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George Zastrow, Photographer

Updated: Oct 15, 2023

George Scott Zastrow has lived in the Russian River Valley for almost

50 years and has been taking photos since the age of 10, first with a

camera gifted from his grandmother.



George has deservedly won many awards throughout the Bay Area for

his work. While some of his work are local images, like the barn on

Slusser Road he also is a world traveler. His most recent work has

been shot in Southeast Asia where he lives half the year.


There is a wide array of style and subject in George's work, landscape

and nature photography to portrait and travel photography. “I enjoy the

travel, things that are foreign to the American eye” says George.

George’s travel to Thailand each year isn’t only about photography. He

is a sitting board member of an NGO called ALL FOR VILLAGES (Click

here for more information) that helps villages in Thailand to rebuild their

infrastructure. Much of their work is focused on the Moken tribe, for

whom they’ve built a school and are currently raising funds to build a

bridge which would give the Moken children much easier access to

attend school regularly.


Another photograph from Thailand that is quite different from anything

found in this country is a pile of skulls facing the camera. The

photograph was taken in Cambodia in one of the many Killing Fields.

This concerns the atrocity that occurred in the mid to late seventies

where more than a million people were murdered in a state-sponsored

genocide. His photography is full of stories both about how the photo

was taken, but also the history behind the image.


He also loves to photograph stunning coastal sunsets with a red sky

painted with clouds that resemble temples. He says that everyone in his

Thai neighborhood comes together on the beach for sunset each

evening.



George also manipulates some of his many images. I asked him to tell

me about it and he told me, in particular, how he did it and the story

behind it. I’m not going to tell you what he said because I’ll let George

do that. “People come in and ask me, “What is that?” and I tell them a

story. That’s what I like to do. I like to tell stories.”



You can see George Scott Zastrow’s work at the Russian River Art

Gallery, 16357 Main Street in downtown Guerneville. If you want to see

some truly beautiful photography from both the Russian River Valley

and Southeast Asia and hear the story behind them, George is usually

at the gallery on Fridays…unless he’s on the beach in Thailand with his

neighbors there.


Interview by Michael Rex, Russian River Books and Letters

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