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Laszlo, formerly a freelance rock 'n' roll photographer, currently shoots mostly nature.

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COURTESY PHOTO / LASZLO

Laszlo shot "Misty Mum" with his digital camera one morning after he ventured into the Smoky Mountains near Franklin, N.C.

Depth of field

BY STEVE HEISLER CORRESPONDENTGorgeous

A waterfall cascades out of a shimmering North Carolina mountain gorge.

A chameleon frog's bulbous eyes and elongated limbs tense in anticipation of a leap.

A flower's petals, freshened by the dew, reach for morning sunlight.

The stunning world of life through the lens of Laszlo is not frequently in the public eye in Sarasota. But the 56-year-old photographer, who cut his teeth on the world of rock music stardom, is beginning to make a name for himself locally.

Photographs from his past and current passions come together in an entry at Art Center Sarasota, where a depiction of the outrageous Gene Simmons of Kiss sits alongside the petals of a few irises.

A better glimpse of the breadth of his work can be gained, however, at the engaging photographer's home.

It's here that the cascade at Cullasaja Gorge stretches its 56-by-48-inch majesty along a wall of the living room. A similar shot rests on a nearby easel.

Laszlo, who goes by the single moniker (full name Las Laszlo), unearths a thick photo album from a pile, turns down the volume on world music pulsing from nearby speakers, and tries to quiet a cacophony of birds.

"That's Barney the cockatiel," Laszlo said as he rifled through other albums of his work. "He knows 14 different expressions."

Laszlo hasn't taken to photographing his birds yet, but he has tackled just about everything else within range. The chameleon frog photo he shot in his backyard butterfly garden. It's also where he captured up-close views of blue-and-red passion flowers and a purple cactus dahlia.

His flower fixation has taken him from Florida to his home state of Michigan and North Carolina. Laszlo's especially proud of one he calls "Misty Mum," shot one morning after he ventured into the Smoky Mountains near Franklin, N.C., with his digital camera.

"The sun is just breaking over a mountain ridge and I'm by this nursery and the dew just sets," he said. "The dew drops are biggest around the edges. People say, 'Aw, you misted that (to gain the effect of the dew),' but if I had, it wouldn't have the pattern it has."

Laszlo's enthusiasm for flowers and all things natural remains high. He said he is negotiating with Selby Gardens to put on a show of his images there in 2007. Until then, he volunteers at the botanical facility, shooting when time allows.

While Selby officials said it's too early in negotiations to comment on his work, others in the

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Last modified: August 20. 2005 10:55PM
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