Gallery 104 Artist of the Month

Photographer Lee
uses light in unique ways

He will display his work
this month in La Grange, Ky.

By Helen E. McKinney
Contributing Writer

LA GRANGE, Ky. (August 2011) – When photographer Perry Lee snaps a picture, he first looks for an unexpected aspect that will make people stop and take notice of his work. When he looks through the lens of his Pentax camera, he sees everything in a brand new way and hopes those who view his photographs will, too.
Lee relies upon lighting to give his photography an edge that makes it decidedly different. The atmosphere he creates with light on the printed photo makes the viewer feel they are standing in the photograph amongst his scene.

Perry Lee photo

Photo provided

Frankfort, Ky., photographer Perry
Lee likes to incorporate light in
unique ways to capture a scene.

“The different way the light reveals the landscape to us” is what he wants to capture on film, said Lee. The first light of day, fog or even mist can transfer a viewer into a scene that is familiar, said Lee, and make them think, “I know where this is, but I never knew it looked like that.” If he gets that kind of reaction to a photograph, Lee is happy.
Lee, 66, is the featured Artist of the Month at Gallery 104 in La Grange, Ky.
He studied theme design and lighting design in college while earning a degree in studio design. He pursued an undergraduate degree at the State University of New York and earned his master’s degree at the University of Kentucky. His interest in photography manifested itself during his freshman year of college. He decided at that time to minor in photography so that he could take his own portfolio shots.
Lee gradually became interested in other things and dropped photography, working professionally in theater for 20 years in set and lighting design. He spent some time working in graphic design and outdoor advertising where he did layout painting. He then became interested in computers and took a job with Lexmark, working his way up to high end color lasers and conducting color analysis, he said.
Four years ago, he and his wife took a trip to the Caribbean, where he snapped many unique photos. Hooked on photography again, Lee took some pictures during an ice storm in Franklin County, Ky., where he lives and entered one in a magazine contest. “It won third prize,” he said.
Encouraged to pursue photography again, he purchased a high quality printer and some framing supplies and entered several local competitions. After winning several of these competitions, he decided to focus all of his energy on photography full-time.
Most of his works in the La Grange exhibit will depict Kentucky scenes, but “there will be a couple of new pieces never shown before,” he said. He will also have a few abstract scenes, a form of photography he is just getting into.
“Perry Lee has been with Gallery 104 for about a year and a half,” said Kathy Dowling, executive director of the Arts Association of Oldham County and Gallery 104. The Artist of the Month program honors each Gallery 104 artist.
Dowling said she enjoys how Lee “takes beautiful photos of Kentucky landmarks, Cumberland Falls, a bluegrass farm, even a jailhouse door, and creates something a bit different by printing on stretched canvas. His floral photos are simple yet exquisite.” Lee also uses his prints to add to the gallery’s collection of handmade greeting cards.
Born in New York, Lee spent most of his life as an Army brat traveling wherever his father was stationed. He lived in Tennessee during his high school years and came to Kentucky to attend college. He liked Kentucky so much, he stayed. Lee currently lives in Frankfort.
For Lee, photography possesses a quality that “is so exciting to see something new come to life.” He prefers snapping photos that make the viewer think of the subject matter in a new way.

• For more information on Lee, visit www.PerryLeePhotos.com or contact Gallery 104 at (502) 222-3822 or visit www.Gallery104.org.

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