I remember us being all giddy after having seen such a wonderful display of nature, and Ted remarking that, for a while there, he had completely forgotten that we were so sick; I had forgotten too. So we accomplished something, went somewhere awesome, and got in some quality friend time. Thankfully, Jeff’s spirit of optimism came alive in us and made us head out instead of remaining incarcerated in our bunks. Like I said, life is too short. Make the most of it. Get out and do awesome things. Love your friends. Peace.

via 500px