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Photos (c) by Lee Gundersheimer,

A short Interview with the photographer:

Lee, thank you for sharing your photography with Unleash. Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I grew up in a suburb in Columbus, Ohio.  I lived most of my adult life in Chicago then moved to North Carolina.  Two years after moving here, I retired most happily and involved myself in my hobbies, most notably photography and pottery.  I currently live in a wonderful community called Fearrington Village which values and is engulfed by the natural surroundings, has its own farm animals and (possible controversy here) tends to be quite liberal in most residents' views.  This, my wife, Lisa, and my involvement in Won (Korean) Buddhism keeps me level and happy.

What draws you to photography, and when you began to take it seriously?

I really became the most serious about my photography when I moved to North Carolina.  Initially, I was given my darkroom by my father, and it was equipment for doing black and white photographs.  But I specifically chose to stay with and love black and white photography.  My reasoning will be controversial to all the people who choose to do color.  But to me, color shows the image (often showing the beauty of the color within it) while the black and white photograph is about showing the inner soul of the image.

How do you know you have a good shot?

I was given advice by a stranger whom I met in the photography section of a bookstore.  He said, "Take pictures of that which evokes an emotional response."  I remember that every time I aim my camera at any image.  There are many factors that I consider with each shot-lighting, distance from the subject, what to have in and out of focus, lines, and contrasts. But exposing the emotions of what I am looking at is at the heart of any picture that I take.

What's your favorite subject?

I love where I live because of all the trees and other aspects of nature.  I love that I am midway between the mountains to the West and the ocean to the East.  In addition, that which I consider nostalgia is a big factor. That is the main reason why I do medium format, black and white film photography.  It is also a reason why I take many pictures of places that have withered over time.  I like the idea that I'm helping to preserve the past, even when those actual places no longer exist.  This love of nature and the past is what I show in a majority of my photographs.

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go, and what would you most like to photograph?

I have a great love for the mountains, animals (I'm a vegetarian), and for other aspects of nature.  So any place that I can go with this is my ideal.  There are so many places out there.  But my wife and I are discussing a trip to Costa Rica.  I think a different environment than what I usually find myself in, would be a wonderful challenge.


Thank you, Lee! 

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