Photography provides ways of seeing the world from a fresh perspective. Early in my career I followed my passion for nature by photographing wildflowers, gradually learning the craft of the camera’s focus and exposure, and lying on the ground in contorted positions to get just the right angle. Sometimes these could be artistic rather than straightforward photos, and the discipline taught me that good photography does not come easy.
Half a century later, I am still photographing flowers and leaves, but in more evocative compositions. By carefully controlling what is in focus in the foreground, and letting the background blur into pleasing patterns of colors, I create work that some might call “painterly,” but which is simply a more thoughtful impression of nature.
During the past two weeks I have have gone walking with a zen-like spirit, mindfully focused on leaves and other natural details with my new approach in mind. I walked through two Japanese gardens, the University of Washington Arboretum, around Seattle’s Green Lake, and in Olympic National Park; most of the pictures here are from those walks.
Enjoy the work and click on them to see them larger. If you would like to purchase any of them, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. These are limited edition prints that I have printed on Japanese Unryu paper, which has a soft, painterly look with visible mulberry fibers giving it a special texture. Since this paper is fragile, I don’t trust sending collectors just the print. I mount it on photographic mount board and mat it with a triple-thick white cotton board of the highest quality. The sizes available are 6″ square print matted to 10 x 10,” 11.5″ square matted to 16 x 16,” and 16″ square matted to 22.5″. The prices respectively are $75, $150, and $300, with free shipping to the lower 48 states.
While visiting the lovely little Yashiro Japanese Garden in Olympia, Washington, I at first didn’t know what to photograph. The garden was pretty, but I wasn’t overwhelmed with a desire to take pictures. I decided to stay longer and work at it, freeing my mind from preconceived notions of what might make strong photographs here. Eventually the details captured me, and I chose to take a zen approach to my photography, focusing narrowly on detail and letting the background float away into a wash of color.
Click on the photographs above to see them larger. To see more of my work, go to my website: leerentz.com There you will see thousands of photographs and can order prints in a variety of sizes
I occasionally jog along the Clear Creek Trail in Silverdale, Washington. Although I am a poor jogger with knee and muscle problems, it has been my primary form of exercise for 35 years and I still enjoy each outing. Sometimes I take a small digital camera with me and grab some photographs along the way. This day was special, in that I took 295 photographs along my 4 1/2 mile route, stopping every time a potential photograph grabbed me.
These impressionistic photographs were not created by using filters or Adobe Photoshop tricks. They all look pretty much as they came from the camera, with just a few tweaks of contrast and brightness and color to make them look a bit better on the internet. They are experimental, and I intend to experiment with this technique in the future, since it gives such a transformative look to an everyday scene. I will discuss my technique here in the future, but for now you can just enjoy the view.
To see my web site, which includes photographic prints for sale, please go to LeeRentz.com
NEW: To see thousands of my photographs in large file sizes for use in magazines or other printed materials or electronic media, go to my PhotoShelter Website