For the past two months visitors to Image City Photography Gallery have been able to view some of the photos created by Visiting Artist Elisa Knataitis. This month, Elisa is exhibiting her 3rd series as a Visiting Artist. For her current display Elisa has selected some of her favorite images that she created over the years for competitions in Professional Photographers of America (PPA). She created these while she was working on her Master Photographer Degree from PPA.
In the Through the Student Lens 2023 Exhibit, Elisa’s photo entitled Pas de Deux received a Gallery Pick award. Image City President Steve Levinson says “Many photographs of flowers are busy, colorful and crowded, but Elisa has produced a beautiful, minimalist photograph which is not busy, not colorful and not crowded. It is a very strong graphic composition with the two flowers rising upwards and meeting each other in a wonderful pose. Gesture is the word that comes to mind as you look at this photograph.”
This is just one example of the types of photos that Elisa creates. She mainly likes to photograph flowers inside the studio or out on location in a garden at home, or in places where she has traveled. When deciding on the photos to include in her Visiting Artist displays, she included ones that matched the feature show theme at the gallery. For example in the Black and White Feature show, she included her black and white image entitled The Heart of A Black Dahlia.
Elisa has a creative approach to her artistic images. She says “My greatest inspiration behind some of my images happens after I’ve captured many flower images and look at them in Lightroom to see which images appeal to me to create the art.” She explains that sometimes as ideas pop into her head, one image or a group of images stands out regarding how they might look as a finished piece. To ensure that all areas of the image are in focus, Elisa uses the technique of focus stacking before moving ahead with her art pieces.
Elisa has a number of favorite images in the three exhibits she has had at Image City, but she says that her biggest surprise was her image called Flutter. She had created this one a few years ago when watching “America’s Next Top Model.” One of the episodes inspired her to think a little more about creating a different photograph. This led to thinking about creating more images similar to that one. Elisa says that after putting forth the effort and time in some of these images, and seeing the interest that others have had in them, “It has validated my works.”
Elisa began her photographic journey as a re-toucher of traditional prints. She believes that has given her a different way of looking at photographs. Her background also has given her ideas in the way she thinks about her setup to take a photograph. When her husband was working in commercial photography, sometimes she was able to create the setups of various product shots that were used in advertising, some in national and international ads.
Elisa is a member of Professional Photographers of America; Finger Lakes Photography Guild and the National Association of Photoshop Professionals. As visitors view Elisa’s photos, she hopes they see the beauty that flowers have and that there is fine art all around us in everyday life.