Contributed by Loretta Lanzisera Photography

I remember always being involved in a creative endeavor.  In high school I took art classes and learned how to paint and sketch but it was not until I found the camera that I truly felt comfortable enough to say, “I can do that!”  I didn’t have my own camera initially and remember borrowing one from my best friend.  It took a while, but I finally received the camera I wanted as a gift and it turned out to be the gift that changed my life.

I naturally wanted to learn all I could and took every class possible.   This was several years ago when an integral part of photography was developing in the darkroom where I loved to watch the paper transform into a photograph right before my eyes. I was especially drawn to black and white and it was in the darkroom that I became a lover of black & white photography. Learning about Ansel Adams sealed my fate to the medium.

I found myself viewing the world differently and had the good fortune to appreciate this new world by traveling.  Wherever I went, I made sure I had two cameras with me, one with color film and the other with black & white film.  On one particular trip, I arrived at Bodie, California by accident.  It was an abandoned mine town that appeared to be frozen in time — back to the 1800’s.  I took dozens and dozens of shots with both cameras but later learned that I neglected to put color film in one of the cameras.  Thankfully, I was left with the black and white shots, which have turned out to me among my favorite photographs.

Fast forward to the digital age and I now have endless opportunities to create my vision from the camera and from the digital darkroom (Photoshop).  I find myself continually embellishing my work by experimenting with different techniques well after I have taken the shot.  And I don’t have to worry about loading film in two separate cameras!

I have learned that I don’t have to travel far to find beauty in the world.  Long Island and the New York area have very beautiful foliage and beaches and there are new adventures to be had at any given moment.  I’m particularly drawn to the beach or a park in the winter months.  There is an indescribable beauty in photographing a barren tree in the sunset or the mist of the waves in a Nor’easter.  And there is excitement to be had at any given moment:  in the rain, in the fog, during 20-degree temperatures, when it snows and in the early morning sunrise.  Another favorite subject of mine is children.   A teacher once told me that they are the most difficult subject to capture but being around them and making them smile or just catching that “moment” is another reason I love photography.

My photography has always been a very personal expression for me and in sharing it with the world, I would like people to appreciate the beauty life has to offer through the many very special moments I have captured.