The life cycle in nature is often appreciated through the human experience as a binary process: the full bloom of Spring versus the bareness of Winter.  Whereas our own life experiences are rich and nuanced.  In Shades of Gray, I invite the viewer to experience natural forms exposed to the harshness of time, water, and weather.  I seek to capture a textured habitat that is not always at the objective peak of its beauty.

My photography is influenced by my personal fascination with the natural world around us and how, if we look closely enough, we can more strongly sense both its nurturing qualities and its harshness.  Resurrection depicts a shallow riverbed containing a fallen tree that is shadowed by an overlying leafy tree growing beside the river.  This juxtaposition of the living tree and one that was previously living reminds us of the often-close proximity of distinct phases of the cycle of life. The adjacencies of vibrant forms and skeletons of former selves presents a jarring starkness.

My camera lens allows me to explore, embrace, and deeply experience our emotional connection with nature.  What I most want people to take away from my photographic work is to have sensed one small slice of their environment in a new perspective: to see something they have not experienced before in quite the same way.  Taking advantage of solely natural light, the varying mood of the natural environment is emphasized.  A shallow depth of field further draws us into an insular microhabitat.  Fallen invites the viewer to see the city beyond from the point of view of the sole leaf laying on the pavement.

Visualizing the delicate, highly meaningful patterns and interactions of tiny brain structures has greatly influenced my parallel life as a photographer. In nature, I also look for meaning in small forums. The branching pattern of leaves…..the curvilinear ridges the ocean carves in the sand…. the way light paints a soft glimmer across a droplet of rain.

Images have always been the most powerful force in my life. I picked up a camera as a kid and loved looking at the world through its lens. As a neuroradiologist and imaging scientist, I have developed new ways to examine the brain for clues to human behavior, health and disease. In The Forgotten, these worlds cross. The rows of numbered grave markers coating the hillside of the former Georgia Lunatic Asylum bear witness to the 25,000 inmates who died there without the benefit of modern psychiatric treatment.


Carolyn Meltzer is an Atlanta-based fine arts photographer whose lifelong love and deep respect for nature are expressed in her creative work.  Meltzer’s photographs have been featured in more than 50 solo and juried group shows in Atlanta, New York, New Orleans, Portland, Los Angeles, Berlin, Barcelona, and Athens and in arts festivals including Atlanta Celebrates Photography, the Berlin Photo Biennale, Art Takes Miami, and New Orleans’ PhotoNOLA.

Always drawn to visual images, Meltzer studied both photography and imaging science and also works as a physician radiologist.  Photography has been the creative complement to her medical imaging career.

Meltzer has also enjoyed several fruitful artistic collaborations.  Together with the renowned New York-based visual artist Anne Patterson, Meltzer produced “Inspiration Echoed” in which photographer and painter amplify each media’s tribute to nature through a series of paired pieces.  This work has been featured at both Atlanta’s Woodruff Arts Center and Denise Bibro Gallery, New York City.  Meltzer also collaborated with poet Sophia Aley to produce the exhibit and book “Under Wraps,” and with writer/poet Don McIver on the ongoing online “Visuals in Verse” series. A water-themed abstract portfolio “Liquid Landscapes” arose from a collaboration with Atlanta photographer Debora Cartagena, and was shown at Mason Fine Art Gallery in Atlanta as part of ARTiculate 2015, an annual urban art event that benefits the UAE Youth Artists Program.

Meltzer has received recognition regionally and globally for her art, including Honorable Mention in the Women in Photography International Competition 2012, First Place in the Louisville National Juried Photography Show in 2013, First Place in the Women in Focus Annual Juried Show 2015, First Place (landscape and nature) in the Roswell Photographic Society Annual Open Juried Show 2016, and Finalist/Honorable Mention for the 2015, 2017, 2019, 2020 Julia Margaret Cameron International Award for Women Photographers and 2017 Charles Dodgson Black and White Award. BW Gallerist included Meltzer as among its Best of the Best: Emerging Fine Art Photography Artists of 2017. One of her notable black and white portfolios is maintained in the Yale University Beinecke Library Archive and other works have been published in South x Southeast Photomagazine, the American Journal of Neuroradiology, and Edge of Humanity Magazine.

Meltzer’s photographic works reside in private collections in Atlanta, Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York, Boston, and Charlotte.