In Illumination: An Exhibition of Fine Art Photography we are presented with a vision of the world that is both recognizable and yet somehow visionary. Unexpected beauty and surprising complexity, as well as moments of poetic simplicity, are all brought into the spotlight, encouraging us as viewers to acknowledge the wonder of the world we live in and the astonishing power of photography to show it to us through new eyes.

Lella Beretta
Calling her collection “Filosofia per Immagini,” or ‘Philosophy through Images,’ Lella Beretta searches for a deeper and more profound sense of beauty through her camera lens. Beretta arranges her works around a romantic vision, posing her subjects with a dreamlike intimacy as she develops a personal story of the emotions of the soul, capturing an exquisite and magical vision of the human experience. Along with her more imaginative arrangements, Beretta explores issues of race with an appealing tenderness and discovers a rich dialog of spirit in realism. For dramatic effect, these striking photos are printed in a large scale on canvas, occasionally as a limited edition.

Born in Vercelli, Italy where she still lives and works, Beretta studied philosophy at the Public University of Milan before embarking on her career as a professional photographer. Since then she has received much recognition for her works, both in Italy and internationally, including numerous exhibitions and awards, most notably competing as part of the Italian team in the Photography World Cup, winning gold and silver medals in both 2003 and 2005, and winning other prizes in 2008 and 2011.

Mili DC Hartinger
Peruvian photographer Mili DC Hartinger creates gripping, memorable pieces that explore the secrets of the natural world, the hidden messages that lie beneath the familiar. In this way, she is able to introduce her viewers to a new perspective, a unique realization of what truly exists around them. DC Hartinger’s approach to her subjects is purposeful, and by shooting each one close up, she is able to capture some of the inherent abstractness of the object, rendering it so much more than what we have come to know. In addition, the high contrast she creates lends a feeling of raw identity, as well as an overall dramatic effect. Among other things, DC Hartinger has been profoundly influenced by the vibrant culture of her native Peru. As she explains, “My culture has given me the ability to see light when standing in darkness.” Indeed, her art provides a portal for the viewer, allowing us to peer closer and find new elements in our everyday world.

Mili DC Hartinger currently lives in works in Lima, Peru.

Lynne Douglas
Balancing the influence of the Impressionists with a deeply-felt instinct for evocative images, Lynne Douglas' photographs explore the play of light and color in a plethora of mystical landscapes. Often photographing in her native Scotland, Douglas uses long exposure photography and low light conditions to capture the movement in seascapes and the beautiful essence of early morning and late afternoon scenes. While starting with a spontaneous photograph, the artist develops the results to accentuate the elements which originally inspired the emotionally charged image. Douglas' work, like that of Monet and even Turner before her, examines light itself as a variable in her images and nature as a phenomenon not to be reckoned with lightly. Like visual poetry, these photographs evoke an emotional and spiritual response in the viewer, channeling a virtuoso's aesthetic technique and a poet's soul. While seemingly varied in their subjects, all of Douglas' works speak of the wonder and unmistakable magnificence of nature.

Lynne Douglas has won various commendations for her work, including being shortlisted for major competitions such as the UK Digital Photographer of the Year in 2010 and the UK Take a View Landscape Photographer of the Year in 2011 and 2012.

Patricia Gilman
New York-based photographer Patricia Gilman’s haunting images, shot during travels to every corner of the planet, capture and isolate moments of incredible beauty that most observers would miss. Her subjects range from vast, dramatic panoramas and human figures exploring lush landscapes to surprisingly intimate images of animals. Beyond these images’ irrepressible intrigue, Gilman composes her digital photographs with prodigious care and skill. She favors nearly vertical and horizontal lines - rather than more conventional diagonals - hich lend her images an eerie stillness and a sharp edge.

As with her unorthodox compositional tendencies, Gilman eschews broad spectrums of color, preferring to create images dominated by two or three tones. Like the interplay between their strong lines, the images’ stark divisions of tone create extreme contrasts and juxtapositions of light and dark areas, warm and cool tones. The cumulative effect of these bold choices of hue and angle is an aesthetic that catches viewers’ eyes and then invites them to linger as subtle and subdued details emerge. Gilman’s photographs are spectacularly adventurous in both form and content.

Stuart L. Gordon
Stuart L. Gordon’s regal landscape photography tackles the natural world on its own large scale. Gordon combs the land, waters, and occasional city of the North American west for the settings of his photos, which are endlessly variable but share certain aesthetic principles: minutely detailed textures, a classical balance of line and composition, and colors vivid enough to border on the surreal. A hilltop of golden wild grass blazes against the sky, miles of depth reduced to two stripes of blue and yellow. A single tree is depicted with the same majesty and care as an entire mountain range. Gordon is perhaps most adept at capturing the elements in motion, so that we see a thread-like waterfall flowing past or the wind lifting mist from a lake. In these, as in all of the artist’s works, no miniscule shadow or color fleck goes unrecorded.

Gordon spent his childhood in Brooklyn and today bases the majority of his photographic work out of his home in Bend, Oregon. He describes landscape photography as “being a participant, rather than merely an observer, in a magical moment in nature.”

Debbie Klein
“I look to create movement and a sense of space through images, words, facades, colors and designs,” explains Dallas-based artist Debbie Klein. “My process is a combination of techniques found in collage, screen printing, photography, painting and graphic design.” The works resulting from this multidisciplinary practice, which often consist of thematically related images arranged into long vertical, horizontal or rectangular assemblages, use bold colors, text and abstract shapes to connect otherwise disparate spaces like urban scenes, dramatic landscapes, found objects, street signs and graffiti.

By layering so many photos and graphic elements, Klein creates quasi-impressionistic compositions that offer dizzying, repeatedly reflected and disorienting views of bustling city streets and fleeting glimpses of urban ephemera. In addition to their incredible dynamism, though, her images manage to convey a sense of order, a formal balance that seems rooted in her use of abstract elements. Grounding bustling activity with clean lines, she finds harmonic balance in carefully composed urban delirium.

George Ligon
George Ligon’s greatest muse is the natural landscape, and his brilliant photographic work takes a classic formal stance which foregrounds beauty and composition. Mounting his photographic images on canvas, metallic paper, and metal, his works have a painterly sensibility which both grounds and emphasizes the mediumistic qualities of color. Coming from a background in commercial photography, particularly beauty and fashion, Ligon’s expert touch and sensitive eye for composition transfer equally well into the realm of fine art. Crisp details, expansive color fields and majestic snapshots of earthly splendors and natural landscapes express a distinct longing for the communion of man and nature. A world traveler, Ligon’s works of distant lands explore notions such as foreign/domestic, home/abroad and the inherent, universal pleasure we take in vision, wherever we are in time and space.

George Ligon was born in Harlem, New York City and is of African-American decent. He currently resides in Greenwood, South Carolina where he recently had a solo exhibition featuring new photographs which he took while traveling in Australia, New Zealand and Fiji.

Tom McGee
American photographer Tom McGee is known for his classic approach to contemporary landscape photography. Characterized by the artist’s dynamic use of light and shadow, these limited edition photographic prints often expertly depict the cosmic color gradation of sunrise and sunset. McGee doesn’t leave the house without a camera and tripod, ensuring that he’s always poised to capture and compose the images that speak to him. Embracing a wide range of subject matter within his landscape motif, his works depict everything from urbanity’s gritty chic to majestic fields and looming natural monuments. Having traveled extensively across the Western United States, some of his most poignant and enduring works depict the mountains and deserts of the Southwest as well as the Pacific Northwest’s Puget Sound, the latter being a region of which the artist is particularly fond.

Tom McGee was born in Blythe, California and currently lives and works in Crosby, a suburb of Houston, Texas. An internationally acclaimed artist, in 2011 McGee exhibited a body of work at “The Gallery at Bulgar Centre” in Odessa, Ukraine.

Klaus Pfeiffer
Klaus Pfeiffer creates limited edition photographic prints on aluminum using the lambda method. His work is surreal and reflective, drawing viewers into a new perspective; like traditional Japanese art, his human figures are diminutive when compared to the landscapes and architecture surrounding them. When put in context with Pfeiffer’s artistic philosophy – namely, a desire to depict images that are meditations on Plato’s cave – this takes on an added level of meaning. “We take the shadows to be real things, not just reflections of reality,” he explains. “In my artwork I'm looking inside of the cave and searching for reasons… With very cautious manipulations I try to explore a cave exit.” The artist’s dominant color scheme consists of blues and oranges of varying tints and shades, which creates a sense of mood and unifies his work.

Pfeiffer was born in Dortmund, Germany, where he still resides. Even at a very young age he spent time exploring his interest in photographing manipulated realities. His work has been featured in several shows and exhibitions.

María Pisaca
María Pisaca’s large photographic prints are full of action and light. Her larger-than-life pieces are charged with symbolism and deeper meaning, yet also playful and rich with vibrant colors and an upbeat, optimistic quality that lifts the mood and brings a smile to the face. “I like to tinge the real world, making it my own, twisting and turning it around until it’s just like it’s in my head,” she explains. “The light, the colors, the happiness of still moments… I like the symbolism of making something my own.” The artist brings a unique vision of beauty to the world. Her work incorporates elements of Surrealism with unexpected angles. Together with her discerning eye and strong artistic vision, she presents a unique perspective on beauty in the natural world.

María Pisaca was born in the Canary Islands, and the light and natural beauty of the surrounding area and wildlife has profoundly influenced her work. She has been the recipient of numerous awards, and has shown her work in many exhibitions.

American-Israeli artist S.L.S. ("Sarah L. Singer") takes lush and mesmerizing photographs of landscapes and natural details, from the drooping contours of ancient rock formations, to the unexpected features of aquatic plants and flowers. Her concern with themes of permanence and mortality in the environment stem from long periods spent in Kenya and California. These themes are echoed in the very materiality of her photographs, which are printed on metallic paper, underlining the works' elemental subject matter.

These explorations of temporality in nature take on an incredible range of forms and styles, from broad landscape imagery to incredibly tight and focused botanical photography. Her palette is similarly versatile, ranging from bold, tropical tones to pared-down black and white compositions. She highlights patterns and textures, alternately focusing viewers' attention on grooved stone masses or slick water lily leaves, all the while isolating irregularities and intriguing details that reward close observation. The resulting images make exquisite use of light and negative space to offer breathtakingly fresh glimpses of nature.

*Dušan Swalens
Dušan Swalens’limited edition prints on archival grade photo rag inspire abstract thinking. Using photographic representation as a means of inspiring positive ways of seeing and being, Swalens’ current series takes an interest in biological minutia, particularly the delicate folds, rivets, ridges and buds of plants and flowers. Although the artist is working with real objects in time and space, his style of macrophotography often renders his chosen subject matter indistinct, even abstract. A virtual windfall of rich hues and beams of light characterize his images, foregrounding each individual’s unique interpretation. Says Swalens, “An observer viewing a macrophotograph changes its appearance through the dimension of his mind." Playing with vision, perspective, and the power of visual representation, these works ask broad metaphysical questions concerning mankind’s relationship to nature’s ecosystems and our larger place within the universe.

Czech artist Dušan Swalens graduated from Zlín Film College specializing in photo and video. He has exhibited professionally in Belgium and the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Lithuania and currently organizes creative photography courses for children, young people and adults.

Sylvio Tabet
Sylvio Tabet produces large-format digital prints that are high in contrast, color, and emotional intensity. He deftly manipulates his photographs to create fresh, invigorating works of art. “My art is a combination of photography and digital tools, creating what I call a ‘Suspended Reality’ of unique photo-paintings: diptychs and triptychs enhancing the Yin and Yang aspect of every element,” he explains. “I reach for the world of dreams in my pictures, blending reality with my own reality where red could be green and yellow could be blue.” Tabet’s compositions are designed to make bold statements about our world, yet he manages to execute his work in a way that still leaves room for personal interpretation. His fascination with duality is pervasive; it gives his work a unique visual quality as well as an incredible depth of meaning.

Tabet was born in Lebanon, and he currently resides in both Beirut and Los Angeles. A self-described Renaissance man, he pursues many creative endeavors in addition to his digital art, including film and writing.

Natalie Wollmann
As she weaves together the influences of quantum physics, frequencies of light, and the temporal qualities of photography into an atmospheric storm of color, digital artist Natalie Wollmann opens a window on a new vision of reality. These brilliantly vibrant creations gracefully unite aspects of science, illusion, and a powerful visual aesthetic. Under Wollmann’s skilled eye, raw images of light and hue are joined and layered in an expressive dance of abstraction, building a richness of depth and spectrums of perspective. Wollmann’s art is created through an extensive variety of computer techniques as each work is digitally painted, manipulated, printed and enhanced with acrylic on canvas before being released as a limited edition of three.

Born in Alabama and now living in New York, Natalie Wollmann holds dual citizenship, being a citizen of both the U.S. and Germany, where she was raised. She began her artistic career at sixteen, winning awards for her experimental art-videos and working professionally as a freelance colorist for the film industry in thirteen countries.