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Joe McCauley Gallery presents drone photography exhibit

November 12, 2018

Heartland Community College will exhibit a collection of photographs with an aerial point of view, taken with cameras mounted to remote drone aircraft. 

The Joe McCauley Gallery at Heartland Community College presents Illinois with Altitude, a selection of photographs by Ronald Douglas Frazier, December 3 through February 15. An artist reception takes place Tuesday, February 12 from 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the gallery.

Shot along the Illinois River and throughout McLean County, the photographs in the exhibit feature sweeping rural vistas with a hawk’s-eye view of detail. The elevation provided by the drone allows Frazier to cinematically frame the prairie, making the expansiveness of the land dominate the more familiar sky.

In his photographs, Frazier includes long, stretching roads for scale and depth, and offsets plains with snaking creeks and runoffs. He composes geographical and seasonal elements to create color contrasts and enhance aerial perspectives. 

Using the drone as a “glorified camera tripod”, he employs minimal post-production image editing, and prints with archival ink on Canson Photo Lustre Premium RC paper.


About the Artist

Ronald Douglas Frazier

Frazier is a self-taught photographer and nearly life-long resident of Central Illinois. He started working with 35mm photography in the early 1980’s, then quickly adopted digital photography in the 1990’s. His subject matter evolved from travel photography to predominantly rural Illinois landscapes, including an iconic series of grain elevators at night.

Frazier’s works were selected for numerous regional art exhibits, was an artist participant at the Bloomington Farmer's Market for nearly 10 years and his photographs illustrated Janice Turner’s children's book, Colleen Goes to The Farmer's Market. His current drone landscape photography was most recently shown at Joann Goetzinger’s Studio and Gallery in downtown Bloomington.

Having shot and shown rural Illinois extensively, Frazier began with drone technology, specifically to explore photographing the Illinois landscape and 'elevate' it to the level he feels it deserves. Shooting with DJI Phantom 4 and DJI Phantom 3se camera drones, he investigates familiar territory with new technology. For over 30 years, the beauty of rural, Central Illinois has driven his passion in art.

About the Joe McCauley Gallery

Exhibits, events, and parking at Heartland’s Joe McCauley Gallery are free. The gallery is located in room 2507 of the Instructional Commons Building on Heartland's Normal campus, 1500 W. Raab Road. Hours are weekdays from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on days the College is open. The gallery will be closed Dec. 24 through Jan. 1 during winter break.

For more information about this exhibit, contact Danell Dvorak, gallery coordinator, at, or call Heartland’s Liberal Arts and Social Sciences Department at (309) 268-8620.

Written by: Steve Fast