About Frank LeBlanc
My first real camera was a Yashika 35mm rangefinder which I purchased in Chu Lai, Viet Nam. Next was a new type camera, SLR-Canon FX with a 70mm lens. I was really having fun and was completely unknowledgeable except for the manual. In 1966 I entered LSU in fine arts (painting)as there was no photography curriculum at that time. In 1970 I graduated having earned a BFA degree in painting and the following year entered Newcomb College graduate program in painting and earned an MFA degree. Those were great years of painting, drawing, printmaking and showing my work through galleries and juried shows.
In my photography one will view an approach which is undeniably "painterly" while at the same time being based on the techniques of the digital darkroom. Dodging and burning, or painting with light, along with layer masking and painting through luminosity masks. Post processing in RAW capture is very similar to the steps involved in developing a painting. When the idea is not taking the desired form one might have to scrape off the canvas and start over. Saturation painting is another technique which I employ in every photo. Many of Photoshop's adjustment layers can be somewhat heavy handed when carried beyond the global adjustments initially needed. Now I am working with the Photoshop actions crafted by Tony Kuyper, a landscape photographer who is legendary in some circles. These luminosity masks are used to gradually and subtlety build up the tonality and color of a capture to attain a balance in highlights, shadows and mid-tones.
As a landscape photographer the place that I most desire to be is in wild nature. Mountains, deserts, forests, lakes, rivers, sea-coasts and swamps to name but a few. My deepest passion as a nature photographer is to bring to my viewers the dynamic range of light and color discovered while photographing in these settings. The vast open spaces of the American west, especially the mountains, are the locations that are most alluring to photograph. My home state of Louisiana is not neglected, and my goal of incorporating wildlife into the Louisiana scenery is just beginning to take shape.