Photographer Lance Kuehne: For Love Of The Land
By Sharon Feissel
When, as a high schooler, Lance Kuehne won regional photography awards, you might say “something clicked.” Although he didn’t realize it yet, he was destined to become a recognized photographer, documenting the North Bay landscape. The Pottery Barn has sold his rural scenes, Editions Limited produced posters of his country road images, and Image Conscious of San Francisco has just licensed his Hills of Green image for reproduction. “At times,” Lance grins, “I marvel that I am able to refer to the North Bay’s bucolic back roads as my ‘office.’ Amid this ever-lovely landscape is where I do most of my photographic work, although, from time to time, other areas of California do beckon.”
For most of his career, Lance has been a purist. Even after switching to digital photography and thus having to develop images in the computer, Lance was intent on sticking to the standards of documentary photography, portraying each image as he remembered it and without “artistic interpretation.” However, Lance has finally given in to his creative urges. “I’ve now discovered how exhilarating it can be to give one’s own creative twist to an image, so I have begun to explore color shifts, filter effects, etc. While this is stimulating, I don’t think it is going to fully replace my proclivity for the more natural rendering of nature’s handiwork.”
Lance is Featured Artist for the Winter Show at Riverfront Art Gallery. In this show, Altered Reality: Photoshopped or Not?, he will tease viewers, challenging them to look at his images and guess whether they have been simply developed digitally or have been “photoshopped.” Of course, all digital images have to be processed through a program like Photoshop since digital sensors only record data, not images. But, as Ansel Adams often did in the chemical darkroom, a major function of development software is to allow the artist to render the image according to his own vision. “Nobody asked Ansel Adams whether his images had been ‘dark-roomed’,” Lance quips.
Lance’s featured works will range from images that are basically as photographed, such as Primeval Woods, ones where he has recreated a past look, as in Golden Gate with its retro effect, and ones where he has simply strengthened the existing mood, such as in Sonoma Hillside Shadows, “Where,” Lance points out, “I wanted to give the image the more intense color that sometimes happens when afternoon light suddenly slants in below departing rain clouds. Accomplishing that required a bit of pushing the color and contrast. But other interpretations in the show are more subtle.” This show runs through March 5, 2017, with an Art Walk reception on Saturday, Feb 11, 5:00 to 8:00. Come and meet Lance in person and enjoy his new works.
For more information, see Riverfront Art Gallery’s website: www.riverfrontartgallery.com. In the Fall of 2007, Lance founded the gallery along with co-owner Jerrie Morago. The gallery has received multiple Best of The North Bay and Reader’s Choice awards.