Bob Retnauer


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 and quieter waters. I'm certain this environment helped form my affinity for the outdoors and why many of my images portray beaches, marshes and the influence of water. I view my photography as a form of therapy in reaction to the frenzied pace of everyday life, where I react to nature and appreciate what already exists as I see it through the lens.

Art stimulates our senses and emotions and reminds us that we are alive. The ancient Greeks developed the theory of the four moods or behaviors - sanguine (optimistic), choleric (passionate), melancholic (somber) and phlegmatic (impassive) to categorize the human psyche. Our personalities are loosely made up of these temperaments in varying combinations. The visual arts often trigger strong emotional reactions to some or all of these, even if the viewer isn't quite sure why. As a photographer, I often find myself reacting to the landscape in varied ways.

With my seascapes, I use the camera as a 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. Alternately, with my project imagery I strive to capture the genius loci, or spirit of the place, usually in a much sharper and detailed way...the Yin to the Yang of my seascapes...

My images are created from on-site captures through the use of various techniques of camera motion and panning, long exposures, neutral density filtering and post-processing. Images are displayed in art galleries, offices, public spaces and fine homes and are available in many different sizes ranging from postcards to large wall murals and on various framed and unframed media including paper, glass and metal.


Jury of Piers

Long Island Sound

Lighthouse Dawn