About Me

Bella Vista Photography is owned and operated by nature and travel photographer Mary Louise Ravese.

WELCOME, I'M 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.

Inspiration

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.

Techniques

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.

Career Highlights

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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