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Bella Vista Photography is owned and operated by nature and travel photographer Mary Louise Ravese.
Photo of Mary Louise by Richard Fain
For over 25 years, I have specialized in outdoor photography from locations across the U.S. and the world. My artistic vision and photographic style is something that is
continually evolving. My favorite subjects are country landscapes,
nature close-ups, interesting architectural details and abstracts. When
composing, I look for distinctive shapes, unique textures and intriguing
juxtapositions of color and tone.
In recent years, I’ve become fascinated with the idea of blurring the
line between the look of traditional photographic realism and the look
of other fine art mediums. I’ve been exploring making very creative
images of unique subjects often overlooked. Ideally, I'm looking to achieve the look I'm after in-camera as much as possible. Ultimately, I feel that my most successful photographs are those that
are not just technically good, but those that capture a moment of
beauty or drama, images that evoke an emotional response in the viewer.
I studied photography through the University of California Berkeley and
Santa Cruz extension programs as well as the Washington School of Photography. Over the years, I've had a number of photography
mentors that have guided and influenced me including Barbara Brundege, Jean-Louis Martinetti
and Harold "Doc" Edgerton. I am a member of the North American Nature
Photography Association and the Carolinas' Nature Photographers
Association. While I've lived in a variety of states and countries, currently I call North Carolina home. I support my local arts community as an artist
member of 311 Gallery and Artspace in Raleigh, NC, as well as the Carolina Designer Craftsmen Guild.
My photographic style is often described as “painterly” which isn’t
surprising to me if you consider that I draw inspiration from a number
of different art forms such as traditional Japanese block prints, to
1930s-era advertising posters, to painters like Georgia O’Keefe. My ambition is to incorporate the beauty of painting in the clarity of photography.
Trained in the use of
both 4x5 and 35mm cameras, today I shoot with full-frame DSLR
cameras, producing photographs in color and black and white. I pride myself on the craftsmanship I bring to my photographs, from the care I take in capturing the image, to the diligence I take in personally developing each image, and to the choice of archival materials I use in printing and presenting each work of art.
My art business has been designated as a "Trusted Art Seller" with The Art Storefronts Organization, which means you can shop with confidence, and know that I stand behind the quality and value of my products.
My fine art photography is in private, university and corporate collections
in over 40 states and is exhibited nationally through art shows,
galleries and shops. My images have been used in calendars, magazines,
books and websites, including various projects with National Geographic
Maps. In 2020 I was recognized as "Master Artisan in Fine Art Photography" by the Pennsylvania Guild of
Craftsmen. This status is based on my achievement in the three benchmarks of excellence
in craftsmanship, resolved design and unique voice. I am also a regular speaker and competition judge for photography clubs in the
Carolinas and Mid-Atlantic region, and have been
invited to speak at photography conferences around the US. I enjoy teaching on a wide
range of photography topics, especially topics related to nature photography.
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