Recently, I was introduced to some gorgeous photography from a photo artist named Joe Lekas and I had to share it with you all! Joe’s work is incredibly inspired, and unique, so I’ve shared some of his work so you can see how amazing it is, but I was also awarded the opportunity to interview him and ask him about what has inspired him to create such vibrant exciting work.
Here are the photos and the interview for you all to enjoy…
Patricia: Light seems to play a big role in your work. What is different about your process that makes light just beam from your photos?
Joe: To make my images I shoot at least a dozen exposures that all vary in time length. I hand blend the best of those in order to maximize the visible tonal range and bring out dimension and detail. I’ll take shadows from overexposed images, skies and highlights from underexposed, colors from another, and so on. Quite often, since these are layered exposures, I have to go in and pick tiny segments from a single shot to compensate for the movement that occurred during these exposures. For instance, if the wind blows and the leaves on a tree move or the grass rustles, the shots don’t line up. So, in those cases I have to go in and pluck leaves from different shots so that none are blurred or “half” there due to only part of that particular exposure being used.
Patricia: What has been your favorite project so far? What makes it your favorite – the experience or the final product?
Joe: Well, I’m currently in the process of working on a project for the Merchandise Mart—physically the largest I’ve done so far. And logistically one of the most difficult since I have to shoot such a wide angle. I can’t speak about the final product yet, but I’m most excited to see the actual finished display…just for the size alone. Should make quite an impact.
Patricia: I live by a motto of coloring outside the lines – and it seems you do too. What are the boundaries you’re pushing now? What boundaries do you have your sights set on breaking – maybe once the technology or opportunity catches up with your visions?
Joe: I have particular passion for pushing the boundaries of reality to a more personalized ideal appearance and bringing out unseen detail. Each of my photos pushes dimension and tone to another level. I keep trying to awaken the extraordinary in everyday life—in places you wouldn’t expect. I plan to keep finding the unexpected and have an even more eye-opening effect. Perhaps in the future try shooting weather-related type situations, such as a storm or other environmental phenomena, which would prove to be more challenging.
Patricia: People often think of “art” as something hanging in a gallery. How do you see your art becoming part of the lives of those who admire it?
Joe: The world around us is a far more uniquely interesting place than most people today seem to credit it. Today, cell phones, the internet, and hand-held devices are taking the lead in distracting us from what is right before our eyes. Sometimes, what you find, be it under a magnifying glass or larger than life, will surprise you in ways that turn the ordinary into the extraordinary. I hope that my work has people taking a second look at the world around them.
Images shown with permission.