FINE ART PHOTOGRAPHY & CONTEMPORARY PAINTING
ARTIST : Bob Retnauer
Growing up and living most of my life on Long Island, NY, I have always been drawn to the sea and coast. The south shore and Atlantic Ocean offer primeval sand dunes and raucous surf, while the north shore and the Long Island Sound offer a rockier shoreline but quieter waters. I'm certain this environment helped form my affinity for the outdoors and is why many of my images portray beaches, marshes and the influence of water.
During my career, I have had the privilege of experiencing outdoor environments from dual viewpoints. As a Landscape Architect, I help define the exterior spaces that we use daily, such as parks and gardens. This profession has given me a certain control over the built environment, with particular attention paid to detail.
On the other hand, I view my photography as a form of therapy in reaction to the frenzied pace of my daily design life. I often use the camera as an impressionist paintbrush to express the essence of a scene without being so literal, often focusing on a simplified, almost Zen-like approach in trying to elicit the feeling of what drew me to the location. I tend to strip a scene down to basic elements of composition - essential vertical and horizontal lines, calm colors and a sense of implied movement. This approach actually captures small snippets of time that are forever captured in a still image.
The images I make are created from on-site captures using various techniques of intentional camera movement (ICM); slow panning; stacking of multiple images; long-exposures with neutral density filtering and digital darkroom post-processing.