When I was a child, I often accompanied my grandfather on walks down the native wildflower trail in his garden. There he would pause, slowly bow over a plant and introduce us, always being sure to use the plant’s formal, Latin name. It would be many years before I could understand the botanical names of plants, but I did fall in love with wildflowers on those walks.
In her 1893 book, To Know the Wild Flowers, Mrs. William Starr Dana refers to the many benefits of being on “a bowing acquaintance with flowers.” I know just what she means, only I like all kinds of plants, flowering or not, and in every season.
Plants have personality. And just as with people, if you take a bit of time to get to know them, you may be both surprised and delighted by what you discover. A Bowing Acquaintance with Plants is a series of black-and-white portraits in which I introduce plants that are sometimes familiar, other times foreign—hoping others might see the unique characteristics and gestures that give them personality.
The Mutable Sea
After spending many years photographing landscapes, I had the opportunity to turn my eye to the sea. At first challenged by its broad, flat nature, I sought an intimate way to photograph the sea. The key was focusing on how the gentle waves lapping upon the shore made me feel, and thus slowing both my own pace and the exposures made with the camera. Through lengthy exposures, taken after the sun dips below the horizon, I have attempted to capture the simultaneous ebb and flow of the tide, the ever-changing nature of the shoreline, and the colorful reflections of the evening sky.
Closer to Nature: The Alluring Landscapes of Simmonds & Associates, Lee Anne White, Whitespace Press, Cumming, 2015 The Mutable Sea: Reflections on Change, Lee Anne White, Whitespace Press, Cumming, 2013
I am drawn to the changing nature of natural, designed and cultural landscapes. I enjoy them most in the quiet moments—in the soft light of sunrise and sunset, on winter days when trees bare their bones, and on foggy mornings when less is visible and the world doesn’t seem quite so complicated. I also have a passion for plants. Whether towering trees or delicate woodland wildflowers, I strive to capture the essence of their spirit—perhaps a gentle gesture or defining characteristic.
I shoot digitally and produce archival pigment prints. I also create photo encaustic works on wood panels and weave images into handmade books. Encaustic is an ancient method of painting with melted beeswax and resin that adds depth and texture to a finished piece.
Lee Anne White is a photographer, artist, writer and educator whose landscape, seascape and botanical images have been exhibited in both solo and group shows, including 30 pieces on permanent display at Brenau University. She is the author and photographer of numerous books, including Closer to Nature, The Mutable Sea and more than a half-dozen titles on landscape architecture and garden design. She is the former editor-in-chief and a major contributing photographer for Fine Gardening magazine, the recipient of numerous photography awards from the Garden Writers Association, and an instructor for the Maine Media Workshops. Lee Anne earned a master’s degree in creativity at Buffalo State College and a bachelor’s degree in journalism, broadcasting and commercial art at Brenau University.
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