“I photograph mostly nautical and wildlife themes, concentrating on our shorelines & bays, yachting, the bridges, wetlands, lighthouses, wildlife, flowers and the unique things that make living near & on the water on Long Island and elsewhere a special experience. I hope my work brings you as much enjoyment as it gave me in composing and capturing the beauty of our environment.”
-Rich LaBella, 2012
How do you learn to love photography? You get a camera, start taking snapshots and then get hooked! Rich’s first camera, a Yashika rangefinder got him started taking pictures at the beach, surfing, out with friends, on travels and much more. Through high-school and college he learned a lot about photography through classes, trial & error, books and seminars – and over the years, through a better understanding of light & composition, the snapshots matured into a sizeable portfolio of quality photographs.
Rich has been particularly influenced by both Art Wolfe’s & Chas Glatzer’s approach to photography. Through Art Wolfe, he learned to approach his works based on the principles of composition to bring out the beauty of nature & the environment. Chas Glatzer showed him that “light illuminates, shadow defines” and that a three-dimensional image was indeed possible in a two-dimensional medium. With that foundation, and the help of many talented Nature & Wildlife photographers, he was able to develop and fine-tune his visionary approach, technical execution and post-processing skills in producing fine art which accentuates the interaction of light and color.
Early in life, he realized that we tend to be oblivious to much of the beauty that surrounds us. Rich is an advocate of bringing awareness of that often-overlooked beauty in nature and wildlife behavior through his work. He prefers dynamic images to static “portraits” and tries to bring a better appreciation & understanding of our world through showing the interaction of nature, creatures, objects, and places that we might not notice around us.
Rich has participated in numerous contests & shows; held multiple one-man exhibitions at the Long Island MacArthur Airport and East Islip Library; won awards at the PFLI (Photographic Federation of Long Island) where he was awarded the Leonard Victor “Best Overall” & “Best in Class” Awards in 2014, NWPLI (Nature & Wildlife Photographers of Long Island), Long Island Photo Gallery (Wildlife, Fireworks, Flora, Animals & Creatures and Waterscapes competitions), FotoFoto Gallery 2011 International Competition finalist, and the Islip Arts Council “Local Color” exhibitions.
He has made numerous presentations in Libraries, Service Organizations, and Camera Clubs on various photographic subjects such as “From Snapshot to Photographic Art”, “Post-Processing Workflow”, “Framing on the Cheap”, “The Where in your Workflow”, and more.
He is a member and past-president of the NWPLI and a member of the Islip Arts Council. His works are featured at the Village Art & Framing Gallery in Babylon Village, PhotoArtPavilion,com (https://photoartpavilion.com/?s=Rich+LaBella) and the Long Island Photo Gallery in Islip. His many works can also be seen on facebook (facebook.com/RJLaBellaPhotos) and on his website (www.RJLaBellaPhotos.com). These works now hang in many private collections and businesses and have been included in various Calendars & Magazine covers and articles.