by Laszlo Perlaky
One of the reasons I joined the Houston Photographic Society was for the Annual Portfolio Review, where members can show a body of work and can solicit critiques from fellow members as well as a panel of reviewers.
I remember when I showed my best images from my first portfolio, "Nature is My Friend." One of the respected HPS Fellows came to me and politely remarked that the photos were nice, but that it was not a portfolio. I had to think about this a lot, and I finally understood, accepted the teaching behind the opinion, and then re-evaluated my definition about what constitutes a portfolio.
This really challenged me to push myself and I started to work hard for my next year portfolio, "Legs to Wings." This was more of a body of work. However, one of the reviewers picked four images out of my twelve and said to me, "these are the images which I wish to see as a portfolio."
Once again, I received another strong critique which helped me to better review my own works, deepen my connection with nature, create previsualized images containing a story board, and I then presented my revised portfolio, "On Wings," the following year.
"On Wings" was a great success and generated many other new successful portfolios such as: "Nature Softies," "Hide and Seek," "Ripple Dance," "Invisible Angels," "Wichita Scapes," "Wabi-Sabi," and "Fragmented."
In 2010, on our summer photography trip, I tried something different. That is, I previsualized a series of images when I heard the music stemming from the water and rocks and I recorded this dance in an imaginative series of photographs. Nobody believed at that time that I photographed my "Water Dance" portfolio.
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"Water Dance" is part of my visual experiment to translate the sights and sounds of the dancing ripples of mountain springs, exploring the softness and beauty of our intimate natural world.
This series of images was taken on a recent photography trip to the Rocky Mountains at Snowy Range, Wyoming. The orchestra of the splashing, gurgling, running water over the colorful rocks lit by afternoon rays turned the scene into a ballroom where I heard a gentle voice ask me to dance. I was under this magical spell as I waded into the ice-cold, crystal-clear alpine creek. I heard the music of the water and rocks and started to move slowly, recording my feelings with each step – unique forms, colors and shapes documenting our dance in an imaginative series of photographs.
In all aspects of our natural environments, I seek and attempt to observe and feel the invisible. Each image captures fleeting moments and preserves them in a dream blur of color and shapes. The work represents a new direction in perceiving nature and challenges the viewer to enter into their own dance with our fascinating and always changing natural world.
My Mission is to observe, understand, accept, and create art which communicates between humans and nature.
Laszlo Perlaky is a Baylor College of Medicine faculty member at Texas Children’s Cancer Center during the week and an avid nature photographer on the weekends. He born and raised in Hungary, traveled throughout Europe, Japan, and the USA, finally settling with his wife, Alexandra Nemeth, and two children in Houston in 1990.
His high affinity towards both the natural environment and the camera helped him pursue photography and gradually perfect his craft. After 20 years of black and white photography, he has transitioned to and mastered the chrome medium, working with it exclusively for the past 15 years. At the present time, he uses a Nikon D-SLR system and for his landscapes, 4×5 and 8×10 large format field cameras, scans his color films or processes his high-resolution digital captures, and produces archival, pigment ink digital prints.
He is a member of several national and international photographic organizations and loves to teach photography. He leads monthly Photo-walks at Brazos Bend State Park, conducts his Naturalperl workshops, and teaches regularly at the Houston Center for Photography. He is the past editor and publisher of the Silver Image (2001, 2003) and Field Contributor to Nature Photographer magazine. He has successfully participated and awarded in international photography contests, published his images in magazines, books, calendars, and exhibited his work at major art festivals and print sales.