Paul Landau "Macros to Cosmos" Photography Exhibit
And Camera class September 30
Photographs by gallery guest artist Paul Landau may leave you with the impression you're looking through a microscope -- even when capturing birds in flight, the focus is feather-crisp, the colors radiate with intensity. The Scottsdale artist is our guest in the gallery for a solo exhibition of his work from June through September.
Macro Photography Workshop September 30
Look closely at the bright red larvae of a Pipevine Swallowtail; before the colorful caterpillar morphs into one of the blue-black butterflies seen throughout AZ, they have a beauty all their own - with intricate rows of dorsal spikes making them resemble an undersea creature more than an insect of the Sonoran desert. The human eye can only look so close; Scottsdale photographer Paul Landau has learned to capture microscopic scenes with his camera, revealing compound eyes, antennae and patterns almost invisible to the human eye. September 30, Sunday, from 2:00-4:00 p.m. he'll share techniques during an afternoon spent in search of tiny creatures and plants at Boyce Thompson Arboretum."You'll probably be amazed to find out what your camera can do," predicts Landau. "Even the simplest 'point-and-shoot' digital cameras have close-up capabilities that reveal inner worlds of detail, iridescent green beetle wings, and the intensity of nature on a scale that's overlooked until you learn where to look - and how to see. One of the great things about macro photography is that my quarry is tiny - and often fairly easy to photograph once you know where to look for them. Boyce Thompson Arboretum is my favorite place, no question, to photograph vivid insects and flower blossoms, along with other natural phenomenon."
"My real purpose on Earth is to worship and document nature in many forms," said Landau. "And this approach has guided me for as long as I can remember. Just before my third birthday as a little boy, my two older brothers caught a five-foot long black-rat snake and let me play with it. To this day I remember it looped around my neck and I can pinpoint that as the start of my fascination with animals. I was upset when they let it go -- and I've spent the rest of my life trying to find it again.
"Hummingbirds, arthropods and reptiles fascinate me because of their 'design.' With hummingbirds that can only really be seen when slowed-down and magnified -- or simply magnified in the case of spiders and arthropods.Typically when this is done with photography, it appears flat and clinical, almost sterile. I employ off-camera speedlites muted with softboxes - I approach these subjects same as a photographer for Vogue magazine shooting a model layout, except my "models" can range from the size of your thumb to smaller the head of a pin."
"I shoot all manual, all the time - and my main camera body is the Canon 7D, and my preferred hummingbird lens is a 50-500mm zoom. Yes, that can be a real light-hog, but that's taken care of with Speedlites that render an image sharp as a tack -- and allow me seemingly unlimited framing opportunities. As for macros, the Canon MP-E 65mm macro allows true macro up to five-power magnification. You can picture it as a microscope strapped to a camera body. I also use a 180mm macro prime lens for venomous reptiles, and a Schmidt Cassegrain telescope with a computerized tracking mount for astrophotography."
View images of the May 20 annual solar eclipse Landau got here at the Arboretum.
"My dream is to be a prominent photographic artist and have the chance to give, teach and help my fellow human beings understand and respect nature. Influences? I was born in Virginia, my father was an optometrist, my mother was an Ansel Adams fan and my brother was a hobbyist photographer. I grew up with a darkroom in the house and all sorts of optical devices as toys. At age 11 my father gave me a Leica microscope; both optical theory and photographic were ingrained at a very early age. I remember at the age of 8 or 9 my brother explaining 'bokeh' to me; this term describes when your subject is in sharp focus but the foreground and background are pleasantly blurred."
Landau is a fulltime working artist; he sells large custom prints from landauimaging.com, and travels on assignment for a Los Angeles agency shooting corporate events worldwide.
Shoot Alongside Paul Landau June 16 and again July 3
"Anyone who owns a camera can shoot better hummingbird photos," added Landau, "at least anyone with patience who's willing to learn a little about the birds' behavior - and about their own camera's functions for zoom and macro photography. And a tripod helps, of course!" On June 16 and again July 3, each afternoon from 5:00-7:00 p.m. while his work is featured in the visitor center art gallery Landau will coach two special workshops here at the Arboretum specifically dedicated to the art of hummingbird photography -- teaching 10 enrollees about technique. "We'll discuss everything from how to camouflage yourself with appropriate clothing, to position yourself advantageously for the best photos and the ideal natural light - and without disrupting the birds' ability to feed, or their natural behavior. Ethical wildlife photography is crucial; and we'll also talk about the art of wildlife photography - the factors that elevate a photo from simply capturing a split-second in time to being something unforgettable, and something you want to see enlarged to poster-sized and hanging on a wall."
Each workshop is limited to ten photographers; Landau is donating his time and the $30 fee ($39 for nonmembers) benefits BTA. Call 520-689-2723 to enroll and prepay.
"I love the Arboretum because it has everything I moved to Arizona for, and more: exotic plants and animals, desert vistas, mountain landscapes, history and -- as an added feature -- great clear, dark skies for astrophotgraphy at night. I also shoot in the Superstition Mountains and the Mazatzals range. The Desert Botanical Garden and the Gilbert Riparian wetlands are two more on my list of favorite places."
"One thing I'm sure of, there is a divine consciousness. This consciousness has an individual plan, a duty, a role or service for every single person. When you find out what it is you are free.
All images in the exhibit are available for purchase, prices range from $175 to $475, and a portion of sales are donated to the Arboretum. Landau will also print almost any of his images up to three or four feet wide or tall; landscapes can be even larger
See more of Landau's work at
Connect with Paul Landau
Read a few more quotes here
Boyce Thompson Arboretum is located at Highway 60 milepost #223, just three miles west of the town of Superior - a drive of about one hour east of Phoenix or two hours from Tucson (take Oracle Road North to Highway 79 past Florence to Highway 60, then East for another 12 miles).
During summer months exhibits may be seen in the Visitor Center gallery daily from 6:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. during May, June, July and August. The Arboretum is an Arizona State Park and daily admission must be paid to enter the Visitor Center where the gallery is found. Admission is $9 for adults and $4.50 for ages 5-12. Annual memberships at the Arboretum begin at $45, and include a year's access, guest passes for your friends and family, along with many other benefits. A membership may be purchased in the gift shop on the day of your visit.
Review other recent gallery shows from...
Legumes of Arizona March - April, 2012
Michael Madsen February, 2012
Bud HeissNovember-December, 2011
Mesa Art League September-October, 2011
Kim Hosey July-August, 2011
Pima College & CACApril, 2011
Jim Burns March, 2011
Kay Cummings February, 2011
Paul Kinslow January, 2011
Mesa Arts League September, 2010
Rick Cameron April , 2010
Barbara AtkinsonFebruary, 2010
Nancy MatusJanuary, 2010
Barbara CoxDecember, 2009
Margaret WhittakerNovember, 2009
Artists of the Superstitions October, 2009
Marilyn Barton September, 2009
Gila Community College August, 2009
Deborah A. Lee June, 2009
Margie Porter May, 2009
Timm Chapman January, 2009
Paul Kinslow December, 2008
Maggie Leef November 2008
Sharon Sieben October 2008
Nicole Royse September 2008
Judy Bottler Photography May 2008
Bob Estrin Photography April 2008
Mary Isham Watercolors March 2008
Susan Strom and Cathy Franklin Lightning Photography February, 2008
Arizona State Parks Plein Air Paintings January, 2008
Carolyn Gray & Connie Thomas December, 2007
Jean Sullivan November, 2007
Sue Cullumber October, 2007
Adriane Grimaldi September, 2007
Mesa Arts League June-July, 2007
Fred Charlton May, 2007
Paul Mudersbach March-April, 2007
Linda Kaiser February, 2007
Edith Kreueger-Nye December, 2006 - January, 2007
Cindy Carrillo October-November, 2006
Bob Rice September, 2006
Bud Heiss July-August, 2006
Mesa Arts League June-July, 2006
Sandy Tracey April-May, 2006
CJ Rider March, 2006
Jessica Green February, 2006
Steve Davidson January, 2006
Don & Carole Schupp December, 2005
Carolyn Gray November, 2005
Martha Burgess October, 2005
Boeing Photographers September, 2005
Lightning Lady Susan Strom July/August, 2005
Mesa Arts League June/July, 2005
Jeanette Bronson May, 2005
Tom Stanley April, 2005
Kathy McClure February-March, 2005
Pam Smyth January, 2005
Tina Faust December, 2004