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Growing up and living most of my life on Long Island, NY, I have always been drawn to the sea and coast. The south shore and Atlantic Ocean offer primeval sand dunes and raucous surf, while the north shore and the Long Island Sound offer a rockier shoreline but quieter waters. I'm certain this environment helped form my affinity for the outdoors and is why many of my images portray beaches, marshes and the influence of water.  


Within my lifetime, I have had the privilege of experiencing outdoor environments from dual viewpoints. As a Landscape Architect, I help define the exterior spaces that we use daily, such as parks and gardens. This profession has given me a certain control over the built environment, with particular attention paid to detail.


On the contrary, I view my photography as a form of therapy in reaction to the frenzied pace of my professional design career. I often use the camera as an impressionistic paintbrush to express the essence of a scene without being so literal, often focusing on a simplified, almost Zen-like approach in trying to elicit the feeling of what drew me to the location. I tend to strip a scene down to basic elements of composition - essential vertical and horizontal lines, calm colors and a sense of implied movement. This approach captures and freezes small snippets of time that are forever preserved in a still image.

The images I make are created from on-site captures using various techniques of traditional exposures; intentional camera movement (ICM); slow panning; stacking of multiple images; long-exposures with neutral density filtering and digital darkroom post-processing.


Over the past decade, my images have been displayed in art galleries, office lobbies, public spaces and fine homes and are available for purchase in many sizes and formats. Please visit Works & Acquisitions for sales information.


Bob Retnauer

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